Student Disciplinary Policy
Student Disciplinary Policy and Procedure
Purpose and Scope
The purpose of this procedure is to enable Green Labyrinth staff to deal with student disciplinary issues in a consistent and fair manner. It provides for the orderly investigation and resolution of cases of alleged unsatisfactory conduct and will be initiated:-
. (a) When a student is alleged to have broken Green Labyrinth rules, regulations and procedures.
. (b) When a student is alleged to have breached the Student Code of Conduct (Annex A).
. (c) When gross misconduct is alleged.
2.1 Minor infringements of discipline should be dealt with by either the student’s Personal Tutor or the Programme Manager.
2.2 In cases of irregular attendance or persistent student absence the Green Labyrinth Student Absence Procedure should be referred to and applied.
2.3 Failure to submit work in accordance with study guidelines. In such cases if the Head of Programme considers exclusion this must be discussed with the Operations Director prior to any sanctions being applied.
2.4 Students who have a medical condition, Learning difficulty or disability which could be related to their lack of discipline. In such cases a review should be carried out by the Director of Operations.
3 Initial Decision Making
The Head of Programme will decide, based on the information available, whether an alleged incident warrants application of the formal disciplinary procedure and if so, at what stage (see below). It may be appropriate for further investigation to be undertaken before disciplinary action is implemented. The purpose of the investigation is to ascertain promptly the facts and circumstances relating to the alleged incident, to record the findings, and to make a judgement as to whether the disciplinary procedure should be invoked. If, in the judgement of the Head of Programme, disciplinary action is not to be invoked then no record should be maintained on file.
Due account should be taken of the stressful nature of a disciplinary investigation and, if it is thought appropriate, a member of staff unconnected with the original complaint and disciplinary processes should advise and support the student.
Depending upon the severity of the incident, the procedure can be implemented at any stage. For example, a case of gross misconduct might warrant a disciplinary hearing as the initial response, however in some exceptional circumstances it may be necessary to suspend a student pending the outcome of the disciplinary hearing or in cases involving violence or intimidation toward a member of staff or other students it to exclude permanently. Only a Director of the Company has the authority to suspend or exclude a student.
The Disciplinary Framework
4.1 Stage One – Verbal Warning - For a minor breach of Green Labyrinth regulations a verbal warning may be considered sufficient. If so, it should be delivered in private by the student’s Personal Tutor or Assessor. The student will be told why their behaviour does not meet an acceptable standard or breaches the Code of Conduct and made aware of what he/she has to do in order to meet that standard.
4.2 Stage Two – First Written Warning - For a more serious breach of Green Labyrinth regulations or the Student Code of Conduct, or for further breaches after a verbal warning has already been issued, a written warning should be given to the student. This should be from the Head of Programme and in the case of students aged under18 it must be copied to their parents/carer. It will include the student entering into a signed Learning/Behavioural Agreement. For sponsored students their employer must also be advised.
4.3 Stage Three – Final Written Warning - A final written warning should be given to the student for a breach of Green Labyrinth regulations or the Student Code of Conduct considered serious enough to issue a severe written warning as the first response, but not sufficiently serious to warrant a disciplinary hearing, or for further breaches of regulations by a student who has already received a written warning. The letter should be from the Director of Operations and copied to parents/carer/employer where appropriate. For a student who has not previously been required to enter into a signed Learning/Behavioural Agreement this should be included. Where a student has already entered into a Learning/Behavioural Agreement consideration should be given to revising its conditions. For sponsored students their employer must also be advised. A copy of the letter is to be kept on the student’s file for as long as they remain a student at Green Labyrinth.
Stage Four –Exclusion
A student may be excluded from Green Labyrinth in the following circumstances:
- A student’s conduct continues to be unsatisfactory despite warnings
- A student commits an act of gross misconduct.
Examples of gross misconduct may include:-
- Physical or verbal assault whilst on Green Labyrinth premises or Green Labyrinth related activities.
- Intimidation or threatening behaviour toward staff or other students
- Harassment or bullying.
- Possession of or dealing with illegal substances.
- Drug abuse – attending Green Labyrinth under the influence of illegal substances
- Alcohol abuse - attending Green Labyrinth under the influence of alcohol
- Abuse or misuse of computer equipment;
- Infringement of the Green Labyrinth Equal Opportunities policy.
- Behaviour which brings the Green Labyrinth into disrepute.
This is not a definitive list. If it is alleged a student has committed an act of Gross Misconduct, the matter is to be reported immediately to theDirector of Operations who will decide, on the information available, if the student should be considered for suspension or immediate exclusion.
Subsequently and wherever possible, the Director of Operations will interview the student concerned, who should be given the opportunity to state their version of events. This interview may be attended by a Parent or Carer of the student if the student is under 18 years of age.
The Director of Operations will review the allegation and confirm if the student should be suspended or, where appropriate, permanently excluded.
The suspension of a student will always lead to a Disciplinary Hearing. At this stage the Head of Programme will also agree with the Director of Operations if they need to attend and chair the hearing which will be necessary if it is thought that the student could be excluded.
If the student is to be suspended then they are to be verbally informed of the suspension. In some cases it may not be possible to see the student i.e. they have left the facility. In such instances every effort should be made to speak with them on the telephone. They should be informed of the nature of the allegation and that the suspension will be confirmed in writing. For students aged under 18 the letter must be copied to their parents/carer.
If the student concerned has not already given a statement of their version of events the letter must invite them to submit this to the Head of Programme.
Following the students suspension the Head of Programme will be responsible for:-
- Monitoring the students period of suspension.
- Ensuring that all appropriate witness statements, interview notes, reports are collated.
- Ensuring all appropriate witnesses are requested to attend the disciplinary hearing.
- Normally incidents will be dealt with by the Green Labyrinth under this procedure. There may, however, be cases where it is clearly the duty of the Green Labyrinth to report the matter to the police. Where the Head of Programme feels the alleged offence warrants the police being involved and to ensure the Green Labyrinth adopts a consistent and uniform approach to these incidents, the matter is to be discussed with a member of the Board of Directors, whose agreement must be obtained.
- Arranging with one of the following members of staff for them to chair a hearing to be held at the earliest possible date. This will normally be within 2 weeks of the suspension of the student and only in exceptional circumstances will this deadline be extended ie student/witnesses not available because of holidays, sickness etc. In all cases where an extension is required the matter is to be discussed with the Managing Director or a member of the Board of Directors, whose agreement must be obtained.
Right of Appeal
Students have the right to appeal against the decision of the disciplinary hearing on the following grounds:
- They have new evidence which is likely to alter the balance of the case and had valid grounds for not producing this evidence during the hearing;
- They dispute the severity of the disciplinary action in relation to the seriousness of the misdeed.
A student wishing to lodge an appeal must do so by writing to the Managing Director within 5 working days of receipt of the letter confirming the outcome of the disciplinary hearing, or in the case of an exclusion within 5 days of formal notification of Exclusion. They should state the grounds for appeal (see above) and enclose any documents they wish to submit in support.
7 Police Involvement
The Green Labyrinth reserves the right to involve the police when any act of a criminal nature is alleged. In such circumstances a student may be suspended pending the outcome of police enquiries, without making assumptions of guilt or innocence in respect of the allegations.
All disciplinary hearings will be treated as confidential to the parties concerned. After the hearing (and appeal if applicable) all related papers will be disposed of confidentially an electronic copy will be held centrally and kept for the duration of the student’s course plus 6 years, whether the hearing finds against the student or not. Where an allegation
APPENDIX A – STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT
This Code of Conduct is designed to encourage all students to meet the standards of behaviour, attendance and work performance expected by Green Labyrinth. Whilst it is not possible, or desirable to lay down an exhaustive set of standards, detailed below are general standards which, if broken, could result in disciplinary action being taken.
Students at Green Labyrinth are required to:
- treat everyone with respect and make sure that their behaviour does not make any other person feel uncomfortable or amount to discrimination
- be considerate to the rights and interests of other students
- attend regularly and punctually all required activities
- explain to their tutor or lecturer the reason for any non-attendance
- take personal responsibility for their own learning
- work hard and complete all workbooks within specified deadlines
- take an active part in reviewing their progress with the support of their assessor / trainer
- seek help from their assessor if they need it
- act safely so that they do not put themselves or others at risk
- act with consideration for the class environment
Green Labyrinth students must not:
- behave in a disruptive, aggressive, intimidating or unruly way
- disrupt or interfere with the education or learning of fellow students
- display or circulate any material which is designed to cause offence or distress to others
- misuse any property and equipment, including IT equipment
- be intoxicated or under the influence of none prescription or illegal drugs while in class or at work or be incapable of undertaking their course work as a result
- smoke on the company premises
- consume or possess toxic, dangerous or controlled substances
- make or send annoying, obscene, malicious or indecent telephone calls, letters, SMS messages, text messages or emails
- cause malicious damage to, or theft of, the property of other students, staff or visitors of Green Labyrinth learning institutions
- use foul or abusive language toward staff, students or visitors
- gain unauthorised access to, or make modifications to, college files or computer material
- carry any weapon, or any other object with the intention or purpose of use in a threatening way
- falsify documents or submit materials or work for assessment which has not been made or authorised by the individual
- take part in any illegal activity
- behave in any way which adversely affects the reputation of the Company.