My daughter needs to extend maximum period of study, by reason of physical and mental MultiComorbidities. Her program manager emailed her the procedure like Nottingham University's.
Students do not submit extension requests themselves. The student shall submit their written request and all evidence to ALL these 3 staff members — Director of Undergraduate or Postgraduate Studies (depending on the student's degree), Department Head, Deputy Head. Departments are NOT required to submit extension requests by students. If a Department decides to further the student's request, then the Department shall send the student's request internally to the university's Education Vice Chancellor, who shall be the final decision maker.
My daughter emailed the Education Vice Chancellor, who confirmed that daughter must commence the request with her department — not directly with the V.C.
We don't want 3 departmental staff members to know about her medical conditions, for 4 reasons.
Why the heck does this simple request need 3 departmental staff? Why not just 1? The best outcome is that we liaise merely with the V.C. The second best outcome is merely 1 departmental staff and the V.C. — for a total of 2 university staff.
Whilst the procedure purports confidentiality, the reality is that people gossip. Law and reality differ. We cannot stop staff members from breaching confidentiality information accidentally, behind our backs or closed doors. The fewer staff involved, the better for us.
Breach of confidence can be impossible and burdensome to prove. The university can argue — we have not sufficiently proved that their staff breached confidentiality. Perhaps I accidentally breached my own privacy, whilst chatting with friends who spread the information.
Disclosing medical conditions to a staff member MAY discourage that staff from providing a reference. Obviously, instructors may not want to reference students who are out of the ordinary, and who has a chance of scoring poorly — whatever the reason, whether medical or not. Whilst discrimination is illegal, indirect discrimination is burdensome to prove. After all, instructors are NOT required to state reasons for refusing a reference. And IF they do state a reason, most instructors are clever enough not to inculpate themselves of discrimination. Rather than disclosing the real reason related to the student's medicine or disability, they can trump up anodyne reasons — e.g. they don't know the student well enough, or the student did not participate enough in class.