We may also consider whether it is appropriate to recommend a payment for distress and inconvenience in addition to, or instead of, other practical or financial remedies. For example, if the student has been distressed, or put to additional trouble in some way because of the provider’s delay we may recommend compensation for this. We may also recommend compensation for disappointment if a student has not received what they expected to receive.
We consider each case on its own individual facts but have developed bands of compensation which set out our general approach. These bands are not intended as strict rules governing when we must recommend a distress and inconvenience payment or an amount of compensation. Below are some of the factors we may consider when deciding the level of distress and/or inconvenience and the amount of compensation to recommend.
Distress and inconvenience
|Level of distress and inconvenience
||Up to £500
||Between £501 and £2,000
||Between £2,001 and £5,000
We may recommend payments over £5000 in exceptional circumstances.
- The provider has done or failed to do something which has caused some distress and inconvenience in the short term (e.g. less than 6 months).
- Minor maladministration, mishandling or unreasonable handling of a complaint by the provider which has caused additional unnecessary distress and inconvenience.
- Unreasonable or avoidable substantial delays (e.g. over 6 months) which caused some distress and inconvenience.
- Moderate delays (i.e. less than 6 months) or other procedural irregularities where there is evidence to suggest the student suffered actual disadvantage.
- The provider’s decision was unreasonable, there was no direct academic consequence for the student, but it caused some distress and inconvenience.
- The provider has done or failed to do something which caused some distress and inconvenience in the long term (e.g. more than 6 months).
- Procedural flaws which caused inconvenience and distress but did not affect the outcome.
- Evidence of circumstances giving rise to a reasonable perception of bias during the internal procedures.
- Substantial maladministration which disadvantaged the student.
- Substantial mishandling of a complaint which resulted in or caused unreasonable or avoidable substantial delay (e.g. over 6 months) and where the delay disadvantaged the student.
- The provider’s decision was unreasonable, there is no direct academic consequence for the student, but it caused substantial distress and inconvenience.
- The provider has not properly considered its responsibilities under relevant equalities legislation or has not followed relevant guidance.
- The provider’s decision in respect of the substantive element of the complaint was unreasonable and resulted in severe distress and inconvenience.
- Procedural flaws which, if they had not occurred, may have resulted in a different outcome.
- Cogent and contemporaneous evidence to suggest that the student suffered from ill health because of something the provider did or failed to do.
- Major maladministration, procedural flaws, delays or other breaches of natural justice in a provider’s internal process that disadvantaged the student.
- Serious interference or bias during the provider’s internal consideration of a complaint or appeal.
- Serious and unexplained delays leading to injustice.
- Where the student has been seriously disadvantaged but a practical remedy is inappropriate or impossible.
The amount of compensation recommended depends on which parts of the complaint are Justified. For example, we may recommend compensation for the distress and inconvenience for each different part of a complaint which is Justified.