Colleges and departments will give due regard to the needs of disabled students, and make necessary reasonable adjustments, during the course of any complaint procedures, either made by the student, or when the student is the subject of a complaint. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator has issued good practice guidance on dealing with complaints from disabled students, which is part of its Good Practice Framework for Supporting Disabled Students, pp. 23-27.
Appeal against dispensations and alternative arrangements requests
If students wish to appeal against an alternative arrangements or major adjustment decision, they should follow the process outlined for appeals to Education Committee. This also applies where the student wants to appeal a Proctors’ decision not to send a mitigating circumstances notice to examiners.
Appeals against the examiners’ decision relating to a notice of mitigating circumstances can be made using the Academic Appeals process.
Complaints relating to the implementation of reasonable adjustments
Usually, the initial fielding of a complaint or concern from a student is successful in resolving a problem. The Disability Coordinator and Disability Lead in the college and department should work together with the student and with the Disability Advisory Service to identify a solution to meet the student’s needs which is reasonable in the context of the programme of study, and a case meeting is often a useful means to come to an agreement. If the student feels that the problem has not been resolved, then they can make an informal complaint to the Departmental Administrator or Head of Department. Advice can also be sought from the College Senior Tutor, College Advisor, or a case worker in the Proctor’s Office. If the issue remains unresolved, or there’s a wider systemic problem that needs to be addressed, then the student can make a formal complaint to the Proctors, following the University’s complaints procedure.
If the student wishes to pursue the complaint once the University’s complaints procedure has been completed, they can complain to the Office for the Independent Adjudicator. The Office for the Independent Adjudicator publishes case summaries of some of the cases it reviews. These, and the website more generally, can be a useful resource for those providing disability support, or those working with a student to resolve an informal complaint.