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Settlement - CS011804

The student was studying a Foundation Degree. He applied for a discretionary third attempt at an assessment on the grounds of extenuating circumstances.

This application was denied and the student’s registration was terminated. He submitted an appeal against this decision which was not upheld. He complained to us because he felt the provider had not properly considered his case.

We had two concerns:

  • the decision to terminate the student’s registration was made by a Discretionary Panel and one of the members of this panel had been the subject of a complaint raised by the student. This staff member’s involvement could have led to a perception of bias.
  • the provider’s regulations required it to make an initial decision as to whether or not the appeal met the permitted grounds. If it did not, the appeal could be dismissed. If the student’s appeal fell within the permitted grounds, the appeal should be referred for consideration by an Appeals Committee. In this case, the provider dismissed the appeal without convening a Committee but, in doing so, it seemed to have reached conclusions on the merits of the appeal rather than just deciding whether the appeal was within permitted grounds. The student had lost the opportunity to have the substantive matters he had raised considered by a full committee.

We discussed our concerns with the provider and it offered to convene a new Discretionary Panel to consider the case, and confirmed that the panel would consist entirely of members with no prior involvement in the case. The student accepted the offer.