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A temporary suspension is where the University places short-term conditions on your access to the University campus, teaching and or placement activity.
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.
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.
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.
If you are temporarily suspended, we will still make our Student Support Services available to you, providing guidance and wellbeing support as needed. You can find more information on our support services webpage 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, you find more information on the Student Advice Team webpage.
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
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.
If there is a concern raised about you, a senior member of University staff will decide whether to issue a Temporary Suspension. Sometimes, in complicated cases we might refer a case to an Incident Management Group.
Below is a list of some examples of why a concern might be raised. It is not intended to be exhaustive.
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
You are being investigated by the Police
If this happens, we will follow the appropriate University procedure, which could be the Student Conduct, Fitness to Study or Fitness to Practise Procedures.
If a concern is raised which means that there might be a concern for others, the University will assess whether we need to put some immediate emergency conditions in place to safeguard you, other students and staff or the wider community.
The University will review the information available to assess the level of risk to you and others. This will inform the decision to suspend some or all of your access to University services, or your placement. We will also assess the impact on you as a result of the suspension, and agree what support we can offer to support you.
Depending on the nature of the concerns raised, and your own individual circumstances, we may ask the Student Wellbeing & Safeguarding Manager and the Head of Residential Services, or their nominees for comments. If you are a 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.
Once the University has reviewed all of the information, a Dean or Director, or other member of the University Senior Leadership Team will decide whether to issue a Temporary Suspension.
For courses leading to professional registration, a member of your School or Institute’s senior management team who has responsibility for making Fitness to Practise decisions may issue a Temporary Suspension.
Terms of a suspension may include
If the University decides to issue a temporary suspension, we will normally contact you by e-mail to let you know. We recognise that this will be a worrying time for you, and so we will normally ask a member of support staff to get in touch with you by phone after we have issued a suspension.
Once a Temporary Suspension has been issued, we will arrange a Temporary Suspension Panel. This will normally be held within two weeks of the Suspension being sent to you.
We will normally invite you to come to the Panel meeting. However, there might be some situations where it wouldn’t be possible, or in your best interests to invite you. For example, if we are given clinical advice by someone who is treating you currently, or if you cannot attend due to a legal or police case.
We will give you at least one week’s notice of the meeting. We recommend you contact the Students’ Union as soon as you can to arrange representation. Alternatively, you can bring along a supportive student friend. If you want to, you can write a statement before attending. It’s important that we discuss the concerns with you, so you need to tell us as soon as possible if you can’t attend the meeting at the date or time that we ask you to. We will do what we can to rearrange the meeting. If you don’t tell us, and don’t attend we may hold the meeting without you.
The Temporary Suspension Panel will be made up of the following people:
A meeting can go ahead with 2 of the above people and may be held digitally.
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.
The Temporary Suspension Panel will decide whether to change or continue any temporary conditions placed on you, or to remove the Temporary Suspension.
We will let you know the decision of the Panel in writing within 1 week (excluding bank holidays and University closures).
A temporary suspension will only be issued when we think it wouldn’t be appropriate for you to be engaging with us in some way. In most cases this means the suspension will only be in place while we get more information about the concerns. A suspension will normally only be in place until we have finished a process, such as a Student Conduct or Fitness to Practise case. In some cases, involving a police investigation, the suspension might last for a longer period of time, while we wait for the legal processes to be completed.
We will tell you in your letter when the temporary suspension will end, or when we think we will need to review it.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
a. That the procedure was not followed properly, and this has affected the outcome.
b. That the decision reached was unreasonable due to bias or the harshness of the sanction.
c. 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:
If your appeal does not meet all the above, we will not consider it and we will write to you explaining the reason why.
If your appeal is eligible, it will normally be considered by a member of the University’s Executive who will confirm the decision in writing within 2 weeks (excluding bank holidays and University closures). The member of Executive may remove or vary the conditions imposed by the Temporary Suspension Panel.
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. You can find out more by clicking here https://www.oiahe.org.uk/.
We have provided access to the previous version of the Temporary Suspension Procedure (prior to September 2023)