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Complaint - CS082005
Case summary September 2020 | Partly Justified
A student complained that a member of staff had completed the National Student Survey (NSS) on her behalf during a meeting. Other students also expressed concerns and the matter was raised with the Office for Students (OfS).
The provider carried out an investigation, including interviewing the students, and provided a report to the OfS. The provider concluded that there was no evidence that the member of staff had materially affected the NSS results. The OfS confirmed that it would not take regulatory action in this instance. The provider would take action to remind staff about appropriate ways to encourage students to complete the NSS.
The student complained to the provider that they disagreed with the investigator’s decision. The provider decided not to carry out a further investigation. The student complained to us.
We decided that it was reasonable for the provider not to carry out a further investigation of the complaint. Although the student disagreed with the outcome, the provider had carried out an appropriate investigation and this had been reviewed and accepted by the OfS. The OfS’ remit is to consider whether it needed to take action against the provider as regulator, not to consider individual students’ complaints. When we looked at how the provider had handled the student’s complaint, we thought it could have done more to tell the student formally about the outcome of the complaint, and to explain how the investigation had been carried out. So, we decided that the complaint was Partly Justified. We recommended that the provider pay the student £500 in compensation for distress and inconvenience and that it should review how it can transparently handle complaints about external processes like the NSS.