Case example 1
We decided a provider had not fully considered a student’s complaint about the failure of the course to offer all of the vocational opportunities outlined in the prospectus. We recommended the provider should refer the complaint to a Complaints Panel for full review, apologise to the student and pay financial compensation of £750 for the distress and inconvenience caused by the deficiencies identified in relation to the provider’s investigation of her complaint. The compensation did not relate to any failings in the course itself; that was a matter for the Complaints Panel to consider.
Case example 3
A student complained to us after being withdrawn from his course. We decided that the provider had not applied its attendance regulations or complaints processes correctly and had not demonstrated that it had taken account of the student’s disability. We recommended a partial reimbursement of fees and accommodation costs totalling more than £12,000 because it was no longer possible for the student to resume his studies.
Case example 5
A student complained about a provider’s failure to consider his extenuating circumstances, which related to a diagnosis of disability made during the appeal process. The provider had a policy of never permitting appeals based on retrospective evidence and had not looked at the individual merits of the student’s case. We did not consider that approach was reasonable. We concluded that the complaint was Partly Justified. We recommended that the provider should reconsider the student’s appeal and change its regulations to consider each case on its individual merits.
Case example 7
A PGCE student complained about a provider’s decision not to send her complaint for a hearing by a Complaints Panel. We concluded that the complaint was Justified because there was insufficient evidence documenting how the provider had managed the arrangement of placements for the student, and the student’s case therefore required further consideration. We concluded that the provider’s failure to act on her complaint in a timely manner resulted in her having to extend her studies from one to two years. We were also critical of the way that the provider handled the student’s complaints and decided that this caused the student a significant degree of frustration, distress and inconvenience. We recommended that the provider should pay the student £10,750 in compensation for the delay in the student being able to complete her course and seek employment. That sum was based on the student’s actual starting salary when she did complete the course, discounted to take account of Income Tax, National Insurance and possible pension contributions, and the fact that the student may not have obtained employment immediately. We recommended a further payment of £2,000 for distress and inconvenience. We also recommended that the provider should review its Student Complaints procedure.