Rep Council, November 2023

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On Wednesday 15th November, Rep Council met for its first full meeting of the year to review the progress your union and Officer team have made so far, and to discuss a variety of student issues and ideas.

The members of the council - made up of your Department, Site and PGR reps, and the managers of your Representative Networks - were pleased to hear that the university has promised timetabling improvements in January that should put an end to problems like poorly-balanced weeks with extremely long days and long periods of downtime between sessions that strand commuting students on campus. Some further areas of improvement were discussed, which Olayemi and Faran will be continuing to look into.

Concerns around the early release of reading materials in Psychology, failures to implement reasonable adjustments in Society, Crime and Environment, and a lack of lecture recording in Midwifery & Allied Health led the council to discuss the procedures for implementing Learning Support Statements, the means by which the university identifies and provides adjustments for disabled students.

The council received clarification that, while providing adjustments is a legal requirement, the specifics of those adjustments are not. The university’s policies and guidance provide a framework to ensure those requirements are met, but there are sometimes situations where staff need to deviate from that guidance - which they can do provided they make sure the university’s legal obligations are still met. The university’s Inclusion team have confirmed that the guidance available on the website is still current at time of publication, and both reps and students are invited to refer to this guidance if they feel their LSS is not being upheld. The relevant section can be found at the end of page 7:

If it is not possible to implement a reasonable adjustment identified in a student’s LSS [staff should] contact the Disabled Student Support Co-ordinator to discuss. This would also need to be discussed with the student.

If this is not being followed, students are advised to send an email to the staff member in question and to ask why the adjustment is not being followed and what alternatives can be put in place. The above guidance can be quoted and linked to as necessary.

The council’s next meeting will be held on January 10th 2024 in the September Room (on the first floor of the Sisulu Building, above the Ember Lounge). Observers are welcome. Papers will be published on the Rep Council webpage on January 3rd; agenda items, points of discussion, questions, comments, questions disguised as comments and comments disguised as questions can all be submitted by email to