How can you politely tell a tutor that you have RA an... - NRAS

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How can you politely tell a tutor that you have RA and it does not affect my mind :/

I have been told that I have Additional Requirements or (AR) as he wrote in his email. I will be taking up more of his 'time' from the other students. I am working hard to keep up with assignments and the last thing I need is some inflated buffoon on my back. What do you think?

18 Replies

Hello rockpool

Make an Appt with one of the senior tutors. Explain your situation.

If you need one to one time with a tutor this can be arranged thru the college.

Don't be cast aside by this inconsiderate person. He your RA affects your college life you need support. All education dept have a policy of support for the disabled person.

Seek them out and you will get help.:-) :-)

Good luck



Check out the Equality Act which makes specific reference to access to education, I believe. Also check out the college's policies on access/discrimination/disability/special needs. I am pretty sure he should not have spoken to you like that, and it should be dealt with at a higher level. You do not have to resolve this for yourself - managers should act on your behalf.


I agree with watson and dotty,

do you have a studies advisor? speak to them for advise otherwise there should be a student union rep who can help. If I remember right your in Scotland (like myself) and this seems to be the protocol.

If you wanted to make a complaint then you should put it in writing and address it to either his curriculum manager or head of dept; they would HAVE to address your complaint.

If your not sure who to speak to there should also be a guidance team within the college who should direct you to the right person; even if you just want to sound off, thats what they are there for.

Haha, I wish they had this amount of support for the staff!! (I work in a college :) )


Thank you Dotty, Watson and Wiliby for your advice. I hope will see how he reacts on the phone call that is scheduled. From his intro he seems 'super' qualified with all the teaching he has done and lectures..maybe his ego does not allow from a student that is not 'up to scratch' I dread my assignments and his marking tbh.

I will see how I go and if I feel he is being a twit.

Thank you xxx :D


I think you should politely ask him/her if they would like you to provide them with a booklet about RA so they can find out more about it! They obviously don't know enough and it sounds like you're intelligent enough to ask for help if you need it, which you may not. I'm a tutor by the way and this 'professional' who should be supporting and motivating you should know better.


Thank you Annu. I must admit it has made me feel nervous about how he is going to approach the 'AR' situation. My husband already thinks that the guy has come across as condescending - I hope that this won't be the case and if it is I will request a different tutor.

He is super qualified and teaches at a lot of different places so maybe I am going to be a bit of a disappointment to have to tutor :/ Thank you for your comment x


If he feels that any student is a disappointment, then he is in the wrong job. Students are students are students - each one has individual needs and abilities, regardless of whether these carry a disability label or not. If he has an ideal student set up in his mind, he must encounter an awful lot of disappointment in his work. It's not you, it's him.


I wouldn't be that polite about it! You may have additional requirements, but so what? You have same rights as everyone else, so I wouldn't be defensive about it. Just say that yes you have a chronic condition, which you would like him to be aware of as symptoms include pain and fatigue, as well as taking time for hospital appointments. I think the idea of asking him if he'd like to learn more about RA is a good one....if he's got a grain of sense he'll say yes! polly


Don't even bother dealing directly with the tutor. Go to the student support service or student counselling (or whatever is available in your college). Give them the information about your needs, and what your difficulties are, and let them deal with the tutor to make sure you get the support that you are legally allowed. If you have already registered your special needs with disabled student support, then go back to them and show them the email and let them deal with it.

I've never had to do that on my own - student support has always been really helpful and its them that have made all the arrangements about special requirements.


Just noticed that someone said you were in Scotland - I am too. Its Student Support Services you want, or in a big college it will be the Disabled Students Officer, so just phone them or go and see them and tell them you are a student with a disability.,


I would suggest you speak to your student support team / disability support team. most universities and colleges have one of these. they will be able to advise you and act as a mediator if need be.

I personally work within our student services at Anglia Ruskin University. If we are aware that a student has a disability we would meet up with them and discuss their needs. a summary is then sent to all tutors (with the students permission).

also, you may be eligible for the Disable Students' Allowance (DSA) which covers additional costs that you may incur and can cover the provision of support, such as a notetaker in classes (if you have trouble with writing, or technology such as voice recognition software to reduce the need to type. For more info on the DSA check my teams website .

best wishes



the link isn't working, i think it is including the full stop


Adrian's right in theory, but I'm studying part time at a college un Scotland and few tutors really engage with my mobility issues. Other students can be a source of support, helping in different ways. Adrian's suggestions are well worth following up, but Ive found that a bit of understanding goes a very long way.

I used to teach in fe and unis, your tutor sounds rather inadequate as a person, if he's taught in many places maybe no one would give him a full time job. From my experience, I'd look for someone on the staff who can be understanding and supportive, as well as the formal channels. Good luck c


I'm studying part time in Scotland too, and I haven't had any problems because the disabled student support has been great. i do get disabled student allowance, but also the support officer made sure she knew what difficulties I might have and with my permission sent on details of my special requirements to all tutors. I know that if I have any problems actually getting that, I can go back to the disability student support. For example last semester I needed more time to do an assignment, and the tutor straight off gave me three days, but if I had needed more, I would have just asked student support to organise it for me. For any physical access issues or moving between parts of the building, again I used student support, though for me thats only occasional as most of my course is distance learning.


Hi Rockpool,

I'm currently supporting a degree student with a disability, was shocked to read about your tutor's response. Just a further thought, if you don't get anywhere, you could maybe try to get your student governor rep to raise the matter at a governor's meeting - there should be an equality governor also. Have sometimes found that when senoir management get involved, things can move more quickly. Good luck


I note that you say this tutor is 'super-qualified' and sense that this may make you feel a little insecure in itself? I retired from Lecturing nearly 4 years ago (due to RA) and during my time in Colleges I often found that tutors with the most qualifications could be the least 'person friendly', the skills required for academic study are different to those required for being a good personal tutor (although not necessarily always separate).

As already suggested arm yourself with the College's policies on Equal Ops and Disability and let the tutor know that you are an individual who deserves individual attention. Who knows - they may actually be scared of the human contact required by tutoring! Most academic institutions are super-sensitive when it comes to appearing to meet the needs of students as this is an important requirement for when they are inspected!

Student Services/Support should have the information that you need. Remember that this tutor is human too and that that you may have an important lesson to teach them :)


Thank you so much to everyone..what amazing comments and I really appreciate all what you have said. I have been assessed for equipment so I will definitely take your advice and if I feel he is being less than helpful - ask for another Tutor.

You are all very kind taking time to help - thank you xxx


He is the one who sounds as if he needs support...why couldn't he just ask you privately if you feel you need extra support? I have never worked in education but common sense seems to have gone out of the window here.


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