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Coronavirus - CS112008
Case summary November 2020 | Justified
A student complained to their provider that their studies had been disrupted by industrial action which caused them to miss teaching and that they missed out on more teaching as a result of the move to online lessons during the coronavirus lockdown.
A student complained to their provider that their studies had been disrupted by industrial action which caused them to miss a total of 24 hours of teaching and that they missed out on more teaching as a result of the move to online lessons during the nationwide coronavirus lockdown. The student said that there was a delay to the start of online teaching because of technical difficulties, that online sessions tended to be shorter than face-to-face lessons, and the provider had not done enough to minimise disruption to the student’s studies. The student asked for a partial refund of tuition fees.
The provider told the student that it would not consider their complaint because it was not giving any tuition fee refunds. It said that it had no option but to move to online teaching and that it had put in place measures to minimise disruption. The provider did not consider the student’s individual concerns about the impact of the pandemic and the industrial action on them or explain how the measures it had taken addressed those concerns.
The student complained to us. We decided that the complaint was Justified.
We think that it can be pragmatic for a provider to shorten or streamline its usual complaints processes, especially when there are a large number of similar cases to manage. But in this case, we concluded that the provider had not engaged with the student’s individual concerns at all and so it was not reasonable to reject their complaint. We recommended that the provider should consider the student’s complaint, looking at whether the student was able to meet their learning outcomes, whether the provider had delivered what it had promised, or something broadly equivalent to it, and whether the student had been able to access what had been offered.Previous Next