Support to Study

The University strives to ensure that support is provided for you through the Support to Study Policy.  Both the Policy and Procedure are intended for use when your health, wellbeing and/or behaviours are being affected and impact on your ability to experience University life.

There are 3 stages to the process, each representing the degree of severity. 

If you are a member of staff and would like to access the Support to Study procedure, templates, and guidance for staff, please click the link below to access them (password protected page). 

Stage 1 - Initial stage (Emerging concern - informal discussion)

If a member of Staff or student raises concerns about a student’s health, wellbeing, behaviour, this may result in a conversation the commencement of Stage 1.

These concerns may include (but are not restricted to):

A deterioration in physical or mental health;
Dramatic change in presentation and or behaviour;
Concern for safety of the student and/or others;
Unexplained absence and/or engagement with University environment;
Ability to meet deadlines, ability to succeed academically.

Stage 1 is intended to be relatively informal, it is recommended that a face-to-face meeting takes place to discuss the concerns.

Failure of to engage either by non-attendance at the meeting or by showing no commitment to the action plan, the lead person should escalate the case to stage 2 of the process.

Stage 2 – Enhanced concern (School intervention)

Stage 2 may be commenced where there are more enhanced concerns about your health and wellbeing normally where action taken under support to study stage 1 does not resolve the issue or where a student fails to engage with the process at stage 1 of this procedure.

The circumstances will be discussed with the Head of School or the Head of Student Support which can result in a Case Review Panel being set up to discuss the concerns with you. 

For professionally accredited programmes, the Case Review Panel may be replaced by the Health and Conduct Committee. The composition of the Health and Conduct Committee would be constituted in line with its normal terms of reference.

Stage 2 is a supportive process and will lead to an action plan for the student to agree necessary actions to be taken to rectify the concerns.

Stage 3 – Serious concerns (Support to Study Panel)

Normally Stage 3 should only be reached through stage 1 & 2 of the procedure, however In some cases it may be appropriate to proceed directly to stage 3. Stage 3 should be used where there is serious or persistent concern about your health, wellbeing behaviours, safety or ability to study and cope at the University.

Examples of a Direct Referral :

  • where the Support to Study Panel or health care professional/occupational health advisor considers that the health, wellbeing and ability to study is significantly affected by your condition;
  • when all other options to deal with the situations have been explored locally and a wider University perspective is required;
  • when a higher stage of decision making and authority is required;
  • where there are serious concerns regarding risk to the health and safety and/or where there is a perceived threat and risk to others;
  • where an immediate temporary suspension is considered to be in the best interests of either you or the University.

Possible Stage 3 outcomes are:

(1) resolution no follow up action necessary;

(2) temporary suspension in line with Regulation 10 until such time as the student has been assessed by a medical professional, accessed support services both within and outside of the University or until the University has obtained further information where necessary;

(3) compulsory leave of absence with conditions in line with Regulation 10. A student who is suspended from the University may be prohibited from participating in University activities and may either be prohibited from entering the University premises or have restricted rights to enter the premises. The terms of the period of any compulsory leave of absence will be notified to the student in writing, depending on the circumstances of the case. If leave of absence is recommended the panel should make sure that both they and the student are fully aware of the implications;

(The student should be given a clear indication of the proposed return date and regular reviews should be built in.)

Any leave of absence under these circumstances should be greater than 15 days’ duration but normally no more than 12 months’ duration, during which time a student is not undertaking any study. The student will be required to complete their award within the maximum period of registration set out in Ordinance IV;

(4) requirement to withdraw. If the stage 3 Support to Study Panel concludes, taking into account the individual circumstances of the case and any supporting medical evidence, that there is no reasonable prospect of the student re-engaging with their programme, a recommendation will be made to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor that the student is permanently withdrawn from the University. This recommendation should only be made in the most serious cases and be based on a risk assessment conducted by the stage 3 Support to Study Panel;

(5) recommendation for additional support services to enable the student to resolve the situation;

(6) any other action considered to be appropriate and proportionate.

Risk-related Measures

Where there is concern in relation to student’s health, wellbeing and/or behaviour, the University may impose immediate conditions on that student to ensure that a full and proper investigation can be carried out and/or to safeguard the student or others whilst the concerns are being considered.

In the event that the University believes that a student presents a threat of harm to themselves, other students and/or members of the University or to University property, the University may temporarily suspend the student. Temporary suspensions are precautionary for the safety of the student wellbeing or that of University staff or students.

For the purposes of this procedure, temporary suspension is defined as a partial or total ban on attendance at the University, including at learning, teaching or assessment activities, including placements; and/or on participation in University activities, and/or on attendance at or access to specified facilities or parts of the University (including residential accommodation); and/or on exercising the functions or duties of any office or committee membership in the University or the Students’ Union.

A temporary suspension will be based upon the outcome of a formal risk assessment through the stage 3 support to study panel, authorised by the Deputy Vice Chancellor or their nominee. The temporary suspension will be for a specific period of time.

Students enrolled on a course that requires them to undertake practical training in a professional role involving patients, pupils, clients or service users, or where the end qualification provides a direct license to practise or is a requirement for a license to practise may also be temporarily excluded from their studies by a Health and Conduct Committee or Fitness to Practise Committee under Fitness to Practise (Regulation 18).

In each case of temporary suspension, the student will be informed in writing of the specific restrictions placed upon them, of the timescale and manner by which the suspension will be reviewed and of their right to appeal.
All efforts will be made, as far as is possible, to reduce the impact of any temporary suspension on the student’s studies.

A temporary suspension will be reviewed 4 weeks from the date that it came into effect or earlier upon receipt of the outcome of an internal investigation, evidence of external developments or significantly altered circumstances of the student.

The temporary suspension shall normally remain in place until such time as any investigation and or confirmation from a health care professional has been obtained.

Where a student who is also an employee of the University or the Students’ Union has been temporarily excluded, the Director of Human Resources and/or the Students’ Union will be notified to consider whether any further action is required under their procedures.

Further Action

Details of the Policy are outlined here: Support to Study Policy

 Email: student.services@keele.ac.uk

Telephone: 01782 734 481

Drop-ins:Monday and Friday 10-12pm, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 2-4pm and evening drop-ins every Tuesday 5-7pm term times only  (in the Student Services Centre)