What is required of a staff member in the Personal Tutor role.
This document is primarily directed at Personal Tutors. It describes their responsibilities and the actions expected of them in support of the students (tutees) that are assigned to them. The document also is of use to other support staff in Informatics and through the University.
This document is a supplement to the student-facing part of the Informatics Personal Tutoring Statement. It does not replicate much of the information presented there; rather it highlights some of the most critical issues requiring attention by Personal Tutors, and provides further detail to enable them to properly fulfil their responsibilities.
The School aims to keep the maximum number number of tutees taken on by a Personal Tutor to around 25.
The School of Informatics has 40-45 academic staff acting as Personal Tutors. Occasionally, student on joint degrees with another School have a Personal Tutor in that School.
When you know the time a meeting has been scheduled for, you are encouraged to note it on the student's MyEd record using the Record a future meeting facility. This helps the Senior Tutor, the Informatics Student Support Team and the College track that progress is being made. It is particularly worthwhile when the meeting cannot be scheduled until later in the normal meeting period.
See the Progression Issues section below for what to do when students are missing credit points or have failed progression hurdles. Also take note of the Changing Programmes procedure described below.
At Semester 1 meetings, the Personal Tutor confirms attendance on the EUCLID system. This confirmation of attendance is part of the Matriculation process and indicates to the University that the student is ready to continue with their studies. Attendance of a student must only be confirmed once the Personal Tutor has physically met with the student. If a student is not able to progress (there will be a red warning above the button), you must not confirm attendance until either a progression decision is made and the warning disappears, or (occasionally) the Senior Tutor or other officer tells you that you may confirm attendance in anticipation of a decision being posted.
If a student is doing an exam-only repeat year, or is studying abroad, you may confirm attendance without seeing them.
It is essential that a record is kept of each meeting, including brief notes of any agreements and recommendations made. In some cases, the comments added online in the EUCLID Meetings/Notes section by the Personal Tutor will be sufficient, in others the Personal Tutor also will want to keep separate records, especially when the comments are of a sensitive nature.
The Personal Tutor should keep meeting notes added to a student's MyEd record brief, letting tutees fill in details. However, when a critical point is being made, the Personal Tutor should consider adding further information to ensure the point is clearly explained and on the record.
If the meeting was scheduled using the Record a future meeting facility, the meeting notes can be added by clicking on the Comment link within the existing entry for the meeting. Otherwise, meeting notes should be added using the Record a recent meeting facility.
Perhaps a week after each regular meeting period, the Personal Tutor should go through their tutees' records, checking over the details they have filled in about their meetings and adding a Comment. If there's nothing to add or clarify and the details all look fine, just say so.
Through the year events will happen with a tutee that a Personal Tutor should consider noting in the MyEd record. This information could help others supporting the tutee in the School and around the University. It also could be a prompt for including for personalising references letters a Personal Tutor might write. (For example, the tutee might have attended some training course or had some summer internship.)
The ITO will monitor the attendance of all students at tutorials, and will notify a Personal Tutor when there has been any significant pattern of absences by one of their tutees.
In Weeks 8 or 9 of each Semester, the Personal Tutor should check how their tutees are progressing in their coursework. By this time, at least the results of 1st courseworks for Informatics courses ought to be known. The ITO will help to provide Personal Tutors with the relevant marks. If there is any cause for concern with a tutee, the Personal Tutor should make contact with them to explore further and see whether any actions are needed.
After the Semester 2 exam boards in mid-June, the Personal Tutor should check the exam results of their undergraduate tutees, again taking action if there is cause for concern. The Personal Tutor should note which of their tutees is expected to take resits in August. There is no need for distinct checking of results after all students' Semester 1 exams and after post-graduate students' Semester 2 exams: in each of these cases checking can be taken care of at the following regular one-to-one meeting.
When tutees are expected at August resits, the Personal Tutor should check the results once they are known. A couple of days after the deadline for results, a Progression Board meeting is held, and shortly after that (currently no later than the end of week -1) progression decisions posted to the Euclid record. There is a "View Progressions/Awards" link in the right-hand column of the Euclid Personl Tutor page - the Progression Note will explain what the problem is. If you have tutees who cannot progress, you should get in touch with them to advise; they will also be asked to an interview with the Progression Officer or Senior Tutor.
Further information is at Progression Guidance
As special circumstances arise through the year, the Personal Tutor should keep records of these. Then, before each exam board, the Personal Tutor can draw up a Special Circumstances form, in conjunction with each relevant tutee.
These allow students to have variations from the usual pattern of study, from minor to major. Detailed information is now at Concessions, Programme Changes and Interruptions