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Student Mental Health - CS031805

The student, who had been diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder, was pursuing a Doctorate which involved a practical element of assessment. After a few periods of absence and an extension to her registration period the student was warned that no further sustained absences could be supported.

She started a placement but then temporarily withdrew from the course. As she had only completed 50% of the programme requirements and could not meet the registration deadline she was terminated from the course. The provider considered the student’s complaint about an earlier placement, funding, extensions and disability support. The provider was satisfied it had acted in line with procedures and the student was unable to meet the registration deadline. It did acknowledge that signposting to support services could have been better. The student complained to us.

We were satisfied that issues around the placement had been dealt with swiftly and any delay in securing a placement was beyond the control of either of the parties. We were satisfied the provider was aware of the student’s disability and personal circumstances and had acted in a supportive manner and had made adjustments to accommodate these circumstances. The decision to terminate the student’s enrolment was reasonable. However we also concluded that the student should have been signposted to the provider’s support services, in order to assess whether additional adjustments/support could have been offered. We were concerned that the provider did not consider the impact the lack of signposting may or may not have had and whether a remedy should have been offered.

We found the complaint Partly Justified. We recommended that the provider apologise to the student and offer her compensation for distress and inconvenience in the amount of £1000. We also recommended that the provider offer to meet with the student to explore the options that would be available to her for future study at the provider.

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