HE Withdrawals Policy

1. Policy statement

  • 1.1. The British Academy of Jewellery (BAJ) is committed to taking all reasonable steps to ensure the students have the opportunity to successfully complete their programmes. BAJ has a commitment to ensure that within this general framework, all students are treated fairly and equitably. Students who do not support the academic and ethical goals of the Academy may be subject to penalties including withdrawal from the programme. 
  • 1.2. In conjunction with this policy, BAJ will ensure that students receive and are aware of its Student Code of Conduct, its Attendance Policy, and Academic Regulations. 
  • 1.3. The following outlines the conditions under which a student may be withdrawn from the Programme:
    • Student withdrawal based on attendance; 
    • Student withdrawal based on Academic progression; 
    • Withdrawal of disabled students based on Academic progression; 
    • Voluntary withdrawal; 
    • Withdrawal based on disciplinary action.

2. Student withdrawal based on attendance

  • 2.1. BAJ has a system of letters or e-mails which are designed to warn students if their attendance is likely not to meet the Attendance Policy. These letters or emails are of two types:
    • (i) Reminders of the need to attend;
    • (ii) Formal warning letters require the student to contact BAJ immediately to explain their absences. A Second Formal Warning Letter is issued immediately prior to removing the student’s name from the register, Student Finance England (SFE) is informed and for non-EU students withdrawal of sponsorship and UKVI informed.

The pattern of sending out letters or emails may vary but generally is as follows:

  • 2.2. In the event that a student has been absent for three consecutive days, an email will be sent to remind them of the need to attend.
  • 2.3. If the student does not attend one week of classes, equivalent to 12 guided learning hours, an Attendance Reminder Email will be sent to the student followed by a telephone call (the student will also be asked to confirm or update their contact details including email ID, contact address and any alternate phone numbers). This requires the student to contact the Academy at the earliest opportunity to provide an explanation regarding absences.
  • 2.4. Following 2 weeks of consecutive non-attendance (equivalent to 24 guided learning hours); a further reminder letter is sent.
  • 2.5. Following 3 weeks of consecutive non-attendance (equivalent to 36 guided learning hours), BAJ will send an Attendance Meeting Warning letter (by email) to the student followed by an email inviting the student for a meeting with the Course Leader.
  • 2.6. Following the meeting with the Course Leader, if the attendance has not improved BAJ will email and send a Final Attendance Warning letter to the learner. 
  • 2.7. With the Final Attendance Warning letter, the student’s name will be entered on the withdrawal list, which will be sent to the withdrawal committee. The withdrawal committee will decide on whether or not the student shall be required to withdraw from the Academy. If the student is to be required to withdraw, the decision will be reported to the Administrator for formal communication to the student. The student’s name will be removed from the register and Student Finance England (SFE) will be informed; or sponsorship withdrawn immediately after the tenth missed consecutive contact point (and UKVI will be notified, in the event of non-EU students).
  • 2.8. Any student who has been in receipt of student finance and does not reply to any withdrawal communication must know that steps will be taken to withdraw their place on the programme. This action will be taken on the student’s behalf as a result of the lack of response and could leave the student liable to pay back any tuition fees to the Student Loans Company received for their studies. The right is reserved to communicate the student’s enrolment and attendance history to the Student Loans Company so a fair assessment can be made.
  • 2.9. If at any point during a semester, a student’s attendance is such that their overall attendance could not be above 85%, they will be sent a First Attendance Warning Letter. Following this, a Second Attendance Warning Letter will be sent when their attendance is such that their overall attendance could not be above 65%. If the student’s attendance rate continues to fall below 40%, then their name will be entered on the Withdrawal list. The withdrawal committee will withdraw the student and their name will be removed from the register and SFE will be informed or sponsorship withdrawn from the UKVI’s sponsor management system. (See WP1.1 below)

3. Student withdrawal process based on academic progression

  • 3.1. We encourage students to progress in their chosen course of study where they will be able to complete their course in a timely manner. In addition, as per UKVI regulations, it is a mandatory condition for non-EU/Home students to demonstrate that they are continuously committed to their studies and intend to complete their course within the allowed time. 
  • 3.2. Students MUST take the first opportunity to be assessed for each of the modules they follow each semester. The only exclusion is if the student is having extenuating circumstances where the student will need to formally request the school to treat the individual student’s situation as a case that falls under the school’s policy on extenuating circumstances where the academic board will agree on the course of action for the student. This request has to be treated in line with the deferrals and late submissions policy, and there may be a requirement to notify the relevant awarding bodies, i.e. Pearson depending on the severity of the case. 
  • 3.3. Any student who does not take the first assessment opportunity will be requested to attend a compulsory meeting with the relevant Course Leader to confirm relevant remedial action and responses recorded.
  • 3.4. There is an opportunity for the student to attend a Review of Academic Performance Meeting which will be organised by Course Leaders to support and recognise any issues and propose any remedial actions to improve progression. Any student who sits the module assessments but fails will be referred to the relevant Course Leader for an Academic review. 
  • 3.5. Following the academic review, the student will be notified that he/she will have only one more attempt to pass the unit. In the event the student fails the second attempt (2nd re-submission), the student will have to either retake the module at additional cost or be withdrawn from the course due to lack of performance. Based on the response, SFE and UKVI will be notified.

4. Withdrawal of disabled students due to academic progress

  • 4.1. The Student Welfare and Support Officer records all the involvement he has with students and where the appropriate support has not been fully implemented, Disability Services will intervene. When the  Student Welfare and Support officer has seen all possible support administered, but the Academic Department ultimately decides to withdraw the student, the decision does not relate to disability but is based on the fact that the student’s academic progress is not at the appropriate level. The  Student Welfare and Support Officer will participate on a Withdrawal Committee where the student in question is disabled or it is suspected that she/he may have a disability or learning difficulty.
  • 4.2. A s a standard practice, where a disabled student is withdrawn, this will take place only after:
    • (i) The Student Welfare and Support Officer have exhausted their resources to implement support; 
    • (ii) The Academic Department has adhered to the support recommendations as effectively as possible;
    • (iii) The Academic Department has conducted a careful review of the student’s academic progress and deemed it unrealistic for the student to catch up or to pass the minimum requirement of the course;
    • (iv) Or, a Disciplinary Panel has considered the student unsuitable, despite having the necessary provisions already in place.
  • 4.3. Withdrawals are made based on academic performance, attendance or behaviour. Under no circumstances will a student be involuntarily withdrawn on the sole basis of a disability or learning difficulty as this would constitute discrimination. Whilst the  Student Welfare and Support Officer may contribute information to a withdrawal committee, it will not be directly involved in the withdrawal of a student.

5. Voluntary withdrawal

  • 5.1. Students who are considering withdrawing from the Programme are advised to discuss the matter with their Course Leader or Head of Academy before they make a final decision. Depending upon the reasons the student has for considering withdrawal, the Course Leader may be able to refer the student to sources of specialist advice and guidance within BAJ, including Student Support Officers, SFE support services, the Student Welfare and Support Officer and the meeting with the Head of Students’ Council. Students who wish to discuss the detailed financial implications of withdrawal should be advised to contact the Student Finance Office in the first instance.
  • 5.2. Where a student tells a member of academic staff that they are considering withdrawing from the Programme, the member of academic staff should inform the relevant Course Leader or Head of Academy as soon as possible. Where appropriate, the Course Leader may either arrange a meeting with the student or contact the student by e-mail to draw their attention to the range of advice, guidance and support that is available. 
  • 5.3. If a student decides to withdraw, he or she should complete a ‘Notification of Withdrawal’ form and submit it to their Administration.
  • 5.4. Either the student or the Academy will then inform the Student Loans Company, the relevant local authority, or the  SFE  immediately.

6. Withdrawal based on Disciplinary Action

  • 6.1. This section is to be read in conjunction with the Disciplinary Policy and Procedure, which can be seen on the BAJ website.
  • 6.2. The BAJ Student Code of Conduct is in place to ensure students and staff can work in a safe and congenial environment. In the event of any major contravention to the Student Code of Conduct, students will be subject to the Academy’s disciplinary proceedings. In the most severe cases of misconduct, action may be taken to withdraw the student from their programme and from the Academy premises.
  • 6.3. Such breaches of the Student Code of Conduct include but are not limited to:
    • Aggressive or violent behaviour; 
    • Damage or the perceived threat to damage Academy buildings, students and/or staff and/or their property;
    • Any activity involving the unauthorised use of drugs or alcohol;
    • Tampering with safety equipment (e.g. discharging of fire extinguishers, setting off building alarms deliberately and without valid cause, etc.);
    • Breaches of Academy policies with particular reference to Harassment/Bullying or Equal Opportunities.
  • 6.4. Under such circumstances, an investigating officer will be appointed to gather all information relating to the case. This will be presented to the Student Disciplinary Panel who, on the basis of all evidence and the surrounding circumstance will decide an appropriate course of action. The Student Disciplinary Panel will be chaired by an authorised representative of the Academy – the full process can be obtained from the Disciplinary Policy and Procedure.
  • 6.5. Decision-making will consider the nature of the offence, the specific circumstance surrounding it, the frequency of occurrence or whether it is a first offence, and ultimately the risks of allowing the student to remain enrolled with the Academy. If the risks are found to be intolerable, only then the Panel will move for the withdrawal of the student from studies.
  • 6.6. No formal disciplinary outcome will be concluded unless a disciplinary meeting has been held. Formal withdrawal from a study programme is an absolute last resort of any disciplinary proceedings.

7. Appeals

  • 7.1. All students required to withdraw have the right of appeal through the Course Leader to an Appeal Committee. The right of appeal relates only to the withdrawal decision and not to the results of any examination or academic assessment on which the decision may be based.
  • 7.2. Students required to withdraw are given written notice, by the Withdrawal Committee, of their right to appeal. An appeal must be made in writing within 10 working days to the Appeals Committee through the Course Leader and shall state the grounds on which the appeal is being made and provide evidence to support it.
  • 7.3. In the event of withdrawal through disciplinary action, an appeal must be made to the Student Disciplinary Panel within 10 working days of the decision. The full appeals process for students withdrawn as a result of disciplinary action is given in the Disciplinary Policy and Procedure.
  • 7.4. The student will be invited to attend the Appeal Committee and relevant Academic faculty members will be invited to the hearing (usually the Course Leader or Subject Leader).
  • 7.5. The Appeal Committee, in reaching a conclusion on a student appeal, may accept, reject, or assign specific conditions to the continuance of the course of study by the Appellant.
  • 7.6 The Appeal Committee will inform the appellant of the Committee’s decision within 24 hours by email or telephone and confirm in writing to the appellant providing reasons for the judgement reached in relation to submissions made at the hearing, within five working days of the hearing taking place.

Originator: Quality Manager: Higher Education

Issue: HE/AFS_V2 2023

Approved: SMT September 2023

Review Date: August 2024

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