1752 Group’s report on institutional responses to staff sexual misconduct in higher education

We welcome the 1752 Group’s report and its contribution to understanding student experiences of sexual misconduct.

1752 Group - Report

We work with higher education providers and student advisers to share good practice on how to approach complaints about sexual misconduct. Our Good Practice Framework includes timeframes for dealing with complaints, and our forthcoming guidance on student disciplinary matters includes advice on dealing with complaints involving sexual harassment. To coincide with its publication we will be publishing a briefing note on the approach we take to complaints involving sexual harassment.

We are an ombuds organisation rather than a regulator, and our focus is on how the provider has handled the student’s complaint, and whether the outcome was reasonable. We work closely with the OfS, HEFCW and other sector organisations to ensure that any systemic issues that we identify can be addressed.

Felicity Mitchell, Independent Adjudicator said:

“It can be very difficult for students who have experienced sexual misconduct or harassing behaviour to make a complaint. It requires courage and, often, considerable persistence. We encourage any student who feels that their attempts to raise or pursue a complaint are being delayed or obstructed to contact us. We may be able to help move things along. As we are a review body, we normally expect students to complete internal procedures before they complain to us, but we can and do make exceptions to this when there is good reason to do so.”