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Coronavirus - CS032107

An international student was self-isolating in their student accommodation, having returned from their home country. During their self-isolation a friend visited their room.

The provider took disciplinary action against the student for breaching Covid-19 regulations. The provider gave the student a formal warning and excluded the student from their accommodation, with effect from the end of the self-isolation period. The student appealed and the provider rejected their appeal.

The student complained to us and told us that they were due to leave their accommodation in 10 days’ time.

The student has a mental health condition. They had accepted that it was wrong to let their friend into their room and had told the provider that they were very sorry. They had explained to the provider that they were having serious mental health difficulties and their friend had visited their room because they were concerned for the student’s welfare. The student could not travel back to their home country because of travel restrictions, and there were individuals who were shielding there, and there was a real risk that the student would be homeless.

At the start of our review we asked the provider whether it would be prepared to reconsider the penalty it had given the student, or at least to delay the exclusion until we had concluded our review. We thought that the penalty was harsh, given the student’s obvious remorse, their personal circumstances, and the potentially very serious consequences of the exclusion.

The provider agreed to reconsider the penalty. It offered to reduce the penalty to a Formal Warning, and not to exclude the student from their accommodation. The student accepted the offer and the complaint to us was Settled on that basis.

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