Backstage Academy values the views of its students highly, and therefore aims to manage complaints in a way that is sensitive to the needs of each specific case, and supportive of the Academy’s goal of providing the best possible student experience. There are a number of informal channels through which it is hoped that most problems can be resolved. If, however, you need to pursue a complaint formally, the Academy will treat it seriously and impartially, on the basis set out in this document.

What kind of complaints can be considered?

1) Grounds for complaint might include:  Dissatisfaction with standards of academic provision (for example, the basic academic framework such as course design, content and structure; resources and facilities; arrangements for assessment; and information provided to you about your course).

2) Dissatisfaction with the quality of supervision and tuition.

3) Failure to meet obligations (such as those set out in the Prospectus, the Partnership Agreement, and the Equality and Diversity Policy – or assurances which may have been given to you on an individual basis).

4) Deficiencies in standards of service (which might include problems with support facilities or administrative services).

5) Harassment, bullying and victimisation.

6) Other deficiencies in the quality of your learning experience.

The complaints procedure only applies to complaints initiated and conducted by an individual student a complainant does, however, have the right to be accompanied and supported at any meeting by an adviser.

What kinds of complaints are excluded?

Appeals against academic judgement (the outcome of degree examinations or assessments) and appeals against disciplinary decisions.

How does the complaints procedure work?

Generally, complaints are most easily resolved if they are raised at the time the problem first occurs and with the person/s directly involved. Often, you will be able to resolve your complaint simply by discussing it with a relevant staff member, with your personal tutor, or an appropriate course representative.

If you cannot, or feel unable to, resolve your concerns in this way, you should put your complaint in writing to the Director of Operations and Student Services. He, or a nominee, will seek to provide you with a response to your complaint within 15 working days.  If you remain dissatisfied with the local response, or feel unable to resolve your complaint directly with the Academy, you should put your concerns in writing to the University of Bolton.

To assist the process, your written complaint should include the following information:

1) your name and student ID number

2) the name of your host school and details of the programme/course you are – or were –studying

3) details of the main issue of concern

4) an outline of any informal discussions which have already taken place to resolve the issue (including the names of any staff involved and any relevant dates)

5) a summary of the resolution/outcome you are seeking

6) any other supporting information (such as, for example, copies of correspondence which you feel illustrates your complaint)

Following investigation, the Complaints Officer will either:

(a) seek to resolve the complaint informally (through mediation, or following further enquiries at a local level, for example);

(b) uphold the complaint as a whole or in part (and take action accordingly);

(c) dismiss the complaint if there is no case to answer; or

(d) dismiss the complaint if it is judged to be trivial, vexatious or malicious (and take further action if appropriate).

The Complaints Officer (Matt Bate) will aim to provide a response – a reasoned judgement – within 28 working days of receiving a complaint; however, complex cases will, unavoidably, take longer to investigate with due care and thoroughness. You will, in any event, be kept informed of the progress of any investigation.

A complainant should be a registered student of Backstage Academy, although a student who has withdrawn or left the University can invoke the procedure within 28 days of their leaving.

If you have followed the above procedure and are still unhappy with the outcome you have the right to pursue your complaint further through the University of Bolton and the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). The main purpose of the Scheme is the independent, impartial and transparent review of unresolved complaints by students about acts and omissions of Member HE Providers and, through learning from complaints, the promotion of good practice.

The Complaints Officer can be contacted by email at matthew.bate@backstage-academy.co.uk or by phone on 01977 659880.