Guidance For Higher Education Institutions - Universities UK

Earlier this year (2016), a Taskforce which was established by. UUK to examine ..... which will best protect the investigation and/or the reporting student /others ...
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Guidance For Higher Education Institutions How To Handle Alleged Student Misconduct Which May Also Constitute A Criminal Offence

Contents 1


p. 1


Basis for Disciplinary Action

p. 2


Alleged Misconduct which may Constitute a Criminal Offence

p. 3


General Principles

p. 4


Record Keeping

p. 5


Provision of Information and Support

p. 6


Referral to the Police

p. 7


Precautionary Action

p. 8


Criminal Investigation/Prosecution

p. 9

10 Internal Disciplinary Procedure

p. 10

11 Different Facts and Matters

p. 12

12 Outcome of a Criminal Process

p. 12

13 Appendix 1 – Example Code of Conduct

p. 13

14 Appendix 2 – Case Studies

p. 17

15 Appendix 3 – Example Risk Assessment

p. 19


Pinsent Masons | Guidance for Higher Education Institutions

Acknowledgements This report has been prepared and written by Nicola Bradfield from Pinsent Masons LLP with assistance from members of a steering group. This group included members of the Universities UK Taskforce which was established to examine violence against women, harassment and hate crime and other representatives. The members of the steering group are: • Jo Attwooll – Programme Manager, Universities UK • Liz Bromley – Registrar and Secretary, Goldsmiths University of London (until Summer 2016) • Laura Gibbs – Chief Operating Officer, Queen Mary University of London • Dr Paul Greatrix – Registrar and Secretary, University of Nottingham • Jenny Jenkin – Registrar, University of Bedfordshire • Jess Lishak – Women’s Officer, University of Manchester Students’ Union 2014-16 • Maria Lorenzini – Director of Student Experience, Bangor University • Professor Graham Virgo – Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, University of Cambridge • National Union of Students – Hareem Ghani, Sally Thomas, Minda Burgos-Lukes. Universities UK also consulted specialist agencies which advocate on behalf of survivors of sexual violence about the recommendations made in this report and we thank them for their views and opinions.

1. Introduction In 1994, the Council of Vice-Chancellors and Principals (CVCP), now Universities UK (UUK), published the Final Report of the Task Force on Student Disciplinary Procedures commonly referred to as the Zellick Report. These nonstatutory guidelines provided advice to universities on handling circumstances where a student’s alleged misconduct may also constitute a criminal offence. That guidance has been of significant value to the higher education sector and some universities continue to use the Zellick Report as the basis for their internal procedures. Earlier this year (2016), a Taskforce which was established by UUK to examine violence against women, harassment and hate crime received evidence from the National Union of Students, individual universities and other organisations highlighting concerns about the Zellick guidelines. In particular, it was noted that, since the guidelines were published, there had been substantial and important developments and changes in the sector and in the law (for example, the coming into force of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010). As a consequence, there were concerns that the guidelines did not adequately reflect the various duties and obligations that universities have in relation to their students or assist universities in handling the most complex and sensitive incidents, particularly those involving sexual violence. The Taskforce therefore initiated a review of the Zellick Report. Pinsent Masons LLP has worked closel