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claiming extenuating circumstances without evidence.

(29 Posts)
user1473006008 Sun 04-Sep-16 18:18:34

I need some advice about claiming extenuating circumstances after an exam without evidence of what happened, and perhaps information about alternative courses of action.

I will start by explaining the background to the situation and then explain what happened.

My son finished university this year (or at least he was supposed to).

His father is the sort of person who i can only describe as a grafter.

He has always done low paid unskilled jobs and is very anti-education, believes that it gets people "like us" nowhere and is only for "other people".

Even when my son left school we had frequent arguments with him because he wanted him to go straight out into work. He was constantly complaining about having to feed and keep a roof over his head while he "faffed about in college".

This got worse during university and during this time he was constantly whinging about the debt he was making (even though it is my sons debt and only a student debt and nothing to do with his dad), constantly whinging about the cost of renting (even though I helped by son with this with my own money which was most of my life savings, he didn't pay a penny or give any help whatsoever)

Hopefully that explains the background of the situation so i will now talk about that happened.

One of my sons exams was in the afternoon so he stayed at home overnight and planned to drive in to the exam.

I received a call from my son and he told me that his dad had taken the car keys and would not give him the keys. I rushed home immediately to find out what was going on and try to sort the problem out.

It turns out that as my son was about to leave for the exam his dad asked him to mow the lawn and take the lawn mower to a neighbors house when he was done. My son had tried to tell him that he was going to an exam and he simply went into a rage, put the car keys in his pocket and started shouting nonsense along the lines of "your mum may be fooled by this university crap but im not having any of it, as long as your living here you will help me out". I spent over an hour arguing with him until i finally managed to get the car keys from him, all this time he would not listen to a word I was saying.

We only have 2 cars (my sons and his dads) and where we live there is almost no public transport so without his car he has no means to get to the exam.

On my sons course the final grade is calculated by adding the points from the exams taken for the 4 modules they take in their final year, exam results for previous years dont contribute to the final grade). The exam he missed was the only exam for that particular module so he effectively has no points at all for that module. He is re-sitting the exam however without being able to prove extenuating circumstances his grade for that exam will be capped at a very low maximum. So this will seriously effect his final grade.

My son worked very hard for 3 years to get the best grade he could, he has taken on a large debt, i have spent most of my life savings to help pay for his accommodation and because of one instance of his fathers stupidity this could all be for a much lower grade. What upsets me the most is not that this happened but the fact that his dad seams to have no comprehension of what he has done, I have tried to explain it to him and he wont listen to anything I say.

I cant think of any way in which we can prove that this happened so I expect that he will not be able to claim extenuating circumstances.

Can anyone give advice about claiming extenuating circumstances?
Is there anything else that can be done?

ImperialBlether Sun 04-Sep-16 18:20:57

Did he phone the university as soon as he realised he wouldn't be able to go?

Are you going to stay with your husband after that?

Boogers Sun 04-Sep-16 18:24:28

Your son's father is a prize shit, but you know that already, and so does your son.

I'd advise your son to speak to the department directly, or at least the module leader. He must be crushed, poor love!

PurpleDaisies Sun 04-Sep-16 18:24:29

When did this happen? What contact had your son had to explain what went on during the exam?

Unis usually have very specific grounds for extenuating circumstances and you have to inform them very quickly.

Coconutty Sun 04-Sep-16 18:28:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Boogers Sun 04-Sep-16 18:38:13

Usually serious adverse circumstances forms have to be submitted by a certain date, usually before term breaks up and preferably as close to the event as possible. What happens is it will be assessed by a panel and graded on a scale of 1-3. Say, someone's parent dies the day before an exam, that would be a 3. If someone's dog died seven months ago and the student says they're still affected by it, that would be a 1. There is a very big difference in circumstances there, if you know what I mean?

The more information you can put in a SAC form the better, particularly if there's a background history. However, I wouldn't be hopeful of it being accepted if the exams were months ago, especially if he's already received his results. Talk to your department.

FatherJemimaRacktool Sun 04-Sep-16 18:51:00

Hi OP, a university department's exam board chair here. If it were my university, we would have expected your son to let us know as soon as he realised he was going to miss the exam or, at the very latest, later that day. If he could produce some kind of evidence of this bullying and coercive behaviour by his father (text messages, for example) then we would have allowed your son to 'resit' the exam as if for the first time (so, the mark wouldn't be capped). But if your son missed his exam, didn't tell anyone, missed the appeal deadline after results were published, and then, weeks after the appeal deadline, claimed mitigating circumstances with no evidence, I'm afraid he wouldn't get an uncapped resit. His university may be different from mine, though, so the best thing to do is for him to speak to his department's exam board chair.

BengalCatMum Sun 04-Sep-16 18:59:47

LTB and tell son to NC.

This mans stupidity has most likely ruined all of your sons hard work and will affect him for the rest of his life (both with father issues, and lesser grades affecting his work and earnings), and mean his debt is now for nothing.

I cannot believe what I am reading!

Best of luck and flowers for you all. Sounds beyond awful sad

FatherJemimaRacktool Sun 04-Sep-16 19:42:59

Steady on BCM, the OP's son will still get a degree, and it's very possible that he might graduate with the same degree classification as he would have done before, even if the mark for this module is capped (depends how many credits the module is worth and how the degree is weighted). No module on our undergrad degrees is worth more than 15% of the whole degree, for example, so even dropping from, say, 65 to 40 on one final year module would only bring the overall degree result down by a very few marks. Even if the OP's son's degree is structured differently, it's not going to cost him his degree. So no wasted debt, no ruined life.

Her son's dad does sound like a massive arsehole, though, I agree with you about that.

PurpleDaisies Sun 04-Sep-16 19:50:48

the OP's son will still get a degree, and it's very possible that he might graduate with the same degree classification as he would have done before, even if the mark for this module is capped.

Yes, that's entirely possible. I got a first with 37% in one module (damn you exam being entirely on the last two lectures that I failed to revise).

BengalCatMum Sun 04-Sep-16 20:07:35

I have said 2 LTB's so far, this my second, and the first without a second of hesitation.

This is by far the worst thing I have ever read or heard.
A father is supposed to love and care for a child.

It could well cost him his degree, or his educational progression onto a Masters or PhD. Employers may ask for his HEAR report, and a final missed exam may cause issues for more competitive graduate schemes or awkward explanation at interviews

One of my housemates got a pass conceded because he messed up one final exam, it meant we went from 2:1 to pass conceded and only because his lecturers took into consideration some serious extenuating circumstances. He has a good job now, so it can be done, but he does see his debt as a bit of a waste as he know he could have done better.

But seriously this was not normal extenuating circumstances (usually unexpected death/ ongoing physical/ mental illness etc.); this was the culmination of a narcissistic fathers abuse, and had been escalating towards this point.

I would NC without hesitation, if this was my parent.

Anyway, I have said my piece

Peebles1 Fri 09-Sep-16 09:59:57

Slightly different, but my DD had something pretty awful and distressing happen to her the night before her first A-level. I was so wrapped up at the time with supporting her through this that I didn't think to ring college, and like you I had no evidence. Anyway, I decided to ring several weeks after the end of exams and they were great. Said no evidence needed, they just dropped an email to the exam boards, took my word for it. However, this was before the results were out. I think it may have made the difference to her getting into uni - she scraped one of her grades by one mark.

Good luck, hope things work out for you both.

user1473282350 Sat 10-Sep-16 00:15:00

Your son's Dad sounds like an emotionally abusive twat.

He needs to e-mail and explain what happened.

He also needs to explain in that e-mail how he going to take steps to make sure it doesn't happen again (like, hiding a second pair of car keys somewhere).

I would get your son to talk to a GP - so that the GP can have a chat with him about healthy relationships and provide a letter of support to say that the GP is aware this has occurred and can confirm they have provided guidance to son.

Also, when was this exam ? Because if it was before the summer it may not work now to bring it all up, it's way too late probably.

Also, university counselling services are quite good at chatting to departments about problems that have occurred at home.

BTW - He's lucky he can resit his exams as final year resits are not allowed.

FairyAccess Sat 10-Sep-16 22:25:26

Why has this come up now and why are you asking MN when you or your son would surely have asked the Uni by now.

I'm also confused about his resit? Surely all resits have been taken....?

I'm confused. It sounds odd. confused

Bobochic Thu 22-Sep-16 15:08:23

I'm afraid this all sounds too much like a story concocted after the event.

Sadusername Thu 22-Sep-16 17:58:56

I remember a college telling me that her stepfather took the light. bulbs out of her room to try and stop her studying! Sounds more than plausible to me!

WrongEndoftheTelescope Fri 23-Sep-16 18:18:05

He should have contacted the university/Exams Office/his Department as soon as he could. He should have tried to get to the exam, even if late. He should have contacted his Personal Tutor, or Director of Studies or the Departmental Welfare Officer, as well as the Students Union ASAP as well, to explain.

And your DS needs to do these things, not you. you need to LTB

If I were this boy's Personal tutor I would be hugely sympathetic but not very optimistic at such a distance from the exam.

Our resits were in late August, so I don't understand the timing either. It's a mess, but your son needs to do what he can about sorting it out. What you should be concentrating on OP is the shower of a father your DS has ...

WrongEndoftheTelescope Fri 23-Sep-16 18:20:45

Oh sorry, should have added: as a Personal Tutor & Welfare Tutor, I have dealt with cases of students having to deal with appalling treatment from parents some people should not be allowed to have children But I've heard first from the student, and also from the student at the time of the crisis . One case was supported (later) by a letter from the student's parent, confirming the student's story of family breakdown and non-mol orders etc.

But I heard it from the student, and at the time of difficulty.

RhodaBull Sun 25-Sep-16 09:27:53

There are more holes in this story than in the jumpers I just got out of my cupboard (and the moths had been having a field day).

Only two cars, yet the OP was able to rush home in spite of there being almost no public transport. And the ds does have a car - not terribly deprived, then. And, most of all, if you can't make an important exam - you ring up - asap. These exams would presumably have been in May or June. It seems extremely odd to wait until September and then think about how you can claim extenuating circumstances.

user1474361571 Sun 25-Sep-16 10:59:51

Agree that the story sounds very fishy.

It also sounds strange that 25% of the final degree classification would rest on one single exam. It is very rare for one exam to be worth so much and unusual (outside Oxbridge) for a module to be 100% exam.

FatherJemimaRacktool Mon 26-Sep-16 13:51:00

Some modules in my department are 100% exam. It's wildly unlikely that the entire degree result is determined by 4 final year exams, though - I can't believe that any university in the UK has a degree programme assessed in that way.

roundandroundthehouses Mon 10-Oct-16 12:42:06

If that is what happened I'm very sorry for your son. Unfortunately if this story is put to the university, so far after the event, when this is the first they've heard of it, without any evidence, I'm not sure they'll buy it.

QueenLizIII Tue 11-Oct-16 23:24:36

Im afraid with that at stake, I would have told my dad to fuck off and called a taxi. I would not have missed an exam over it.

As he is a uni student he presumably has money in the bank, he can also drive, so he either has a car or use of one at that age so you're not a poor family.

I would not have rang my mum and stood and argued with my dad for an hour, I'd have called a taxi and it is beggars belief that he didnt do that. This story makes no sense. Why bother going home the night before the exam anyway, giving him further to travel.

I'm sorry but I doubt the uni wil have sympathy as I imagine their are plenty of students who dont have access to a car and have to use public transport to get to exams, etc.

QueenLizIII Tue 11-Oct-16 23:26:05

Yeah re read and your son has his own car. If he can afford to run a car he can pay for a taxi and I cant believe he didnt.

What really happened op?

PersianCatLady Tue 25-Oct-16 19:11:28

Can anyone give advice about claiming extenuating circumstances?
Yes that sadly you have left it far too late.

I sat an exam with three broken ribs once and did appallingly but I waited until after the results came out to see if I had done as badly as I had thought.

Anyway even with medical evidence I still had to re-sit that entire module the following year.

Also I am not being funny but the story you have given here sounds a bit ridiculous (sorry). Are you honestly telling me that a 21 year old man couldn't just call a taxi and get to his exam without his mum having to talk to his Dad?

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