Hallam refuses to bring in ‘safety net’ policy despite 3,000 students signing petition

Let’s all sign it

Sheffield Hallam University’s “no detriment” policy petition has already attracted over 3,000 signatures.

University teaching this year has been seriously disrupted by 22 days of UCU strikes and the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Some 3,300 Hallam students are demanding that the university implements a no detriment policy as compensation for their interrupted learning.

However, the university has tonight refused to bring in the so-called “safety net” policy – despite the Uni of Sheffield introducing one today – instead insisting it is taking other measures to protect students’ grades.

The “safety net” measure being petitioned for would ensure students receive at least their average grade so far, for their end of year mark. Their first semester grades would be used to work out their final grade for this year.

Uni of brought in a safety net policy today

They would also be able to improve this final grade if they perform above average in their semester three examination and assignment results.

Hallam students have told The Tab Sheffield that they feel it is the fairest approach to account for the disruption.

Megan Deakin, a final year Hallam business and marketing student, said: ” Giving the challenging and unprecedented times, the implementation of this policy is essential to ensure we have our true value portrayed, especially for us who been striving to perform better in semester two compared to semester one.”

Katie Wallace, a final year childhood studies student said: “I think it’s vitally important for us final year’s as our course has been massively disrupted due to COVID-19 and the strikes. My mental health has also suffered during this time due to the circumstances and therefore find it hard to work to the highest standard.”

Hallam insisted the measures it is taking will help students out

Annabelle Sargent, a final year Hallam sociology student, added: “Uni of have put it in place so Hallam should too!”

But Sheffield Hallam Uni have confirmed to The Tab Sheffield tonight there are no plans to introduce safety net, insisting updated assessment guidance published to its website follows “similar principles in terms of a commitment to no student being adversely affected”.

These include:

• Foundation and first years – whose grades this year do not count anyway – will progress to next year automatically

• All other years will get a “whole range of support on assignments and exams”, including extensions without evidence, taking previous marks into account, and being able to resit assessments without any grade cap if unhappy with the mark

• For level five, six and seven students, “Department Assessment Boards will take into account the overall performance of your cohort, your previous marks and any extenuating circumstances”.

“Safety net” policies have already been rolled out at EdinburghExeterCardiffSouthampton and Warwick universities, and this afternoon the University of Sheffield joined them, following a student petition that gained 6,500 signatures.

There is more information about assessments on Hallam’s website. If any student needs support in the meantime they can contact Hallam Help.

Sign the Hallam petition here.

Read more:

• Why Sheffield now has the third highest corona cases in England

• I had to move home because of corona racism in Sheffield

• A Sheff student has built the IC on Sims

• Thousands demand Sheffield Uni bring in ‘safety net’ grade policy