Your Education Welfare Team - Exeter
Education Welfare support
A short overview of how our team can support students
If your mental or physical health or wellbeing is having an effect on your ability to study, or your studying is creating health problems for you, then our helpful and experienced Education Welfare Team are available to talk to you in a confidential and non-judgemental way about any issues you may need support with.
The Education Welfare Team can help with:
• Worries about your academic progress, due to a health or wellbeing difficulty;
• Signposting you to the right people to help you with any difficulties relating to academic processes, such as mitigation and assignment submissions;
• Support around interrupting your studies or changing your mode of attendance;
• Information about Wellbeing Services' support and appointments with their advisors - the team can help you make the right appointment to
discuss mental health support, disability support or set up an Individual Learning Plan;
• One-off meetings to provide support around a specific study-related problem or issue;
• Ongoing support through the Health, Wellbeing and Support for Study process.
How to get in touch with your Education Welfare team
Education Welfare Advisors and Officers are based at Hub Info Points and offer advice and support, as well as signposting to specialist advice, support services and self-help materials.
Your support starts with an online initial appointment which you can book here. This appointment lasts 20 minutes and enables you to discuss your concerns and your advisor lay out the route to the most appropriate support in place for you.
Further support may be through meetings with the Education Welfare team, or through the Health, Wellbeing and Support for Study Procedure (HWSS), details of which are below.
We can offer follow-up appointments by telephone, video or face-to-face. If you’ve got any queries at all about how we can help please do get in touch. You can contact the relevant team for your Hub by email using the addresses below:
Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies
English & Cultural Studies
Communications, Drama and Film
Social and Political Sciences, Philosophy and AnthropologyClassics, Ancient History, Religion and Theology
Physics and Astronomy
Institute for Arabic and Islamic StudiesFlexible Combined honours
|All Postgraduate Research Programmes
EngineeringMathematics and Statistics
Clinical and Biomedical Sciences
Health and Community Sciences
Public Health and Sports Sciences
Health and Care ProfessionsSchool of Education
Please note that at busy times the team may not be able to get back to you straight away. If you have an urgent query about your studies, for example an imminent assessment deadline that you need assistance with, please contact your Info Point or the PGR Support Team for help.
If you have an urgent health or wellbeing enquiry, please contact Wellbeing Services through their Urgent Support contacts.
What is the Health, Wellbeing and Support for Study Procedure (HWSS)?
The HWSS procedure is a supportive procedure that allows us to help you in a more structured way if you start to experience health or wellbeing difficulties that are impacting on your study. You might be struggling to either meet academic learning outcomes and course competencies or to manage other aspects of university life, and if it is felt these difficulties are not likely to be resolved in a single meeting with support staff, we might suggest supporting you under HWSS.
Why does the University have a HWSS procedure?
Health and wellbeing are crucial ingredients to a successful and fulfilling student experience. However, the University recognises that difficulties with health and wellbeing are very common. Through no fault of your own, your health and wellbeing may impact on your ability to study, reach your potential and make the most of your time at University. HWSS sets out a structure where your difficulties can be discussed supportively and confidentially and available support options considered. Then a plan can be put in place to help you get back on track.
HWSS aims to ensure that:
- Your best interests are considered in relation to your personal situation, your health, wellbeing and/or any disability you may have disclosed
- You are supported to study and manage your health, wellbeing and current circumstances to the best of your ability, and wherever possible to meet the required learning outcomes and complete your course
- If you are experiencing difficulties in relation to your health, wellbeing and/or disability, you are supported to address this at the earliest appropriate point
- You are able to make informed decisions regarding options available
- Any reasonable adjustments that may be recommended for you via an Individual Learning Plan are considered and put in place
- Staff from Faculties/Hubs/departments and from central Support Services work together where appropriate so that you experience a consistent and fair process
The University will aim to ensure that the HWSS procedure is used sensitively, ensuring that you are at the centre of the process, and taking all possible steps to minimise additional stress and anxiety.
Who is the HWSS procedure for?
The procedure can be used for all students including undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are on full-time, part-time or online courses.
The procedure may also be used when there are ongoing concerns about your academic progress and/or behaviour or ability to function appropriately at university, and this may be as a result of mental or physical ill health or disability.
How is the HWSS procedure structured?
There are 3 levels to the HWSS procedure:
- Level 1: You will be offered one or two meetings a term to support you around emerging health/disability/wellbeing concerns that may be affecting your ability to progress academically or engage in the University experience, and that may require ongoing action and review. Many students find it helpful to have this regular contact with the Education Welfare Team to help them stay on track, and to ensure that they are accessing all the support that is available.
- Level 2: These meetings are slightly more frequent, and depending on your support network, usually include other people. For example, a colleague from from Wellbeing Services who might be supporting you, or your personal academic tutor. Level 2 meetings do not mean that you have done anything wrong, but just allow us to have more meetings with you and make sure the right people are there to provide you with the help that you need.
- Level 3: These meetings are very rare. At level 3, the University supports students who might have become very unwell and aren't able to make clear decisions about their studies or their health. In a Level 3 meeting, the University can recommend that you take a break from your studies to get better. In most cases Level 3 would only be used when all options of support have been exhausted and when we want to protect your programme of study by enabling you to come back when you are well. In very rare cases, the University might recommend that you withdraw from your studies and consider coming back at another time when you are well enough to study.
How will I be contacted/informed about the HWSS?
HWSS (Level 1 and 2) can be recommended by any member of staff who knows you and feels that the procedure might be beneficial. This could be Faculty support staff, academic staff, residence life team leaders, or Wellbeing Services member of staff, for example. The meetings themselves are led by the Education Welfare Team, who will decide with you whether the procedure is appropriate and/or helpful. You will be invited to a meeting either by email, telephone or during a face-to-face discussion. An email invitation will be sent to you, which will explain what the meeting is and how it will be run. You will then have a choice of a face to face meeting on campus or an online meeting via Teams. The decision to hold a Level 3 meeting is made following a full discussion by a panel of Wellbeing and Welfare senior managers and Legal/Student Cases colleagues.
You should be informed about the meeting at least 2 working days before the meeting is due to be held.
We really encourage you to prioritise attendance at these meetings. However, we do understand that there may be occasions where you have a prior commitment that cannot be changed, ie a medical appointment, or you are not well. In these circumstances every effort will be made to offer an alternative date to meet.
Who will attend the meetings?
Level 1 meetings are informal and attendance of staff members is kept to a minimum. The Education Welfare Advisor or Officer will attend, plus other relevant staff members with the student's consent, such as the Academic Personal Tutor.
Attendance at a Level 2 meeting could include staff that have an academic or support role with the student, as well as someone from Wellbeing Services or other support service.
Level 3 meetings will be Chaired by the Director of Faculty Operations for that student's Faculty. An invited GP/medic may also attend these meetings, a practitioner from Wellbeing Services and a member of the Education Welfare Team. You would not normally invited to attend a Level 3 meeting, but are invited to submit a statement in advance for consideration by the panel.
All face to face meetings will be held in a quiet, private space.
If you are not able to attend the meeting and don't contact us to reschedule, the meeting may continue in your absence if a discussion about support is necessary, and notes will be sent to you afterwards.
What will happen during a meeting?
HWSS meetings are nothing to worry about! All the Education Welfare Advisors and Officers are friendly and supportive, great listeners, and are there to help you. Anything discussed in the meeting will not be shared with anyone in your Faculty unless you have given us express permission to do so.
The meeting might include:
- An introduction by the person leading the meeting, and a summary of why the meeting has been arranged
- An opportunity for you to explain what's happening for you. Please note that you don't have to share detailed personal information in the meeting if you would rather not do so. However, it can be helpful to share information about your current health and impact on studies and life so that your individual circumstances can be taken into account
- Consideration of your individual learning plan (ILP) and discussion about any adjustments that might need to be added to the ILP
- Exploration of support options/networks available to you
- Formulation of an action plan if appropriate
- Clarification of next steps, for example setting a review date.
What will happen after the meeting?
A summary of the meeting and agreed actions will be sent to you and any other participants no more than 5 working days after the meeting. A copy of this report will be kept in a confidential space within Wellbeing Services. The date for a future review meeting may also be arranged at that point.
Will the HWSS process ever recommend that a student withdraws from the University?
The primary aim of the HWSS procedure is to support you to remain on your programme of study. However, it is acknowledged that there are occasions where all options of support have been exhausted and you may still be struggling to continue and progress to the next year of study. In such instances, we might suggest interruption from your studies, as taking a break might be the best support outcome in these circumstances.
You can choose to agree with the suggestion to interrupt, or you may decide to continue, with the risk that you may not be able to pass the academic year.
On rare occasions, students might be very unwell and may not be able to make clear decisions about their studies or their health. In a Level 3 meeting, the University can recommend that you take a break from your studies to get better. In most cases Level 3 would only be used when all options of support have been exhausted and when we want to protect your programme of study by enabling you to come back when you are well. In very rare cases, the University might recommend that you withdraw from your studies and consider coming back at another time when you are well enough to study.
The University is committed to ensuring that the HWSS procedure is used compassionately and sensitively, that you are fully involved and that all possible steps are taken to minimise additional stress and anxiety whilst ensuring the appropriate support is put in place.
The full HWSS procedure can be found at http://www.exeter.ac.uk/staff/policies/calendar/part1/otherregs/health/
Postgraduate Researchers can access the same support through the Education Welfare Team as undergraduates, often linking support structures with the Doctoral College.
Take a look at the timetable for upcoming events, talks and activities.