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Disciplinary matters (non-academic) - CS102301

A student, Student A, was unhappy with the actions of Student B in their role as a student union officer. Student A spoke with Student B on two occasions in a week about their dissatisfaction. After these conversations Student B complained to the provider that Student A’s behaviour had been threatening.

Student A had an ADHD diagnosis and mental health difficulties for which they received DSA and support from the provider.

The provider investigated the complaint under its disciplinary procedures and issued Student A with a formal warning and asked them to apologise to Student B. Student A complained to us. We upheld their complaint (we decided it was Justified).

It was reasonable for the provider to investigate the incidents that Student B had raised.  But the process it had followed had not been fair. When the student was invited to a meeting to discuss the incidents, they were not told that this was the first stage in the disciplinary investigation process, or directed to sources of support. There were no records of this interview, nor of any of the interviews with other witnesses. The process was subject to lengthy delays while CCTV footage was sought; this was never obtained. The provider had not taken sufficient account of the impact of these errors and delays on the student, particularly as a disabled student.

We recommended that the provider apologise to Student A for the procedural errors in the investigation, that it reconsider their appeal, and that it offer them [£1,000 in] compensation for the distress and inconvenience they experienced. We also recommended that staff responsible for investigating disciplinary matters be provided with appropriate training on how to conduct a disciplinary investigation.