Student disciplinary policy and procedures

The purpose of this Policy is:

  • To generate a positive approach to the establishment and maintenance of the Learner Code of Conduct.
  • To ensure a consistent approach across the organisation towards the maintenance of student discipline.
  • To ensure timely address of breaches
  • To provide direction for staff, learners, parents, and employers on the disciplinary procedures to be adopted when the Code of Conduct is broken and/or when major or gross misconduct occurs.

The Disciplinary Policy will reflect and support:

  • the Learner Code of Conduct;
  • the Mission of the Business;
  • Policies and procedures on student welfare, including safeguarding, disability and mental health, and substance misuse;
  • other relevant Policies and Procedures;

The implementation of this Policy should take into account:

  • current legislation;
  • the role of parents/carers and employers; and
  • the age and circumstances of the student.

BCE has an obligation to ensure a fair hearing for learners. Learners will be given a copy of the Code of Conduct on joining and will be informed how to access Organisation Policies as part of induction.

Responsibility for Learner Discipline

All members of staff have a responsibility and authority to take immediate action to maintain discipline. A learner behaving in a manner that could lead to a breach of the Code of Conduct should be warned that their behaviour is inappropriate and that a disciplinary action could follow.

Each individual learner has the responsibility to acquaint themselves with the Code of Conduct and to comply with it.

Breaches of Discipline

Breaches of discipline may be minor, major or gross. Professional judgements will need to be made about the severity of each breach of the Code of Conduct.

Stages

There are three stages to BCE Disciplinary Procedures. The Procedures will begin at the stage appropriate to the seriousness of the breach. Copies of all relevant documentation at any stage must be retained on the learners file. This includes properly recorded investigations. 
If a learner is withdrawn/withdraws during Disciplinary Stage 2 or 3, the management team must be informed and they will record this to ensure that appropriate procedures are followed if the learner seeks re-admission. 
Table of Breaches, Stages and Sanctions

Breach Considered at Highest possible sanction
Minor Stage 1 Verbal Warning
Major Stage 2 Written Warning
Gross Stage 3 Final Written Warning / Exclusion

Minor Breach: Stage 1
A formal hearing is not required. A member of staff issues the learner a verbal warning and records on the learners file.

Major Breach: Stage 2
Alleged major breaches of the Learner Code of Conduct must be dealt with in accordance with Stage 2 Procedures. A meeting will take place between learner and tutor or manager to discuss the breach. An Action Plan should normally be agreed and recorded on the learners file.

Gross Breach: Stage 3
Alleged gross breaches of the Learner Code of Conduct must be dealt with in accordance with Stage 3 Procedures. Meeting will be arranged with learner and Director of Operations/Lead IQA. It may be decided to exclude the learner, issue a Final Written Warning or apply a lesser sanction. An Action Plan must be agreed if the learner is not excluded and copy kept on the learners file.

Notification of third parties

Normally, if the learner is under 18 or a vulnerable adult, copies of disciplinary documentation will be sent to the parents/guardians/carers. If applicable, copies will be sent to the learner’s sponsoring employer/agent. In some cases, (subject to mandating), DWP/JCP or Probation may also be informed of any disciplinary actions.

Appeals

There is a right of appeal against suspension, this is to be in written format and referred to the Managing Director.

PROCEDURES 

Stage 1
If a member of staff considers that a learner has committed a Minor Breach they may issue a verbal warning, with reasons for the warning recorded on the learners file. The learner will be verbally advised by the member of staff that a further breach or failure to improve within a given period of time may result in further disciplinary action.

If the learner is not known to the member of staff, they will request the learner’s identity and will note their name and course or programme and ask for the name of the learner’s Tutor. The learner should be reminded that refusal to supply this information is a Major Breach of the Code of Conduct.

Stage 2 
If a learner is considered to have committed a major breach, the details must be recorded and a written warning issued.

Investigation

A nominated member of staff will investigate the matter by collecting evidence from the staff and/or learner(s) concerned and will consider any previous warnings on the learner’s file.

The evidence will be reviewed and a decision made about whether there has been a breach, and at which Disciplinary Stage the matter is to be dealt with.

Stage 3
If a learner is considered to have committed a gross breach, the Operations Director or Lead IQA must be informed, and the details recorded. There will be a disciplinary hearing arranged comprising of the Operations Director and Lead IQA, and another appropriate member of staff. After hearing the case, the Panel may decide either:

  • that the case was not proved;
  • to issue a Final Written Warning, or a formal Written Warning.
  • to exclude the learner
  • decide that some other action would be appropriate, such as moving the learner to another class.

If the learner is allowed to return to another class, this should be communicated to relevant staff and ensure that a risk assessment is carried out and an action plan drawn up.

Complaint to the Funding Body/Prime Contractor

When the learner has exhausted the appeal procedure there is a right to make a complaint to the appropriate Funding Body or Prime Contractor. A complaint to the Funding Body/Prime Contractor is not a further stage of appeal. The Funding Body/Prime Contractor does not hear evidence or seek to substitute its own decision for that of BCE. In considering a complaint, the Funding Body/Prime Contractor will undertake an enquiry to consider whether or not BCE has followed its procedures.

A learner who has appealed unsuccessfully is to be informed of the complaints procedure of the Funding Body/Prime Contractor.