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We are aware that some colleagues might have received the recent correspondence from the University regarding an 'Academic Safety Net' policy. Please note that the guidance included in that email is intended for students and staff at the Durham campus. We are working hard to ensure that all relevant information is translated into practice for TEIs and the Common Awards Framework. Please bear with us as we undertake this work.
This policy will differ from the 'No Detriment' policy used in 2019/20. University Senate has agreed that an across-the-board algorithmic approach to grades and degree classifications (i.e the use of a 'No Detriment' AMW) is not appropriate as we would lack the data needed to create authentic baseline averages. The principle behind the 'Academic Safety Net' policy remains the same as 'No Detriment' and is designed to give students confidence that their grades and degree outcomes will not be negatively affected by Covid-19, and that the integrity of their degree will be maintained. The terminology has been deliberately changed to reflect the different responses required in 2019/20 and 2020/21.
The Common Awards Team will work closely with the National Ministry Team to translate the 'Academic Safety Net' policy for TEIs and the Common Awards Framework and will communicate the Common Awards policy as soon as we are able to do. We also intend to run training sessions, as we did last year, to outline the approach and the implications for TEIs. These will be scheduled as soon as possible.
In light of the changing situation, and the introduction of the new 'Academic Safety Net' policy, please note that the Frequently Asked Questions on Covid-19 have been updated. We would be grateful if TEIs could continue to review the FAQs regularly. The FAQs have been separated out into matters relating to the 2019/20 academic year and matters relating to the 2020/21 academic year (alongside additional existing guidance on supporting students and changes to any scheduled events). Changes made to FAQs relating to 2019/20 have only been updated to clarify that guidance relates to the 2019/20 academic year in order to avoid any confusion with processes for 2020/21.
Please review the information contained within the Common Awards FAQs in the first instance and contact the Common Awards Team on the general mailing address if you have any questions.
Previous guidance issued on how to take the effects of Covid-19 into account when marking has been formalised and the guidance can be found in the FAQs.
Please note, some members of the Common Awards Team have had to change their working patterns due to the need to provide care or home-school activities for children at home during the current national lockdown. Some members are also experiencing (or have recently recovered from) a period of ill health, which may also affect availability and the time taken to respond to queries. Please note that Dr Eve Parker is now on maternity leave, and that Emma Harrington will be taking maternity leave from April 2021. Please bear with us during these times and we will respond to all queries as quickly as we can. Please continue to contact the team on email@example.com to ensure that your query can be dealt with appropriately.
12th February - Deadline: TEIs to submit New Student Programme Registration data (late entrants)
26th February (approx.) - TEIs to receive Banner IDs for late entrants
1st March - Invoices issued to all TEIs (Payment terms: 30 days)
5th March - Deadline: CAMB Student Representative Election closes
12th March - Deadline: TEIs to submit Common Awards Management Board (CAMB) Student Representative Election Results to Common Awards Team
12th March - Deadline: Ministry Team Curriculum Development requests
12th March - Deadline: TEIs to submit APL Credits and supporting documentation for late entrants
12th March - Deadline: TEIs to submit Module Registration Data for late entrants
22nd March - Deadline: Durham's Common Awards Team announces the results of the Student Representative Election
Please note that the University is in the final stages of developing a new website which will include the Common Awards website. All existing content will migrate across to the new website. We have worked hard to create a new sitemap for the website which we believe will be easier to navigate.
We are also working hard to ensure that existing links will work via redirects. These are created manually, and we are in the process of generating a list of pages we are aware TEIs link to or link students to. If you are able, it would be very helpful if TEIs could let us know of any particular links you will need to ensure access to. Please be assured that all content will be available on the new website; however, we also want to ensure that existing linked information is redirected to the corresponding page on the new website.
Apologies for the tight deadline. Please could we ask that TEIs provide this information by midday on 17th February 2021.
Please could TEIs also confirm if they are content for TEI logos to be added to the Common Awards website. Our intention is to have these on the new TEI Programme Documentation webpage.
The Common Awards Management Board and Quality and Standards Committee have approved the introduction of three new postgraduate programmes, available for delivery from 2021/22:
Please contact the Common Awards Team as soon as possible if you would like to offer these programmes.
The video from our third Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging webinar, is now available. Professor Allan Boesak was in conversation with Dr Dulcie Dixon-McKenzie, on the theme of 'Preaching Hope and Resistance in Times of Struggle'. Videos from the two earlier webinars, on 'Rethinking Mission and Evangelism' and 'The Bible and Resisting Racism', are also available on our Diversity pages.
Due to the ongoing significant measures designed to manage the spread of Coronavirus and the latest advice available from Public Health England, the University has taken the decision to postpone April 2021 and Summer 2021 congregation ceremonies.
We acknowledge that this is very disappointing news for our students, however, with the uncertain national situation we feel that the health and safety of staff, students and guests should be paramount.
We would like to reiterate that these ceremonies will be rescheduled and graduands from Summer 2020, Winter 2021 and Summer 2021 will have the option to attend a ceremony.
We would ask that TEIs re-confirm contact details with all students who will be eligible to attend the rescheduled ceremonies. This will ensure that all students who are eligible to attend the rescheduled ceremony will receive notification of the registration process when it opens. Please note that the University does not hold contact details for Common Awards students and we will therefore need to rely on TEIs being able to contact their students to advise them of the formal registration process.
We would ask that TEIs distribute this information to their Common Awards students and ask that students confirm their contact details for the purposes of registering for Congregation.
Following a consultation with TEIs and discussions at the Common Awards Management Board, revisions to the handling of TEI Research Ethics policies have been made. Thank you to everyone who responded to the consultation.
The first is the development of a new process for checking that all TEIs have an appropriate Research Ethics policy in place, and that it covers all necessary matters. By the end of the 2020/21 academic year, please ensure that you have adopted a research ethics policy if they have not already done so. TEIs will be required to share their policies with the University if (and only if) you are not using the model policy available on our website.
The second is a new policy on the academic implications for students of failures to follow TEI Research Ethics policies. Please ensure that you familiarise yourself and students with this policy.
Thank you to all TEIs who reviewed the census data and informed us of any remaining errors in the records. Our Finance Team will be sending invoices to TEIs around 1st March 2021. The invoices will be based on a snapshot of student records data from 1st December; all changes communicated to us before 1st December will be reflected in the invoices. Please note that you will not be charged for any students who had extensions into the 2020/21 academic year as a result of Covid-19; please let us know if you have any questions on this.
TEIs are to submit New Student Programme Registration data for late entrants by the 12th February.
Detailed guidance on this process is available on the Common Awards website.
TEIs are to submit Module Registration data for late entrants by the 12th March. Please ensure you include all HTML Reports alongside the spreadsheets.
TEIs are to submit APL Credit Registration Data for late entrants by the 12th March.
Unfortunately, the production process for campus card for late registrations in the the academic year 2020/21 has also been affected by Covid-19. We have been advised that the University’s current position is that campus cards will not be automatically printed for students and will only be processed if a card is required by a student for an academic purpose. This is because the printing of the campus cards is undertaken on campus and is not currently deemed essential in the current circumstances. We will advise TEIs if the position changes.
We are aware that some TEIs have been contacted by the OIA regarding making changes to their policies. Changes will need to be reflected in the overarching Common Awards complaints and appeals policies to reflect the requirements of the OIA and therefore affect all TEIs. We are working to provide this information for all TEIs as soon as possible. If you have been contacted directly by the OIA please get in touch to let us know.
At the last meeting of the Common Awards Management Board, student representatives raised the issue of the lack of training and support for students in the planning, preparing, recording, editing and broadcasting online services. They are looking for resources or signposting to resources in topics such as how to set up a room and lighting to record from home, how to come across well on camera, how to edit recorded film, and how to set up camera and microphones for live streaming. If any TEI staff have particular expertise in this area or have any resources you would be willing to share on the Hub, we would be grateful if you could contact the Common Awards team on firstname.lastname@example.org (FAO Rhianne).
The Common Awards team would like to hear from TEIs who have any examples of good practice relating to how they are supporting students to engage in dynamic group theological reflection on the complex issues facing the Church and society at this time (including IISCA, LLF, Covid-19, BLM etc.) This issue will be raised at the next meeting of the TEI Forum, so if you have any ideas of examples of good practice, please either take them to the TEI Forum or contact the Common Awards team on email@example.com (FAO Rhianne).
TEIs are to be reminded that their library staff (or equivalent) can contact Ken Farrimond at the National Ministry Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) if their students have any requests for online books which they would like to see added to the Common Awards Hub. Please could TEIs continue to remind students to put requests to their TEIs.
Mike, Frances, Eve, Alyson, Emma, Deborah, Rhianne and Adam