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Procedural issues: Importance of following procedures - PI011515
Public interest case January 2015 | Justified
A student on a course validated by the University complained to us about the way the University had handled her complaint about a number of issues including the marking process and the communication of results to students.
Under the second (formal) stage of the University’s complaints procedures, a specified senior post holder decides whether to convene a resolution panel, which the student is entitled to attend. In this case the University issued a final decision without convening a panel, and offered an apology and financial payment for distress and inconvenience plus a further payment as a gesture of good will. We took the view that this put the student at a material disadvantage as there was no opportunity for her to put her case to a panel.
We found the complaint Justified. We recommended that the University convene a resolution panel, make a financial payment in respect of the inconvenience caused by its failure to follow the complaints procedures, and review its complaints practices to make sure that staff follow published procedures.