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Temporary Suspension Procedure

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Temporary suspension: what does this mean?

What is a temporary suspension?

A temporary suspension is a where the University places short-term conditions on your access to the University campus, teaching and or placement activity. Conditions might mean that you can’t;

  • Attend teaching or assessment activities
  • Access online materials
  • Attend placement
  • Access some or all parts of the University campus
  • Contact other students or members of staff of the University
  • Participate in some University activities
  • Participate in Students’ Union activities or access Students’ Union venues

This does not mean that the University has decided that you have done something wrong, but it is thought to be in the immediate best interest of either you, staff or other students at the time.

When does a temporary suspension happen?

A temporary suspension normally happens when the University is following the Student Conduct Procedure or the Fitness to Study and Fitness to Practise Procedure.  It means that an investigation can take place and a decision can be made on the best thing to do.

A temporary suspension may also be used if you are being investigated by the Police and the type of investigation or charges mean that it is difficult for you to study on your course.

Why does the University need to do this?

The University has a duty to consider the safety and wellbeing of the University community.  A temporary suspension will only be used where we feel it is necessary to safeguard you, other students or staff, or the wider community. 

How will I be supported?

If you are temporarily suspended, we will still make our Student Support Services available to you, providing guidance and wellbeing support as needed, but you will normally need to let us know when you are coming on to campus. You will also be able to access guidance and advocacy support from the Students’ Union by emailing sais@staffs.ac.uk

If you have a disability you can request that a reasonable adjustment is made to prevent you from being disadvantaged in this process. For example, you may ask us to move the location of a meeting or give you extra time to read paperwork.

Please let us know as soon as possible if this applies to you. Remember our support and wellbeing services are available to you throughout this process

What if I am studying with a college or other educational provider?

If you are studying on a Staffordshire University course which is delivered by a partner institution, it is the partner’s rules on student conduct, not these, which will apply to you. The partner will therefore apply its own rules on temporary suspensions.

However, if your course leads to professional registration, such as for teaching or a health profession, the Fitness to Practise Procedure and Temporary Suspension Policy will apply to you. Please contact your institution for more information. 

 

Temporary Suspension Panel

What happens if a concern is raised?

If there is a concern raised about you, normally, a member of the University Executive, or a person who is responsible for making Fitness to Practise decisions, will decide whether to hold a Temporary Suspension Panel. Sometimes, in complicated cases  we might refer this to an Incident Management Group. This might be because:

  • You are being investigated by the Police.
  • The University has received a complaint about your practice.
  • The University is investigating a complaint about your conduct.
  • There is a serious concern for your wellbeing or that of others.

This person may also put some immediate emergency conditions in place to safeguard you, other students and staff or the wider community. This would normally last for no more than 2 weeks and may include;

  • Removing you from study and/or practice.
  • Preventing you from contacting other members of the University community.
  • Preventing you from accessing some or all parts of the campus.
  • Moving you to alternative accommodation.

Temporary Suspension Panel

If the University decides to hold a Temporary Suspension Panel, we will contact you by telephone and e-mail to let you know. We will hold the Panel normally within 2 weeks (excluding bank holidays and University closures) of the decision being taken. If this is not  possible we will keep you informed of any delay and the reasons for it. We will make sure that you have one week’s notice of the meeting.  

You will be invited to come to the Panel meeting. We recommend you contact the Students’ Union as soon as you can to arrange representation. Alternatively, bring along a supportive student friend. If you want to, you can write a statement before attending.

The Temporary Suspension Panel will be made up of the following people:

  • Registrar or Nominee
  • Director of Student Support or Nominee
  • A member of your School Management Team

If the Panel is convened because there is a complaint about your practice, we will make sure that there is also a registrant from the appropriate profession on the Panel. The Panel will apply the code of conduct from the relevant professional body.

If you are student studying on an international visa, we may ask the University International Student Support Team to understand how any temporary suspension affects your ability to study in the UK.

A meeting can go ahead with 2 of the above people and may be held digitally.

Decision of the Temporary Suspension Panel

The Temporary Suspension Panel will decide whether to impose or continue with any temporary conditions placed on you. These may include:

  • That you cannot attend teaching or assessment activities
  • That you cannot access online materials
  • That you cannot attend placement.
  • That you cannot access some or all parts of the University campus
  • That you cannot contact other students or members of staff of the University
  • That you cannot participate in some University activities
  • That you cannot participate in Students' Union activities or access Students' Union venues

We will let you know the decision of the Panel by telephone and e-mail within 1 week (excluding bank holidays and University closures)

Once any conditions are in place, they will normally remain in place, until the situation cahnges. For example, a decision has been made by the University, Police or Courts on your circumstances.

What if I think the decision is wrong?

If you feel that the decision of the Temporary Suspension Panel is wrong, you can appeal. This also applies to students studying with partner providers. You will need to put this in writing, to regulations@staffs.ac.uk with your evidence, normally within one week (excluding bank holidays and University closures) of the decision.

You may appeal for the following reasons, which you must make clear in your appeal: 

That the procedure was not followed properly, and this has affected the outcome.That the decision reached was unreasonable due to bias or the harshness of the sanction. 

That you have new evidence which you were unable to provide earlier in the process for valid reasons. 

The Registry will check that your appeal is:  

  • On time, normally within 1 week (excluding banks holidays and University closure) of the decision.
  • Meets one of the reasons to appeal

and

  • Is supported by evidence

If your appeal does not meet all the above, we will not consider it and we will write to you explaining the reason why.

How will the appeal be considered? 

If your appeal is eligible, it will be considered by the University Vice Chancellor who will confirm the decision in writing within 2 weeks (excluding bank holidays and University closures).  The Vice Chancellor may remove or vary the conditions imposed by the Temporary Suspension Panel. 

What if I still think the decision is wrong?

If you disagree with the appeal decision, you have the right to make a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) within one year of the decision.

   

Addendum to the Student Conduct, Temporary Suspension Policy - Supporting Positive Behaviours during the Pandemic

Encouragement of positive behaviour

The university seeks to encourage positive behaviour by students through informing and staff to ensure students are aware of national restrictions and expected on campus behaviour.

Such encouragement also applies when there are initial infringements of the expected behaviours, students should be reminded of their responsibilities to each other and the wider community.

Initial incidents

In such cases a letter will be issued to the student that explains that such behaviour is damaging and that action, in accordance with the student conduct policy and addendum, will be taken if the behaviour continues. The details of the student(s) and the infringement will be noted and logged by Campus life and letter setting out expectations will be issued.

This will then be checked if a further incident occurs at which point either the code of conduct within accommodation or the appropriate student conduct process will be followed. Evidence will be gathered to ensure that this is supported, understood and appropriate.

Use of temporary restrictions through the temporary suspension policy

Where the infringement is outside of accommodation and has the impact of effecting the health of the student or others, the Temporary Suspension process will be used to restrict students to specific requirements for example to not attend Union bars.

Currently the Temporary Suspension requires an Executive member to approve the suspension. Provided the following criteria are met and for Covid19 infringements only - the Director of Library and Student Services, the Registrar, Associate Deans, Director of Campus Services and Assistant Director of Campus Servicesare able to apply restrictions, informing a member of Executive where this takes place.

Operation and Criteria

In a case of infringement of University rules or national restrictions during a pandemic or other national emergency only:-

Evidence is available of a student having been previously warned about behaviours (identified through the campus life log or student conduct procedures) and continues to put others at harm

OR

The nature of the infringement causes significant risk to others and is so serious that immediate action is needed.

The level of risk will be judged by the individual responsible for applying the restrictions.

Possible restrictions

Possible restrictions might include*

  • To not attend any social events or union bars
  • To not visit certain parts of the campus such as University accommodation
*The above list is not exhaustive but illustrative, any restrictions will be appropriate to the impact on safety and the health of the universitycommunity, in the judgment of the responsible individual applying these restrictions and will be subject to panel review.

If a temporary restriction is put in place

Once in place the normal two week rule outlined in the Temporary Suspension Policy will apply with a review of the cases made by a panel which will sit weekly and be chaired by the Executive Dean of Student Services and colleagues that haven’t been involved in the initial decision including appropriate Student Union representation. The panel based on the evidence will decide if the restrictions are appropriate and should continue or be removed.

The decision of the panel will be subject to the same appeal processes as other temporary suspension cases.

Further incidents

If there are further infringements during the period of the temporary suspension, the restriction may be altered to completely suspend a student from site. The above panel will consider this along with the evidence and if this should be taken through the appropriate student conduct process.