Policies

Evidence to support your claim

You are responsible for obtaining evidence to support your mitigating circumstances claim. The University is unable to seek evidence on your behalf. 

The evidence you submit needs to:

  • Explain what the circumstance is
  • Provide the timeframe for the circumstances (including any relevant dates)
  • Provide any additional information relevant to supporting your claim and the impact on your assessments/performance.

All evidence needs to be written in English and produced by an appropriate third party. If it’s originally in another language, it’s your responsibility to ensure a translation is supplied.

For help finding a translator, the Institute of Translation and Interpreting provide a free search facility for finding professional translators. Please note that the University of Leicester does not endorse any translation services. We recommend that you make enquiries with several service providers to ensure you find a suitable service you are happy to use.

When evidence is not required

We understand that it can be difficult to provide evidence in certain circumstances. You should acknowledge this in your supporting statement so that the claim can still be considered.

Evidence is also not required for claims relating to:

  • Significant bereavement, for example a death of a close family member or significant other
  • Being the victim of sexual assault (including image based sexual abuse)
  • Harassment based on a student’s disability, faith, gender identity, race, and/ or sexual orientation.
  • Flare up of a declared and previously evidenced long-term condition (including long-term COVID) where any reasonable adjustments or learning support already in place are no longer sufficient to enable successful submission/completion of the assessment on time.
  • Unexpected disruption to technology for a time-bound assessment that could not be avoided through advance planning.

Examples of acceptable evidence

Open the items below to find examples of evidence relevant to the circumstance that would typically be accepted (although not exhaustive and other examples will be considered on a case by case basis). One piece of evidence may be submitted initially however further evidence may be requested as needed:

Serious illness or accident resulting in hospitalisation or urgent medical attention/treatment relating to a student

  • Supporting statement from Student Support Services
  • Medical certificate / hospital report / report from qualified medical practitioner. These should be produced whilst the symptoms were still apparent to the medical practitioner.

Serious illness (as described above) of a member of the student’s immediate family (e.g. parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses and children, including step- relations and guardians)

  • Supporting statement from Student Support Services
  • A medical report from a qualified medical practitioner, letter from medical professional.

Unforeseen caring responsibilities for immediate family (beyond serious illness, above)

  • Supporting statement from Student Support Services
  • Letters from Department of Works and Pensions confirming a Carers Allowance award prior to starting at university
  • Letter from a Young Carers support group or charity confirming caring responsibilities.

Serious infectious disease that could put others at risk

  • Medical certificate/hospital report/report from qualified medical practitioner. These should be signed whilst the symptoms were still apparent to the medical practitioner
  • Supporting statement from Student Support Services.

Complications relating to childbirth or pregnancy

  • Supporting statement from Student Support Services
  • Medical certificate / hospital report / report from qualified medical practitioner.

New presentation or disclosure of a mental health issue or condition

  • Supporting statement from Student Support Services
  • Report from a psychiatrist, psychologist or medical practitioner.

Legal proceedings requiring attendance at court as a witness or jury service

  • Documentary evidence from the court or a solicitor.

Severe adverse personal/family difficulties

  • Supporting statement from Student Support Services, or another qualified professional.

Being the victim of a crime

  • Supporting statement from Student Support Services
  • Crime report and number, or evidence from alternative reporting routes as appropriate
  • Letter from medical professional/counsellor

In circumstances where no evidence is available, claims should still be submitted and considered without a request for evidence. For example, evidence is not required for sexual assault.

Legal proceedings requiring attendance at court as a witness or jury service

  • Documentary evidence from the court or a solicitor.

Significant and immediate change in working conditions (distance learning and part- time students only)

  • Where possible evidence from employer detailing the change in working conditions and timescale of advance notice given to employee (student).
  • Call up papers for military deployment.

Supporting statements from Student Support Services

For the majority (but not all) cases above, Schools can consider a supporting statement from staff known to you in Student Support Services as supporting evidence. Staff wishing to provide a statement can use the template below:

Supporting statement template (Word docx., 44kb)

Students should note that a statement provided by staff in Student Support Services is not confirmation that a mitigating circumstances claim has been approved.

Evidence that will not be accepted

Examples that will not normally be accepted (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Evidence not clearly linked to you or your close family member in question
  • Hospital or other medical appointment letters that don't provide details of the condition
  • Self-certification of illness from either you or close relatives, without supporting medical documentation
  • Medical evidence from alternative/homeopathic practitioners
  • Anecdotal evidence without supporting documentary confirmation
  • Photographs or media extracts relating to events which are not accompanied by clear evidence of their relevance to you
  • Statements of support from other students or family unless accompanied by other documentation outlined in the list of acceptable evidence
  • Any evidence that is not clearly in the same period of time as the learning and teaching activities or assessment in question.

Deterioration of a declared long-term condition

Where required, reasonable adjustments should be made for long-term health conditions. Having a long-term health condition in itself is not a mitigating circumstance. However, if you experience a deterioration or flare-up in a pre-existing condition that will have an impact on the completion of an assessment (above and beyond any reasonable adjustments), then you should submit a mitigating circumstances claim. Where your condition has already been declared, and the University made aware of the nature and details of your condition, you will not need to provide additional evidence for individual instances of flare-ups or deteriorations.

The AccessAbility Centre offers support and advice for disabled students and those with long term conditions looking for extra support.

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