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Student Mental Health - CS031802

A postgraduate student had been diagnosed with anxiety, low mood and sleeping difficulties after he failed assessments during his first year.

The provider was made aware of the diagnosis. He progressed to level two of the programme and after a few months the provider wrote to the student about his lack of engagement. Text messages and telephone calls were also made in an attempt to get in touch. Eventually, the provider sent a notice of withdrawal due to lack of engagement and academic progress. The student appealed. The provider upheld the appeal and the student was allowed to re-enter level two on medical grounds.

The student also complained to the provider that it had failed in its duty of care during level two. The complaint was not upheld and the student complained to us. He said that inadequate support led to him having to repeat level two of the programme and that if the provider communicated its concerns about poor attendance with his family, permission to do so having already been given, then he would have received the support he needed.

We concluded the decision was reasonable. While permission had previously been given for the provider to liaise with a family representative about an earlier matter, it would have been inappropriate to contact the family member the following academic year about this matter. The student had not engaged with the support services that had been suggested and the provider was unable to assess his needs or what support to put in place. We were satisfied the provider made numerous attempts to contact the student and the tone and content of the communication was supportive while making it clear that he was at risk of being withdrawn.

We found the complaint Not Justified.