ACM Education Policies | Music School Policy and Guidelines

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Polices

Risk Assessment

1 Purpose and Scope

1.1 This Policy provides an outline of ACM’s approach to identifying, assessing and managing risks that may be present where an individual has a unique set of  circumstances that may require specific consideration in relation to their individual identified risks that may be impacted by, but not limited to, physical or mental disability or impairment. The policy identifies the proactive approach adopted to support individuals and mitigate identified risk factors for individuals working or studying within ACM.

1.2 This Policy is aligned with the regulations of ACM’s validating partners and other external stakeholders to whom ACM must make reference.

2 Reference Points

2.1. Internal:

  • Critical Incident Policy
  • Safeguarding Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Equality and Diversity Policy

2.2 External:

  • Management of Health and Safety at Work 1999

3 Policy Statement

Risk Assessment

3.1 Where a need is identified, the risk assessment should be proactive and consider the particular needs of the student or staff member to whom the assessment refers.

3.2 The process of assessing risk should be practical and include discussion and information from any members of ACM staff with relevant experience and expertise, as well as including advisory notices from any external agencies where relevant.

3.3 The student or staff member should be included in the consultation and assessment of risks with the nominated assessor, with their commentary or suggestions treated with due diligence and incorporated into assessment and subsequent planning.

3.4 When considering risks, the severity and likelihood of potential harm or hazard should also be considered, to ensure that appropriate precautions have been considered and applied.

3.5 The assessment will focus on, but not be limited to, all campus environments and learning and teaching spaces within ACM. The risks associated with other ACM venues, catering services, partnering accommodation services, local transportation and environmental factors should also be considered.

3.6 Risk assessments will reflect current working and learning practices and make explicit references to areas of enhancement and any reasonable adjustments identified as necessary.

3.7 A collaborative and positive health and safety culture exists within ACM, with students and staff taking proactive responsibility for their needs and wellbeing. Students and staff are well supported with their changing, and additional, needs and encouraged to contribute to open dialogue regarding appropriate and dynamic support.

Record of Assessment

3.8 Risk Assessments provide an effective method to ensure that appropriate consideration and controls have been taken into account and that ACM premises provide the basis for a safe learning and working environment. They further provide a framework for ensuring ongoing review and enhancement.

3.9 Risk Assessments are reflected in, and contribute towards, the associated prevention documentation. This documentation refers to Risk Management Plans, Risk Management Registers and, where necessary, Personal Emergency and Evacuation Plans (PEEPs).

3.10 Risk Assessment Forms make explicit reference to potential individual hazards, the stakeholders to which the Assessment refers, the controls which ACM currently has in place for managing risk, and responsible officers in the implementation and support of Assessments and Plans.

3.11 Risk Assessment documentation takes into account any proposed changes (for example, to building layouts), and therefore should be easily adaptive.

3.12 Consideration of the longer term effects of the individual’s health and well-being should be addressed, updated, and reflected into risk prevention, to ensure risk assessment plans have legitimacy and currency, as well as being fit for their primary purpose.

Risk Prevention

3.13 Risks which are categorised as ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’ will be managed via Risk Management Planning. The stakeholder to whom the assessment refers to will be central in the collaboration and agreement of such planning.

3.14 Planning for risk prevention should make explicit reference to long term risk management and short term risk management.

3.15 Risk Prevention should ensure that precautions are reasonable and are representative of good practice within ACM.

3.16 Where risks are identified, every reasonable effort should be made to ensure the risk no longer exists. However, where this is not practical, due diligence should be given to considering and ensuring risks are controlled to ensure harm is unlikely.

3.17 Information regarding identified risks must be communicated to all stakeholders who may be affected.

4 Responsible Parties

4.1 All ACM staff and students have a duty to comply with any controls which have been identified in completed risk assessment exercises.

4.2 The following staff have a direct responsibility to ensure implementation of the Policy:

  • Education Guidance Manager
  • Facilities Manager
  • Human Resources Manager

 

5 Date of Approval and Next Review

Approved on:              27 Jan 2017

Approved by:              Adam Bushell, Principal  and Chair Senior Management Team

Next Review:              1 August 2018

 

Academic Appeals Policy and Procedure

1. Policy Statement

  • 1.1.  This policy describes how the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) looks upon the issue of Academic Appeals.
  • 1.2.  This policy applies to all students and is designed to ensure that students are treated in a fair and equitable manner.
  • 1.3.  The Registrar is responsible for managing and reviewing this policy and Registry staff are responsible for the effective operation of the Academic Appeal Policy and Procedures outlined below.
  • 1.4.  The content of this policy aligns with the regulations of ACM’s validating partners and other external stakeholders to whom ACM must make reference.
  • 1.5.  Academic Appeals have a direct link the following policies and procedures:
    • Academic Misconduct
    • Assessment
    • Deferral of Assessment
    • Equality and Diversity
    • Extenuating Circumstances
    • Student Complaints & Grievances
  • 1.6. If the Student is dissatisfied with the outcome of ACM’s Academic Appeal procedure they have the right to appeal to the awarding body for their qualification. The regulations and policies for the awarding bodies for ACM’s awards are available from ACM’s Registry and can be requested by emailing registry@acm.ac.uk.

2. Objectives

  • 2.1.  To explain in an open, transparent and accessible way how ACM approaches an appeal against the decision of an ACM Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board.
  • 2.2.  To describe the steps of the ACM Academic Appeal process.

3. Academic Appeals

  • 3.1. Definition of an academic appeal: An academic appeal is a request from a student for the decision of a Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board to be reviewed because it is believed that an injustice has occurred.
  • 3.2. A successful academic appeal results in the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board reviewing its decision in the light of the new information provided by the student, although it does not necessarily mean that the original decision of the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board will be changed.
  • 3.3.  An appeal may only be made against a published assessment result which has been confirmed by a Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board. Students can therefore appeal decisions made by specially delegated Boards and provisional decisions made by a Board at which an External Examiner has not been present.
  • 3.4.  Students wishing to understand a grade which has not yet been approved by a Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board should first do so informally through the marker of the assessment, the module tutor (if different from the marker) and then the Head of School if the issue cannot be resolved at this level.
  • 3.5.  Students who have a complaint or grievance concerning the provision of a programme of study or academic service which they believe has affected the quality of their academic performance, should, before submitting an academic appeal, follow ACM’s Student Complaints and Grievance Procedures.

4. Reasons for Making an Academic Appeal:

  • 4.1. Academic Appeals against Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board decisions may be made on any of the following grounds:
    • 4.1.1. That a student’s performance in an assessment suffered through illness or other factors which the student was unable or for valid reasons unwilling to inform the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board through the extenuating circumstances procedures before it reached its decision.
    • 4.1.2. That there has been an administrative error in the management of the assessment.
    • 4.1.3. That the assessment was not run in accordance with the programme regulations.
    • 4.1.4. That the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board has failed to consider material circumstances, relating to the delivery of a module, which have adversely affected a student’s performance in assessment. This ground will only be considered acceptable if:
      • 4.1.4.1. the circumstances have been the subject of a Student Complaints and Grievance procedure, and
      • 4.1.4.2. the case of the complaint has been upheld, and
      • 4.1.4.3. steps have not been taken to mitigate the effects of the circumstances.
    • 4.1.5. An Academic Appeal against a penalty imposed for academic misconduct on grounds listed in the Academic Misconduct regulations.
    • 4.1.6. That some other irregularity has occurred.

5. Reasons why an Academic Appeal will Normally be Rejected:

  • 5.1.  An appeal may be rejected by Registry for any of the following reasons, or if it is judged to be vexatious or frivolous, without further recourse to the Academic Appeals procedures.
  •  5.2.  The Academic Appeal is a disagreement with the academic judgement of a Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board in assessing the merits of academic work, or in reaching a decision on progression, or on the final classification of a qualification, which has been reached in accordance with the regulations.
    • 5.2.1. The student did not understand or was not aware of the published assessment regulations and procedures for a module or programme.
    • 5.2.2. The appeal is on grounds that poor teaching, supervision or guidance affected academic performance. In such circumstances a student should submit a complaint in accordance with the Student Complaints and Grievance Procedure.
    • 5.2.3. That no contemporaneous, independent, medical or other evidence has been submitted to support an application that academic performance was adversely affected by factors such as ill health (as per the Deferral of Assessment or Extenuating Circumstance policies and procedures).
    • 5.2.4. The student was not aware of the procedures for presenting extenuating circumstances to the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board. These extenuating circumstances include health or other problems.
    • 5.2.5. No valid reason, i.e. circumstances beyond a student’s control, has been submitted as explanation for not submitting extenuating circumstances to the attention of the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board before it met.
    • 5.2.6. The academic appeal concerns a long-standing health problem, which the student was aware of at enrolment.
    • 5.2.7. The student was subject to a disturbance or illness during an examination and that there is no valid reason for it not to have been brought to the attention of the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board before it met (see policy and procedures on Examination Rules for Candidates).
    • 5.2.8. The student had changed address without informing Registry, resulting in assessment information being sent to an out-of-date address.
    • 5.2.9. Registry receives the appeal beyond the time limit specified in 3.9 without good cause. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the appeal is submitted to Registry on time.
  • 5.3. Should an Academic Appeal arise following due process of the Academic Misconduct procedure, it may be rejected by the Registrar if it does not conform to the grounds stated in the Decisions of the Assessment Board policy and procedures.

6. Before Making an Academic Appeal:

  • 6.1.  Except where 3.10.1 or 3.10.2 applies, there is a time limit of 10 working days from the date of the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board results being published for submission of a formal appeal to Registry.
  • 6.2.  Except where 3.10.1 or 3.10.2 applies, during this time the student must make every effort to discuss the problem with the Head of School or any other appropriate member of the academic staff. This may result in the matter being resolved informally and quickly.
    • 6.2.1. If an appeal arises following due process of the Student Complaints and Grievance Procedure, the time limit is 10 working days from the date the student receives the written result of this procedure. Regulations 3.11 and 3.12 shall not apply.
    • 6.2.2. If an appeal arises following due process of the Academic Misconduct Procedure, the time limit is 10 working days from the date the student receives the written result of this procedure. Regulations 3.11 and 3.12 shall not apply.
  • 6.3. The Registrar will consider the case and may advise the student:
    • 6.3.1. That the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board will reconsider its decision taking account of this new information;
    • 6.3.2. That the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board’s decision was based on a fair evaluation of the student’s assessment performance and will not be reconsidered;
    • 6.3.3. In any other way deemed appropriate, including that the student should make a formal appeal to our validating university.
  • 6.4. Students should only make a formal appeal if:
    • 6.4.1. They have been unable to contact the Head of School and other relevant members of staff;
    • 6.4.2. They are dissatisfied with the outcome of these informal discussions;
    • 6.4.3. They have been advised to do so by the Head of School or Registrar.

7. Progression of an appellant while an appeal is being considered:

  • 7.2. While the appeal is being processed, the appellant:
    • 7.2.1. Shall normally be permitted by the Head of School and Registrar to continue to the next stage of their studies, unless there are circumstances preventing it other than the decision in question of the Head of School and Registrar. This will not prejudice the outcome of the appeal.
    • 7.2.2. If the appeal concerns expulsion following an investigation into academic misconduct, the appellant is suspended and written permission is required from the Registrar or nominee for the appellant to continue to the next stage of their studies. The Registrar or nominee has discretion not to permit the appellant to continue pending the outcome of the appeal.
    • 7.2.3. This right is designed solely to ensure that a student whose appeal is upheld is not academically disadvantaged and it shall not be interpreted as acceptance of a failed student whose appeal is subsequently dismissed on a later stage of the programme, nor shall satisfactory progress during such attendance be admissible as evidence at any stage in the appeal procedure. During any such interim period of attendance, no fees would be demanded. In the event of the appeal ultimately being resolved in the student’s favour and the student being formally reinstated onto the programme, the appropriate fee would be payable.
    • 7.2.4. If a final qualification has been made, the appellant may in form prospective employers of the qualification but that the decision may be reviewed following the appeal.
    • 7.2.5. If a finalist, may attend the Graduation Ceremony.
  • 7.1. The decision of the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board remains in force until it is formally notified by the Secretary of the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board to have been rescinded. Therefore the student remains responsible for:
    • 7.1.1. Conforming to the requirements for a referral, resubmission of work to be assessed or re-sitting an examination pending the outcome of the appeal;
    • 7.1.2. The consequence of not complying with these requirements should the subsequent decision of the appeal process not be in the student’s favour.
  • 7.3. The entitlement of the appellant to proceed on the programme of study will continue until the date of the letter formally notifying the appellant of the final outcome of their appeal (i.e., dismissal of the appeal or Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board’s reviewed decision). This letter will inform the appellant whether they are entitled to continue on the programme.
  • 7.4. Appellants shall receive regular communication from the Registry regarding the progress of their appeal.

8. Confidentiality:

  • 8.1. The appeal is kept as confidential as possible and within ACM. Appellants who notify the Registry that information has been included of a highly confidential and personal nature will, if requested, be informed in advance of the positions of persons to whom the information will be disclosed.
  • 8.2. Documents will be kept on confidential file for up to six years. After that, apart from a copy of the notification to a student of the final decision, they may be destroyed.

9. Procedure for considering an appeal:

  • 9.1. If the Secretary to Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board considers that there may be grounds for appeal, the Chair of the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board or any other appropriate person will be requested to submit a written statement to the Secretary to Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board providing the required information. These written statements should be in a form suitable for use as evidence at an Appeal Panel.
  • 9.2. In normal circumstances, within 2 months of receiving the full appeal, the Secretary to Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board decides whether, at first sight, there are grounds for the appeal to proceed by considering the following documents, where appropriate:
    • 9.2.1. The appeal submitted by the appellant;
    • 9.2.2. The relevant record of the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board including the appellant’s detailed confirmed assessment grades;
    • 9.2.3. Provisional assessment grades where relevant;
    • 9.2.4. Written statements made to the Secretary to Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board concerning the case;
    • 9.2.5. Foranappealagainstapenaltyimposedforacademicmisconduct:the academic misconduct file provided by the Secretary to Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board.

10. The grounds for appeal are not established:

  • 10.1. In every case unless rejected under ‘5. Reasons why an Academic Appeal will Normally be Rejected’, where the Secretary to Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board considers that there is no ground for appeal on the evidence available they shall consult the Head of School and/or Registrar neutral to the appellant.
  • 10.2. In normal circumstances, within 3 months of receiving the full appeal, they may dismiss the appeal provided that the Head of School/Registrar agrees.
  • 10.3. An appeal submitted under ‘4.1.1 Reasons for Making an Academic Appeal, extenuating circumstances’, may be dismissed where the student’s assessment performance was not one under which discretion may be exercised (see E4.4.3 of the Middlesex University Regulations), unless the circumstances are such as to merit the possibility of a severe injustice being done. An appeal submitted under 4.1.2, 4.1.3, 4.1.4, 4.1.5 or 4.1.6 may not be dismissed for this reason.
    • 10.3.1. A decision on an appeal by the Secretary to Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board with the agreement of the Head of School or Registrar is final and no further appeal is possible against it.
  • 10.4. The academic appeal procedures of ACM are now complete. Should the appellant wish to take the matter further, they must follow the Academic Appeal process followed by our awarding bodies as noted in 1.6 above.

11. The grounds for appeal are established

  • 11.1. Where the Secretary to Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board or the Head of School or Registrar or nominee considers that there may be ground for appeal:
    • 11.1.1. In normal circumstances, within 3 months of receiving the full appeal, if appropriate they may offer the appellant an informal settlement of their appeal.
      • 11.1.1.1. An informal settlement means that the Chair of the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board has agreed, on the recommendation of the Secretary to Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board, that the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board will review its decision but will not necessarily alter it. Where an appeal is against the penalty awarded following academic misconduct, an informal settlement means that the Secretary to Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board and the Chair of Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board have agreed, on the recommendation of the Head of School/ Registrar or nominee, that the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board will review its decision but will not necessarily alter it.
      • 11.1.1.2. Where appropriate the Chair of the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board may take Chair’s Action in the student’s favour, and this decision must be reported, in due course, to the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board.
      • 11.1.1.3. The Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board review shall involve full consideration of the appellant’s case and shall be attended by the Secretary to Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board or relevant Head of School/Registrar or their nominee to ensure that the reconvened Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board has taken due and proper account of the appellant’s case.
      • 11.1.1.4. The Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board shall make special arrangements for reviewing an assessment decision as soon as possible after the Chair’s agreement to offer an informal settlement to the appeal and at latest during the next scheduled meeting.
      • 11.1.1.5. The Secretary to Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board shall notify the appellant of the decision of the reconvened Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board within one month of the date of the Board.
      • 11.1.1.6. The appellant may choose not to accept an informal settlement. A letter from the appellant stating the decision not to accept this offer must be received by the Secretary to Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board within 10 working days of the date on the letter offering the informal settlement.
      • 11.1.1.7. An appellant’s failure to reply in writing within 10 working days of the date on the letter offering an informal settlement shall be taken as acceptance of the offer.
      • 11.1.1.8. A decision on an appeal by a Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board is final and no further appeal is possible against it within ACM. Students have the right to follow the Appeals Regulations of the awarding body for their programme.

12. If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome of ACM’s Academic Appeal procedure:

  • 12.1. If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome of ACM’s Academic Appeal procedure, they can appeal to Middlesex University. The Middlesex University Regulations for Appeals apply to all Higher Education programmes and these are set out in Section G of the Middlesex University Regulations which are available online at: http://www.mdx.ac.uk/about-us/policies/university-regulations
  • 12.2. If the student is still unsatisfied, they have the right to directly contact the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). The contact details for the OIA are available in Section G16 of the Middlesex University Regulations linked to above.

Procedures (Academic Appeals)

Degree/Diploma Students:

  • 1. Student completes Academic Appeals form attaching supporting evidence as required, such as relevant emails, reports from staff etc.
  • 2. Student submits Academic Appeals form and supporting evidence to Registry no later than 9am on the day of the deadline in 3.9 above.
  • 3. Registry log request of Academic Appeals form and supporting evidence.
  • 4. Registrar / Head of School assess evidence and make recommendation.
  • 5. Registry informs student of decision via ACM formal Letter of Appeal Outcome and updates MIS.

See more

Acceptable Use of IT Policy and Procedures

1. Policy Statement

1.1. This policy describes how the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) looks upon the issue of the Acceptable Use of IT.

1.2. This policy applies to all computer users (‘Users’) within ACM (including persons who are not staff or students but who have been authorised in writing by ACM to use ACM’s IT facilities) whether they use IT equipment based at ACM’s premises or access the systems provided by ACM via the internet using ACM-owned or private computing equipment. Compliance with this policy does not imply authorisation to use ACM’s facilities.

1.3. This policy is designed to ensure that both are treated in a fair and equitable manner.

1.4. This policy covers:

1.4.1. The use of all ACM IT facilities and systems, which include the local area network (LAN); any other directly or indirectly connected network; and the internet.

1.4.2. The production of any material using ACM IT facilities, including printed output, internet pages, email messages and social media.

1.4.3. The publication of any material relating to ACM systems within and outside of ACM.

1.5. The Director of Marketing, IT and Communications is responsible for managing and reviewing this policy and IT staff are responsible for the effective operation of the Acceptable Use of IT Policy and Procedures outlined below.

1.6. The content of this policy aligns with government legislation, the regulations of ACM’s validating partners and other external stakeholders to whom ACM must make reference.

1.7. The Acceptable Use of IT Policy has a link with the following policies and procedures:
o Academic Appeals
o Academic Misconduct
o Bullying and Harassment
o Equality and Diversity
o E-Safety
o Safeguarding
o Social Media
o Student Disciplinary
o Student Complaints & Grievances

2. Objectives

2.1. To explain in an open, transparent and accessible way how ACM deals with students’ use and misuse of ACM IT facilities and applications.

2.2. To describe:

• how Users or ACM may be liable in law for misuse of the ACM’s IT facilities and applications;

• how Users’ interests and ACM’s interests can be protected;

• how to report abuse, misuse or access to inappropriate materials;

• the action which may be taken against Users if they fail to comply with the rules and regulations set out in this policy.

3. Acceptable Use of IT

Summary of Items Following in this Policy:

• Item 3: Acceptable Use of IT: General Principles
• Item 4: Procedure for reporting abuse, misuse or access to inappropriate
materials
• Item 5: Basic Rules
• Item 6: Email
• Item 7: Unauthorised Use of the Internet
• Item 8: Unintentional Access to Inappropriate Internet Sites
• Item 9: Legitimate Use
• Item 10: Software
• Item 11: Security and Viruses
• Item 12: Offensive or Defamatory Material
• Item 13: Obscenity
• Item 14: Discrimination and Harassment
• Item 15: Extremism & Radicalisation (Prevent Duty)
• Item 16: Data Protection
• Item 17: Monitoring
• Item 18: Availability
• Item 19: Liability for Misuse and Disciplinary Action
• Item 20: ACM’s Liability to Users

3.1. ACM recognises the key role that IT plays in supporting both the educational and business administration needs of the company. ACM is committed to ensuring that both staff and students have access to the necessary facilities and support.

3.2. ACM’s IT facilities are provided to assist with day to day work or studies. Use for any other purpose is only by concession and should be strictly limited with utmost care taken to ensure that nothing is done that will interfere with operations.

3.3. When using ACM’s IT facilities Users must conduct themselves, at all times, in a lawful and appropriate manner so as not to discredit or harm ACM or other Users and at all times in accordance with the contents of this policy. Accordingly, this policy is not a definitive statement of the purposes for which ACM’s IT facilities should or should not be used and ACM reserves the right to apply this policy in a purposive manner.

3.4. ACM reserves the right to place whatever limitations it deems appropriate on usage in order to safeguard the function of its IT facilities and Users’ compliance with any applicable laws and/or the contents of this policy.

3.5. Failure or refusal to comply with this policy is considered to be a serious disciplinary offence which may lead to disciplinary action including, without limitation, withdrawal of services, expulsion/dismissal (with or without notice) and/or referral to the relevant authorities.

3.6. ACM reserves the right to amend any of the rules set out in this Policy at any time, and will notify all staff and students of any changes it makes.

4. Procedure for reporting abuse, misuse or access to inappropriate materials

4.1. If students or staff become aware of any transgressions of the Acceptable Use of IT Policy, they should contact the most appropriate of the following departments via the email address below:

4.1.1 IT: ITSupport@acm.ac.uk
4.1.2 Safeguarding: safeguarding@acm.ac.uk
4.1.3 Human Resources: HR@acm.ac.uk
4.1.4 Registry: registry@acm.ac.uk

4.2 When contacting the appropriate department, please detail the following:

i. When (dates/times);
ii. Where (places);
iii. Who (any names of participants in the transgression);
plus
iv. Names of any witnesses;
v. Any action taken, e.g. reported to a member of staff;
vi. Original copies of any correspondence or written material connected with the issue.

4.3 ACM will ensure the concern is quickly and appropriately addressed.

5 Basic Rules

5.1 Only use ACM’s IT facilities for lawful activities. ACM will not hesitate to contact the police if it discovers unlawful use of ACM’s IT facilities.

5.2 Do not engage in any activity or omit to do anything which could jeopardise the integrity or security of ACM’s IT facilities.

5.3 Keep your ‘Network Identity’, each of your User ‘Accounts’ and associated passwords secure.

5.4 Do not share your own or use someone else’s ‘Network Identity’ and User Account.

5.5 Do not use, or permit others to use, ACM’s IT network for any commercial use, nor for the purposes of endorsing or advertising such activity without the express authority of ACM’s IT Department.

5.6 Do not alter, interfere, add to or remove any physical part of ACM’s IT facilities or any equipment connected or attached to the University’s computing facilities without authorisation. Data points provided for Users are designed to support one computer only and the unauthorised connection of hubs and switches to data points is forbidden.

5.7 Do not access material, or attempt to access material, that you do not have permission to access.

5.8 Do not bypass the login procedure.

5.9 Do not deny (or do anything which has the effect of denying) another Users’ legitimate access to ACM’s IT facilities.

5.10 Do not connect any server, modem, wireless routers and hubs or network routers / switches / hubs to ACM’s IT network, or other similar transmitting device that operates on a wireless frequency without prior written agreement from the IT Department.

5.11 Do not make, store or transmit unlicensed copies of any trade mark or copyrighted work (including software and media files).

5.12 Do not send unsolicited bulk email messages, chain mail or spam.

5.13 Do not deliberately or recklessly undertake activities which may result in any of the following:

• The waste of staff effort or network resources, including time on any system accessible via ACM’s IT network;
• The corruption or disruption of other User’s data;
• The violation of the privacy of other Users;
• The disruption of the work of other Users;
• The introduction or transmission of a virus into the network.

6 E-mail

6.1 ACM encourages Users to use email as a prompt and effective method of communication.

6.2 Users must act responsibly and appropriately when using ACM’s IT facilities to send email, whether internally or externally using the Internet.

6.3 No User should send any email that contains any material that ACM considers or might reasonably be considered by the recipient to be bullying, harassing, obscene, racist, sexist, defamatory, offensive, “chain mail”, incitement to commit a criminal offence or threatening or which contains any malicious code; for example a virus. If you receive an email containing any such material, and you are concerned about this you should inform your relevant Pathway Leader or Manager of Service.

6.4 Users must not send email which might bring ACM into disrepute or purport to be the view(s) of ACM unless the User is authorised in writing to express views on behalf of ACM.

6.5 ACM and ACM on behalf of its externally hosted providers, reserves the right to automatically delete emails which are found to contain viruses. ACM endeavours to protect Users from offensive emails through the operation of ‘Anti Spam filters’ PROVIDED THAT in addition, Users endeavour to reduce the amount of offensive material they receive by the configuration of their email setup to screen out and delete unwanted emails.

6.6 Users hereby agree that emails generated by, or stored on, ACM’s computers may be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection Act as well as potentially disclosable and admissible in evidence, in a dispute.

7 Unauthorised Use of the Internet

7.1 Do not, other than for ethically cleared, properly approved and lawful research purposes (as set out below) visit, view, store, download, transmit, display, print or distribute any material relating to:

7.1.1 Sex or pornography;
7.1.2 Lewd or obscene material of any nature or other material which may be likely to cause offence to another person;
7.1.3 Terrorism or cults;
7.1.4 Hate sites (racial or other).

Users seeking authorisation should obtain prior written approval from the appropriate Module Leader or Line Manager, (and this approval needs to be reconfirmed in writing every 6 months). In addition, Users should not intentionally do anything which enables others to visit, view, download transmit, display, or distribute any material relating to the items listed above.

7.2 Do not attempt to gain unauthorised access to any facility or service within or outside ACM, or make any attempt to disrupt or impair such a service.

7.3 Do not set up or use hardware, or software, on ACM’s own internal network for the purpose of sniffing, hacking, network scanning or keyboard logging without prior written authorization.

7.4 Do not alter or interfere with data, programs, files, electronic mail or other computer material which you do not have the right to alter.

7.5 News Groups, Web Sites, Wikis, Blogs:

7.5.1 Do not post or present information in such a way as may bring ACM into disrepute or otherwise damage ACM’s reputation.

7.5.2 Do not express opinions which purport to be ACM’s view unless you are authorised in writing to express views on behalf of ACM.

7.6 Any transgression or breach of the above restrictions or policies will be deemed as gross misconduct and/or a serious offence which may result in withdrawal of services and/or expulsion or dismissal following a proper hearing of the case. Users will be held responsible for any claims brought against ACM in respect of any legal action to which ACM is, or might be, exposed as a result of User’s misuse of ACM’s IT facilities, including reimbursing ACM for any financial liability which ACM suffers as a result of a User’s actions or omissions. ACM will not hesitate to contact the police if it discovers unlawful use of ACM’s IT facilities.

8 Unintentional Access to Inappropriate Internet Sites

8.1 ACM accepts that mistakes can be made due to unintended responses of search engines, unclear hypertext links, misleading advertisements and typing errors taking Users to inappropriate web pages.

9 Legitimate Use

9.1 There may be circumstances where a User feels that the nature of their work or studies means they have a legitimate reason for accessing and/ or using material prohibited under this Policy. In this circumstance the User must discuss this with their Pathway Leader (students) or line manager (staff) in advance as to the precise reasons for such access and use and no such access and/or use may be undertaken without the express written approval of the Pathway Leader/ line manager. If the Pathway Leader/ line manager is in doubt they must contact the IT Department for advice.

10 Software

10.1 Unauthorised Software:
ACM will take disciplinary action against any User who acquires, uses or distributes unauthorised copies of any software using ACM’s IT facilities.

10.2 Introducing Software:
Users are prohibited from using any software on ACM’s IT facilities which the User and/or ACM is not licensed to use.

10.3 Even if a software product has been properly purchased and licensed, it must not be installed on any PC or Mac without prior approval of the IT department.

10.4 Educational Use Licences:
ACM licenses computer software from a variety of outside sources and many software packages are licensed only for educational use. ACM does not own this software or related documentation and, unless authorised by the software owner, does not have the right to reproduce it. The software used on the LAN or multiple/individual machines may only be used in accordance with the relevant licence agreement and in no circumstances for any commercial use without the express authorisation of the IT Department.

10.5 Distribution of Software:
Users are prohibited from using ACM’s IT facilities to distribute software unless (and not without ACM’s express written approval) it is directly associated with the ACM’s business and where such distribution does not contravene any other part of this Policy.

10.6 Suspected Misuse:
Users should immediately notify the IT Department of any misuse or suspected misuse of software or associated documentation.

10.7 Online Plagiarism and Online Purchasing of Assignments:
ACM is aware of online plagiarism and that sites exist where it is possible to purchase assignments. Users hereby acknowledge and agree that ACM actively monitors Internet use and submitted assignments for evidence of plagiarism. Any abuse or evidence of plagiarism is considered to be a serious offence, and will be dealt with under Academic Misconduct procedures.

11 Security and Viruses

11.1 It is each User’s responsibility to log off from the system when leaving the computer being used to avoid inadvertent security breaches.

11.2 Users must not disclose (including by sending via or placing on the Internet) any material, which incites or encourages or enables others to gain unauthorised access to ACM’s IT facilities.

11.3 It is vital that all Users take all necessary steps to safeguard ACM’s IT facilities from viruses. Accordingly, all Users using personal computers on ACM’s network must ensure that anti-virus software is installed on their desktop / laptop computer and kept up to date and that any unsolicited documents or attachments received are deleted immediately.

12 Offensive or Defamatory Material

12.1 Emails and the Internet are considered to be a form of publication and therefore the use of the Internet, email and the making available of any information online, must not be offensive, (including without limitation bullying, harassing, discriminatory, pornographic, homophobic, excessively violent, obscene, blasphemous, seditious, incite racial hatred), defamatory or in any way break any law relating to published material. Misuse of email or inappropriate use of the Internet by viewing, accessing, transmitting or downloading any such offensive information will amount to a serious offence and/or gross misconduct and may result in withdrawal of services, expulsion/dismissal or other penalties.

12.2 Words and pictures produced on the Internet are capable of being defamatory if, for instance, they are untrue, ridicule a person and as a result damage that person’s reputation. For these purposes, as well as any individuals, a “person” may include ACM or another institution. You must not create or transmit any statement which may be offensive or defamatory in the course of using the Internet or ACM’s IT facilities whether in emails or otherwise. As well as you being personally exposed to potential legal action for defamation, ACM as the ‘Internet Service Provider’ would also be held liable.

13 Obscenity

13.1 It is a criminal offence to publish or distribute obscene material or to display indecent material in public. The Internet or any computer ‘message boards’ qualify as a public place. The accessing or sending of obscene or indecent material using ACM’s IT facilities is strictly forbidden and may result in withdrawal of services or expulsion/dismissal.

14 Discrimination and Harassment

14.1 ACM does not tolerate discrimination or harassment in any form whatsoever. This principle extends to any information distributed on ACM’s IT facilities or via the Internet. Users should not view, use or distribute any material which discriminates or encourages discrimination or harassment on racial or ethnic grounds or on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, race, religion, belief or disability.

15 Extremism & Radicalisation

15.1 “Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. Calls for the death of members of British armed forces are also included in this definition.” (Prevent, Police & Schools Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) 2013)

15.2 Prevention of radicalisation – the “Prevent” duty under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on ACM staff to have due regard to the need to prevent students and staff from being drawn into terrorism, including travelling to join/support terrorist groups. If a student is deemed vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism, support will be provided (in partnership with the local authority Channel panel).

Please refer to Appendix 1 for details regarding the Prevent Duty.

16 Data Protection

16.1 Any work involving processing, storing or recording personal data (information on an identifiable living individual) is governed by the Data Protection Act 1998. It is the User’s responsibility to ensure that personal data is collected and used in accordance with the Act. Further information can be found in ACM’s Data Protection Policy. If Users believe that their work involves the processing, storing or recording of personal data, Users must first obtain confirmation from the Academic Registrar that consent to such processing, storage or recording has been obtained.

17 Monitoring
17.1 ACM reserves the right without notice to monitor Users’ use of ACM’s IT facilities and to access data held on ACM’s IT facilities for justifiable business purposes and in order to perform various legal obligations including:

17.2 where it is suspected that a User is misusing ACM’s IT facilities;

17.3 to investigate misuse of ACM’s IT facilities;

17.4 where ACM has received a request from an authorised external party to monitor a User’s use of ACM’s IT facilities;

17.5 to prevent or detect crime (including ‘hacking’);

17.6 to resolve system performance problems which may otherwise damage the computing services provided to other ACM users; or

17.7 to intercept emails for operational purposes, such as protecting against viruses and making routine interceptions such as forwarding emails to correct destinations.

17.8 ACM reserves the right to automatically block certain network protocols and sites in order to minimise the risk of viruses, hacking, network scanning and other inappropriate file transfer activities.

17.9 ACM maintains logs of user and network activity which may be used in investigations of breaches of ACM’s IT regulations, performance monitoring or provision of statistical reports.

17.10 ACM reserves the right to make and keep copies of emails and data documenting use of email and/or the Internet systems, for the purposes set out above.

17.11 Users hereby acknowledge and agree that ACM has the right to retain copies or delete copies of any data stored on the system so as to comply with ACM’s statutory obligations or, at its own discretion, in accordance with the legitimate purposes stated above.

17.12 In using ACM’s IT facilities, Users implicitly accept this Policy. Consequently Users agree to their activities being monitored in the circumstances given above.

18 Availability

18.1 Users acknowledge that ACM’s IT facilities may not be available for 24 hours 7 days a week. ACM retains the right to limit or prevent access to ACM’s IT facilities for the purposes of carrying out planned or unplanned maintenance, virus monitoring and/or clean up or investigation. Except where ACM cannot exclude or limit its liability as a matter of law, ACM shall have no liability to any User in connection with the non-availability of ACM’s IT facilities howsoever arising, including in negligence.

19 Liability for Misuse and Disciplinary Action

19.1 Civil and Criminal Liability:
Users and ACM are potentially at risk for a range of civil and criminal liability arising from misuse of ACM’s IT facilities. Legal liability can arise from:

• defamation under the Defamation Act 2013;
• copyright infringement under
o the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988;
• breach of confidence;
• negligent virus transmission;
• breach of the Computer Misuse Act 1990;
• breach of
o the Obscene Publications Acts of 1959 and 1964;
o the Protection of Children Act 1978;
o the Telecommunications Act 1984;
o the Communications Act 2003;
• computer hacking;
• harassment and discrimination under:
o the Sex Discrimination Act 1975;
o the Race Relations Act 1976;
o the Disability Discrimination Act 2005;
o the Equality Act 2010;
o the Employment, Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2007;
o the Employment, Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007;
o the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006;
• the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998;
• the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
• the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015

19.2 Misuse of ACM’s IT facilities (including failing to comply with this Policy) may expose both Users personally and/or ACM to court proceedings attracting both criminal and civil liability. Users will be held responsible for any claims brought against ACM for any legal action to which ACM is, or might be, exposed as a result of User’s misuse of ACM’s IT facilities including reimbursing ACM for any financial liability which ACM suffers as a result of Users actions or omissions.

19.3 ACM considers failure or refusal to comply with this Policy to be a serious disciplinary offence which may lead to disciplinary action taken including withdrawal of services and/or expulsion/dismissal with or without notice. Action (including certain penalties) may be taken under ACM’s Student Disciplinary Policy.

19.4 Users acknowledge that it is their own responsibility to create and maintain ‘back- ups’ of any data. The back-ups taken by ACM are used for systems recovery purposes. Users hereby acknowledge and agree that it is not possible to recover any emails and files held on ACM’s IT Facilities.

20 ACM’s Liability to Users

20.1 ACM does not exclude its liability under this Acceptable Use of IT policy (if any) to Users:
• for personal injury or death resulting from ACM’s negligence;
• for any matter which it would be illegal for ACM to exclude or to attempt to exclude its liability; or
• for fraudulent misrepresentation.

20.2 Except as provided above, ACM will be under no liability to Users whatsoever (whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, restitution or otherwise) for any injury, death, damage or direct, indirect or consequential loss (all three of which terms include, without limitation, pure economic loss, loss of profits, loss of business, loss of data, loss of opportunity, depletion of goodwill and like loss) howsoever caused arising out of or in connection the use of ACM’s computing facilities.

20.3 This Policy is governed by the laws of England and Wales and is subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.

APPENDIX 1: Prevent Duty
1. Introduction: Legal Context and the Academy Approach

1.1. The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on all RHEBs (Relevant Higher Education Bodies) to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. This legislation is given specific statutory force through the Prevent duty guidance for higher education institutions in England and Wales, referred to as the ‘Prevent Duty’.

1.2. The underlying considerations adopted by the Academy in implementing the Prevent Duty are:
• a commitment to the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students and all who interact with the Academy, including not being victims of, or complicit with any activities linked to radicalisation;
• preserving equality and diversity as foundations of the Academy life, whilst ensuring these values are not threatened;
• supporting campus cohesion and harmonious relations across all parts of the Academy community;
• that the requirements described in this Policy are implemented in a proportionate and risk-based manner, relevant to the local context in which the Academy campus is based.

1.3. The legal definition of terrorism as defined in the Terrorism Act 2000 applies to the Prevent duty. The Academy acknowledges and upholds the position that the definition of terrorism in the Terrorism Act is broad, in describing it as “the use or threat of action which involves serious damage to property; or endangers a person’s life; or creates a serious risk to the health and safety of the public or a section of the public; or is designed seriously to interfere with or disrupt an electronic system. The use or threat must be designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.”

1.4. Terrorism may take the form of extremist behaviour and acts. The statutory Prevent Duty Guidance defines extremism as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs and calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas”.

1.5. In accordance with this definition, the Academy considers that extremist ideologies, and those who express them, undermine the principles of freedom of speech and academic freedom.

HEFCE is the principal regulator of the Academy and has established a monitoring framework to assess compliance of all Higher Education Providers with the Prevent Duty. The Academy has a legal duty to provide reports and evidence of its compliance with the Prevent Duty to HEFCE, including serious issues which arise related to the Academy’s Prevent responsibilities. HEFCE’s role does not extend to investigating terrorism-related incidents on campus.

See More…

Bullying & Harassment (Students) Policy and Procedures

1. Policy Statement

  • 1.1. This policy describes how the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) looks upon the issues of bullying and harassment.
  • 1.2. This policy applies to all students in ACM buildings, on off-site visits and at other locations while undertaking work placement and is designed to ensure that students are treated in a fair and equitable manner. ACM is not responsible for resolving bullying or harassment taking place at other locations, however support is available to students involved in bullying or harassment incidents.
  • 1.3. The Registrar is responsible for managing and reviewing this policy and all staff are responsible for the effective operation of the Bullying and Harassment policy and procedures outlined below.
  • 1.4. The content of this policy aligns with government legislation, the regulations of ACM’s validating partners and other external stakeholders to whom ACM must make reference.
  • 1.5. The Bullying and Harassment policy has a direct link with the following policies and procedures:
    • Academic Misconduct
    • E-safety
    • Equality and Diversity
    • Health and Safety
    • Safeguarding
    • Student Complaints & Grievances
    • Student Disciplinary
    • Student Disciplinary Appeals
    • Acceptable Use of Information Technology

2. Objectives

  • 2.1. To explain in an open, transparent and accessible way what is classed as bullying and harassment and how ACM approaches allegations of bullying or harassment.
  • 2.2. To describe the steps of the ACM bullying and harassment resolution process, including what support is available at ACM.

3. Bullying and Harassment

  • 3.1. What is Bullying?
    What one person considers bullying may not be considered bullying by another person. Bullying as defined by the Department of Education is: “Behaviour by an individual or group usually repeated over time that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally.’1
  • 3.2. Is it bullying or ‘banter’?
    It may be difficult to identify whether name calling is banter or bullying. A student may feel intimidated or under pressure not to raise a complaint or discuss the incident with a member of staff because others are saying it is just a joke. If it is a one-off incident then it may be that it is banter with no harm intended. However, verbal bullying differs from banter because:

    • There is a deliberate intention to hurt or humiliate.
    • There is a power imbalance that makes it hard for the victim to defend themselves.
    • It is usually (but not always) persistent.2
    • So, if the activity makes the subject feel uncomfortable, if they have requested that it stops but it persists or they do not feel able to ask for it to stop, this is not banter but bullying.
  • 3.3. What is Harassment?
    The legal definition as outlined in the Equality Act 2010 is:‘Unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.’3For further information on protected characteristics please see ACM’s Equality and Diversity policy.
  • 3.4. Harassment may be intentional bullying which is obvious or violent, but it can also be unintentional or subtle and insidious.
  • 3.5. The terms bullying and harassment are often used interchangeably, and many definitions include bullying as a form of harassment. Harassment tends to have a strong physical component and is usually linked to gender, race, disability or physical violence; bullying tends to be a large number of incidents (individually trivial) over a long period comprising constant unjustified and unsubstantiated criticism.
  • 3.6. Hate Crime: Hate crime is any offence committed against a person or property which is motivated by the offender’s hatred of people because they are seen as being different. People do not have to be a member of a minority community to be a target of hate crime. Any incident where an individual or group of people are targeted because they are believed to be of a different race, religion/belief, sexual orientation, gender identity or have a disability can be reported as a hate crime.
  • 3.7. Bullying and harassment can come in different forms, some of which are described in Appendix 1. 3.8. Bullying and harassment are not necessarily face to face; they may be written communications (such as notes, emails, SMS texts or posts on social networking sites); other visual communications (such as photos, pictures or videos); or verbal communication (including via the telephone).

4. General Principles for Dealing with Allegations of Bullying or Harassment

  • 4.1. ACM does not tolerate bullying, harassment or disrespectful behaviour by any student or member of staff against another/others for any reason. ACM is committed to the elimination of discrimination under all of the nine protected characteristics as defined by the Equality Act 2010, which are: age; disability; gender reassignment; marital and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation.
  • 4.2. ACM recognises that all students have the right to be treated with dignity as described in the Human Rights Act 1998, regardless of their background or protected characteristic and encourages all students to behave in such a manner towards each other.
  • 4.3. All members of staff have a responsibility to ensure that suspected bullying or harassment is dealt with promptly, fairly and consistently whether it is reported by the victim or not. Any student or parent/carer who reports a case of bullying/harassment needs to know that the allegation will be taken seriously and investigated promptly but no promises can be made on the outcome until the investigation has taken place.
  • 4.4. Students who are being subjected to bullying, harassment or discrimination may be vulnerable and feel reluctant or afraid to complain. They may suffer in silence rather than have attention focused on them or risk some form of reprisal. These victims are most likely to simply want the unacceptable behaviour to stop. This means that all ACM staff and students should be aware of the impact of their behaviour on others and be prepared to listen and respond if someone asks them to alter their behaviour because it is offensive in some way. Examples of signs of bullying can be found in Appendix 2.
  • 4.5. Students should be clear on how they can report suspected cases of bullying/harassment. In the first instance, tutors should be able to deal with personality clashes and minor incidences of bullying through local mediation (see below for procedures). However if the allegation is serious, more formal disciplinary action will need to be taken. At this point all disciplinary procedures should be followed.
  • 4.6. Witnesses have a role to play and have the power to drastically reduce bullying by letting a staff member know in confidence what is happening, by distracting the bully, by showing support to the target of the bullying. A witness should not physically intervene.
  • 4.7. A student who brings a complaint in good faith, or assists in an investigation, shall be protected from any form of victimisation regardless of the outcome.
  • 4.8. Malicious allegations will be subject to the ACM Student Disciplinary Policy and Procedure.
  • 4.9. Managers, staff and students may approach Registry for advice and support at any stage.

5. Making a complaint of bullying or harassment

  • 5.1. In order to make a complaint against an alleged harasser/bully, a student/ parent/ carer can either speak or write to any member of ACM staff who will follow the procedures (under Initial Recording of an Allegation) below.
  • 5.2. The process for dealing with bullying/harassment has to be acceptable to the alleged victim if they have made a complaint. The alleged victim should be given a copy of this policy and procedure for information and should be asked to confirm if they find the procedure acceptable. At this stage, the student should also be asked to consider the question; “What would you like the outcome to be?”
  • 5.3. A number of different alternatives can be discussed:
    • 5.3.1. An informal approach which will involve a local mediation meeting between both parties. The intention is to achieve some reconciliation to allow for students to co-exist and be successful at ACM.
    • 5.3.2. A formal complaint will be investigated under the Student Disciplinary Policy and Procedure.
  • 5.4. Where appropriate, reference should be made to protected characteristics (under 4.1 above) and potential discriminatory acts.

6. Allegations Against Staff (By Students)

  • 6.1. Any allegation against a member of staff should be reported to the appropriate Head of School or Department Manager who will liaise with the Registrar and Human Resources Manager as a matter of priority. Consideration will be given, in serious circumstances, as to whether suspension of the staff member, pending an investigation, should be requested from a member of the Executive Team.
  • 6.2. In the event that the allegation is made by a young person (under 18) or adult at risk, the Registrar or Designated Safeguarding Lead must be involved in any initial discussions from a potential safeguarding perspective.

2 Safe from Bullying in further education colleges, Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), p.5

3 Equality Act 2010, Chapter 2, 26

Procedures (Bullying and Harassment):

Initial Recording of an Allegation:

  • 1. However informal the support at this stage, staff must:
    • Understand bullying and harassment
    • Be familiar with the ACM policy
    • Be able to give information
    • Be able to explain options
    • Be able to help students to understand that they can do something if they want to but are not under any pressure to do so
  • 2. If a student or parent/carer reports a case of bullying to a member of ACM staff, they should:
    • a. Reassure the student/ parent/ carer that the matter will be dealt with as quickly and sensitively as possible. No promises should be made about the outcome.
    • b. Talk to the student/ parent/ carer and find out what has happened. Keep notes of this conversation. Try to find out:
      • When (dates/times);
      • Where (place);
      • Who (names of the bully/bullies);
        Plus
      • Names of any witnesses;
      • Any action taken, e.g. reported to a member of staff;
      • Original copies of any correspondence or written material connected with the issueStudents / parents / carers are not always keen to give this information out as they are  concerned about the repercussions if the bully/bullies find(s) out. Please reassure them as we cannot deal with specific cases of bullying if we do not have this information.
    • Statements should also be sought from others present at the alleged incident(s) to include the following:
      • i. When (dates/times);
      • ii. Where (places); iii.
      • Who (names of the bully/bullies); iv.
      • What actually happened.This information will be used as evidence in any subsequent disciplinary proceedings or inform any mediation process.
    • Sometimes counter allegations are made by the alleged perpetrator. The student/parent/carer initially reporting the bullying/harassment should be made aware of this possibility and sensitively asked whether they are aware of any claims that the alleged perpetrator might make. They should be re-assured that this would not condone the behaviour they are reporting and that an investigation will still go ahead.
    • Email the information about the allegation to the Head of School of the target of the bullying allegation, copying in the Registrar and the Head of Teaching and Learning.
    • If Safeguarding issues are involved, also copy in the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
  • 3. The Head of School may suggest you deal with the situation if it is straightforward and you feel that you are able e.g. name-calling in a classroom situation. You should follow the Local Mediation procedures below.
  • 4. The Head of School may invite parents to discuss the problem and in extreme circumstances may involve the police.
  • 5. Any allegations must be taken seriously and investigated as a priority and an initial assessment made within 24 hours.

Local Mediation:

  • 1. In some instances, and with the agreement and understanding of the target, the issue may be resolved informally through a facilitated meeting or mediation meeting.
  • 2. The informal process is facilitated by the Head of School and where appropriate, the Designated Safeguarding Lead and a member of Registry to support the process. Registry will offer support, guidance and advice on the options available to students.
  • 3. The alleged harasser/bully should be informed in writing (via email or letter) that a complaint has been made against them and be provided with a copy of this policy and procedure. The event should be noted on the students’ records within the ‘Cause for Concern’ (CFC) section.
  • 4. Once the alleged harasser/bully has been made aware of the complaint, the alleged offender must be given the right to respond. The alleged offender has the right to be accompanied by a parent, mentor, friend or member of the Student Union or where appropriate, Registry.
  • 5. Mediation meeting: The Head of School/mediator should follow this procedure to investigate the allegation:
    • The Head of School/mediator should speak to each party alone. Both parties should define the problem as they see it;
    • The Head of School/mediator identifies the key issues for both parties – these are listed on paper;
    • At the end of the individual session with the Head of School/mediator, the Head of School/mediator ascertains whether or not the parties are willing to meet together, along with the Head of School/mediator. This is the point when real mediation can take place, if both parties are willing to try, to move towards reconciliation;
    • At the joint meeting, led by the Head of School/mediator, both parties should be encouraged to speak and express their opinion with only one person allowed to speak at a time. The mediator needs to firmly control the meeting to ensure it does not turn into a battle;
    • The Head of School sets up a plan of action which will satisfy each party and obtains agreement on this;
    • If there is agreement between the parties involved that the behaviour was a breach of this policy, and a clear commitment not to repeat the behaviour established, then the matter is considered successfully resolved.

Monitoring

  • 1. The bullied student is considered ‘at risk’ and monitored for a minimum of six weeks. Tutors will be responsible for monitoring the student’s progress closely and ensuring that access to appropriate support is available.
  • 2. A follow-up one-to-one meeting should be arranged with the bullied student for the end of the six week period to confirm whether the situation has been permanently resolved.
  • 3. If the mediation meeting does not resolve the issue then it will be taken to the formal stage. ACM withholds the right to take a complaint directly to the formal stage if they feel the seriousness of the complaint warrants it.

Formal Stage:

  • 1. If the informal stage does not resolve the issue, or the issue is sufficiently serious, then the matter should be referred directly to the ACM Student Disciplinary Policy and Procedures.
  • 2. It is important that the severity of the allegation is recognised and referral is directly to an appropriate level. Bullying or harassment, if proven, and by its very nature, should be treated as at least serious misconduct.

Appendix 1:

Bullying:

  • 1. Bullying can come in different forms including but not limited to:
    • Physical contact which is unwanted, or inappropriate sexual comments
    • Unwelcome remarks about a person’s age, dress, appearance, race or marital status or any other protected characteristic
    • Jokes, offensive language, gossip, slander, sectarian songs and letters
    • Spreading malicious rumours
    • Posters, graffiti, obscene gestures, flags, bunting and emblems
    • Isolation or non-cooperation and exclusion from social activities
    • Pressure to participate in political/religious groups
    • Intrusion by pestering or stalking
    • Failure to safeguard confidential information
    • Shouting at staff or students
    • Setting impossible deadlines or tasks
    • Persistent criticism
    • Personal insults
    • Ridiculing or demeaning someone – picking on them or setting them up to fail
    • Power imbalance.

Harassment:

  • 1. The Equality Act prohibits three types of harassment. These are:
    • harassment related to a ‘relevant protected characteristic’;
    • sexual harassment; and
    • less favourable treatment of a student because they submit to or reject sexual harassment or harassment related to sex or gender reassignment.
  • 2. Acts of harassment usually centre on unwanted, offensive and intrusive behaviour with a sexual, racial or physical component. Measures to identify acts of harassment relate to the Equality Act 2010. The Equality Act describes harassment as unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, and the conduct has the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of the other, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
  • 3. In deciding whether conduct has the effect of violating the dignity of the other, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment each of the following must be taken into account
    • The perception of the person affected by the behaviour
    • The other circumstances of the case
    • Whether it is reasonable for the conduct to have that effectThe relevant protected characteristics are:
    • age;
    • disability;
    • gender reassignment;
    • race;
    • religion or belief;
    • sex;
    • sexual orientation.
      It should be noted that the harassment may not necessarily be directed against the complainant but which nevertheless he or she finds offensive.

Appendix 2:

Signs and Symptoms

A student may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied or harassed. Staff should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a student:

  • Is frightened of walking to or from the institution
  • Doesn’t want to go on the institution/public bus
  • Begs to be driven to the institution
  • Changes their usual routine
  • There is an increase in unauthorised absence
  • Becomes withdrawn, anxious or lacking in confidence
  • Attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
  • Begins to do poorly in their work
  • Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
  • Is bullying other students
  • Stops eating
  • Is frightened to say what’s wrong
  • Gives improbable excuses for any of the above
  • Is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone
  • Is nervous and jumpy when a text or cyber message is received

Persistent Bullying and/or Harassment Can Lead To:

  • Low self esteem
  • Shyness
  • Poor academic achievement
  • Isolation
  • Threatened or attempted suicide
  • Constant high levels of stress and anxiety
  • Frequent illness such as viral infections
  • Aches and pains in the joints and muscles
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Tiredness, exhaustion, constant fatigue
  • Sleeplessness, nightmares, waking early
  • Flashbacks and replays, obsessiveness
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, ulcers, shingles, urticaria
  • Poor concentration, can’t concentrate on anything for long
  • Bad or intermittently-functioning memory, forgetfulness, especially with trivial day-to- day things
  • Sweating, trembling, shaking, palpitations, panic attacks
  • Tearfulness, bursting into tears regularly and over trivial things
  • Uncharacteristic irritability and angry outbursts
  • Being constantly on edge
  • Hypersensitivity, fragility, isolation, withdrawal
  • Reactive depression

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Deferral of Assessment Policy and Procedures

1. Policy Statement

  • 1.1. This policy describes how the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) looks upon the issue of Deferral of Assessment
  • 1.2. This policy applies to all students and is designed to ensure that students are treated in a fair and equitable manner.
  • 1.3. The Registrar is responsible for managing and reviewing this policy and Registry staff are responsible for the effective operation of the Deferral of Assessment Policy and Procedures outlined below.
  • 1.4. The content of this policy aligns with the regulations of ACM’s validating partners and other external stakeholders to whom ACM must make reference:
  • 1.5. For students studying on a Higher Education course (Cert HE or Degree) this policy applies in full, as per the Regulations of Middlesex University.
  • 1.6. Students studying on a BTEC Diploma are subject to guidelines as defined by Pearsons, therefore deferral of assessment is applied in a different way from how it is applied to students on ACM’s Higher Education courses (see item 4 of the Deferral of Assessment Procedures below).
  • 1.7. Deferral of Assessment has a direct link with the following policies and procedures:
    • Academic Appeals
    • Assessment
    • Attendance
    • Equality and Diversity
    • Extenuating Circumstances
    • Online Submission

2. Objectives

  • 2.1. To explain in an open, transparent and accessible way how ACM will treat students who submit a request for Deferral of Assessment.
  • 2.2. To describe the steps of the Deferral of Assessment process.

3. Deferral of Assessment

  • 3.1. Deferral of assessment or reassessment may be granted where exceptional circumstances prevent a student from completing assessment through no fault of the student. Deferral may only be granted by Registry acting under authority of a Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Examination Board.
  • 3.2. Students must advise Registry of the circumstances surrounding the request for deferral and provide, where appropriate, a medical certificate or other supporting evidence. If sufficient evidence is not provided within one month of the submission of this form, the request will be rejected automatically.
  • 3.3. The final deadline for application to Registry for deferral is no later than 10 working days following the assessment deadline. Any request for deferral after this deadline will not normally be granted except where exceptional circumstances have prevented the student from applying for deferral at the appropriate time, and it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of ACM why they were unable to meet the deferral deadline.
  • 3.4. Deferral of assessment may affect the decision of a Student Progression and Assessment Board on whether a student may proceed to the next stage of their programme, and in what mode of study.
  • 3.5. Deferred assessment in a module must take place at the next available assessment opportunity unless a further deferral is exceptionally granted by Registry.
  • 3.6. In all other instances failure to complete assessment normally results in the failure of the module (0%) should the required learning outcomes not be met.
  • 3.7. Deferred assessment which is failed must be reassessed at the next available opportunity.
  • 3.8. Students who have deferred assessment are not entitled to further tuition in the deferred component.
  • 3.9. A student is not entitled to undertake deferred assessment if the qualification which contains the module has already been awarded.
  • 3.10. No guarantee can be given that, following deferral of assessment or reassessment beyond the next available opportunity, the module content and form of assessment will remain unchanged. Normally, deferred assessment or reassessment will not normally be permitted beyond two years following commencement of study for the module.

4. Appeals

  • 4.1. Students have the right to appeal the decision on a Deferral of Assessment request. Please refer to the Internal Academic Appeals policy for details.

5. Extenuating Circumstances

  • 5.1. If the assessment period has passed or the reason for deferral of assessment is severe, the student may have reason to make use of ACM’s Extenuating Circumstances policy and procedures.

Procedures (Deferral of Assessment)

  • 1. Student completes Deferral of Assessment form attaching supporting evidence as required:
    • Illness or injury – an original medical certificate must be provided and be signed, dated and stamped by an approved Doctor/Surgery/Hospital. It must state what you are suffering from, the period of time affected and how it may affect your academic performance
    • Death of a relative or friend – normally a copy of the death certificate
    • Burglary or theft – a Police crime report or case reference number
    • Public transport delay of over 1 hour – a letter from the Operating Company Private transport problem – will only be considered if acceptable authoritative evidence is supplied
  • 2. Student submits Deferral of Assessment form and supporting evidence to Registry no later than 10 working days after the recorded deadline. Supporting evidence should be submitted no later than 20 working days after submission of the Deferral of Assessment form, otherwise the request may be rejected.
  • 3. Registry log request of Deferral of Assessment form and supporting evidence.
  • 4. Registry assesses evidence and accepts or rejects the request: Degree students: Where deferral is authorised, and is categorised as a first attempt, work will be assessed without penalty. If deferral is not authorised and/or work is categorised as a second attempt, a capped mark (minimum PASS grade – 40%) will be recorded for that assessment. Diploma students: For students studying on a BTEC Diploma, where deferral is authorised it is categorised as a first attempt. The student will then be given a date by which the assessment must be completed. If deferral is not authorised, or the reassessment deadline is not met, further opportunities to complete this assessment may not be possible.
  • 5. Registry informs student of decision in writing, the date set to complete the outstanding work (if applicable) and the Academic Appeals Policy and Procedure. Registry also updates the student’s record on the MIS. 6. Students will receive a response to their submitted form within 5 working days.
  • 7. The following would not normally be considered acceptable as a reason for deferral of assessment:
    • Gig or other professional engagement that affects completion of assessment
    • Wedding of a family member or friend
    • Death of a pet
    • Holiday which takes place during term time
    • Strike action on public transport which has been publicised in advance
    • Issues with personal computers / laptops or software for electronic submissions via Handitin (see Online Submission policy)
    • Routine doctor or dental appointments

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Drugs & Alcohol Policy and Procedures

1. Policy Statement

  • 1.1. This policy describes how the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) looks upon
    the consumption of drugs and alcohol.
  • 1.2. This policy applies to all and is designed to ensure that students and staff are treated in a fair and equitable manner.
  • 1.3. The Registrar is responsible for managing and reviewing this policy and all staff are responsible for the effective operation of the Drugs and Alcohol policy and procedures outlined below.
  • 1.4. The content of this policy aligns with government legislation, the regulations of ACM’s validating partners and other external stakeholders to whom ACM must make reference.
  • 1.5. The Drugs and Alcohol policy has a direct link with the following policies and procedures:
    • Academic Misconduct
    • Health and Safety
    • Safeguarding
    • Student Complaints & Grievances o Student Disciplinary
    • Student Disciplinary Appeals o Withdrawals and Interruptions

2. Objectives

  • 2.1. To explain in an open, transparent and accessible way how ACM approaches the issue of drugs and alcohol by ACM staff and students.
  • 2.2. To describe the steps of the ACM process for investigating and resolving issues with staff or students found using drugs and/or alcohol.

3. Drugs

  • 3.1. ACM has a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to drug and substance misuse.
  • 3.2. ACM will normally refer all offences relating to controlled drugs to the police.
  • 3.3. Any student or member of staff found in possession, under the influence of or supplying illegal drugs will be subject to the ACM disciplinary procedure which could result in suspension or expulsion (students) or summary dismissal (staff).
  • 3.4. Please be aware that many drugs that are prescribed for medical conditions can also have adverse side effects, which can be detrimental to health and safety. The warning ‘This drug causes drowsiness –‐ do not operate machinery’ is common on prescription tablets but not always heeded. There can be other effects, which can also cause a hazard in the workplace such as a feeling of cold, sweating, clammy hands etc.
  • 3.5. Staff should always tell their direct line manager or a member of the Human Resources department if their Doctor has prescribed drugs or medication, which could affect their work performance. Drugs do not have to be prescribed to cause side effects.

4. Smoking

  • 4.1. Smoking, including the use of eCigarettes, is not permitted anywhere on ACM premises.

5. Alcohol

  • 5.1. ACM also has a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to alcohol misuse. Unless authorised by management, students and staff are forbidden from consuming alcohol during lessons/work, from bringing alcohol onto ACM premises or from coming into ACM in an unfit state to participate in lectures or other timetabled learning activities. Any breach of this rule by students or staff will be treated as misconduct and is likely to result in suspension or expulsion (students) or summary dismissal (staff).
  • 5.2. Even a small amount of alcohol consumed at lunchtime can reduce reaction times and may cause errors of judgement. In addition the perception of risk can be reduced.
  • 5.3. The “morning after” condition can also lead to serious incidents and accidents, lack of concentration and carelessness.
  • 5.4. If a student or employee feels they have a drink problem, or thinks they are at risk of developing one, they should come forward for help as ACM has a number of various support services it can offer; i.e. counselling.
    • 5.4.1. A student, in the first instance, should either speak to a member of ACM staff, such as Registry, their mentor or Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), who will be able to direct them to the appropriate support structures.
    • 5.4.2. A member of staff, in the first instance, should either speak in confidence to their line manager; or a member of the Human Resources department (which ever colleague they feel more comfortable talking to).

Procedures (Drugs and Alcohol)

  • 1. Any student or member of staff found under the influence of substance (in an unfit state to participate in lectures or other timetabled learning activities), or in possession, under the influence of or supplying illegal drugs will be subject to ACM Student Disciplinary or Staff Disciplinary policies and procedures.
  • 2. ACM will normally refer all offences relating to controlled drugs to the police.

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E-Safety Policy

1. Policy Statement

  • 1.1. This policy describes how the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) looks upon the issue of the safety of students using the internet and electronic communication devices such as email, mobile phones, games consoles and social networking sites, whether using ACM systems or resources of their own.
  • 1.2. This policy applies to all students and is designed to ensure that students are treated in a fair and equitable manner. 1.3. The Director of Marketing, IT and Communications is responsible for managing and reviewing this policy and the IT Department is responsible for the effective operation of the E-Safety Policy outlined below.
  • 1.4. The content of this policy aligns with government legislation, the regulations of ACM’s validating partners and other external stakeholders to whom ACM must make reference.
  • 1.5. The E-Safety policy has a link with the following policies and procedures:
    • Acceptable Use of Information Technology
    • Bullying and Harassment
    • Equality and Diversity
    • Safeguarding
    • Social Media
    • Student Complaints & Grievances
    • Student Disciplinary

2. Objectives

  • 2.1. To explain in an open, transparent and accessible way how ACM views the safety of its students when using the internet.
  • 2.2. To recommend steps which students can employ to maintain their safety when using the internet and other technologies.

3. E-Safety

  • 3.1. ACM recognises the key role that IT plays in supporting both the educational and business administration needs of the company. ACM is committed to ensuring that both staff and students have access to the necessary facilities and support, and remain safe while doing so.
  • 3.2. The breadth of issues classified by Ofsted as falling within e-safety is considerable, but can be categorised into three areas of risk:
    • 3.2.1. content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material
    • 3.2.2. contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users
    • 3.2.3. conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm. (Ofsted Inspecting e-safety guide – published April 2014 and withdrawn July 2014)
      Further examples of risks in these areas can be found in appendix 1.
  • 3.3. ACM considers students’ e-safety to be the responsibility of all members of ACM staff as well as that of ACM’s students.
  • 3.4. Staff members must do all that they reasonably can to ensure that social media environments are safe for staff and students and act accordingly if privacy issues, abuse or bullying take place. For further information about how ACM staff and students are expected to behave on social media, please refer to the ACM Social Media Policy and Procedures.

4. Security:

  • 4.1. ACM will do all it can to ensure that the network is safe and secure. Every effort will be made to keep security software up to date and fit for purpose. Appropriate security measures will include the use of enhanced filtering and protection of firewalls, servers, routers, work stations to prevent malicious or accidental access of ACM systems and information. Digital communications, including emails and internet postings, over the ACM network, will be monitored in accordance with the Acceptable Use of IT Policy.
  • 4.2. Internet usage and monitoring is in place, use of accounts that are password protected enable detailed monitoring to take place, and users also have their own storage and e-mail accounts that are also subject to monitoring.

5. Student Behaviour:

  • 5.1. ACM students are required to:
    • 5.1.1. Be responsible for using ACM’s IT facilities in accordance with the Acceptable Use of IT Policy;
    • 5.1.2. Have a good understanding of research skills and the need to avoid plagiarism and uphold copyright regulations;
    • 5.1.3. Understand the importance of reporting abuse, misuse or access to inappropriate materials and know how to do so;
    • 5.1.4. Understand the importance of adopting good e-safety practice when using digital technologies and realise that ACM’s E-Safety Policy covers their actions outside of the ACM site if related to their membership of ACM.
  • 5.2. When students enrol at ACM they sign an agreement regarding their safe and proper use of the internet and other technologies. Students thereby agree to follow the rules outlined below. ACM expects this behaviour of each student in order to maintain the safety and well-being of all students:

DO NOT:

  • Share your passwords, personal information or location during online activity as this could have unwanted results, including theft of your identity;
  • Agree to meet anyone you have only ‘met’ online; Engage in any communication of a sexual nature – either by phone text (‘sexting’), email, social media or any other form of internet based communication;
  • Expose yourself to inappropriate content, websites or images, even just out of curiosity;
  • Expose yourself or others to any content promoting hate, discrimination or violence;
  • Illegally download any copyrighted content – including music, video, games and applications;
  • Engage in any illegal online activity – including hacking, financial scams, spreading viruses/ malicious software or creating / uploading inappropriate material;
  • Spend long periods online without taking a break. Every hour or so move around and give your eyes a rest.

DO:

  • Conduct yourself online in a professional and responsible manner; be mindful of how you present yourself in the digital domain;
  • Be considerate of other users.
  • Remember that once it’s out there, you cannot get it back. Who is looking at all the personal information you are freely giving away? Think before you share;
  • Beware of in-app purchasing and financial scams which could result in your financial risk;
  • Remember that strangers can hide behind false identities – that A&R man offering you a record deal may not be who he seems to be. If in any doubt please contact the ACM Industry Link Team via industrylink@acm.ac.uk;
  • Remember that visiting certain sites may result in the police visiting you!

6. Plagiarism and Copyright

  • 6.1. Students should be encouraged to question the viability and reliability of materials researched, viewed or downloaded. They should be encouraged to respect the copyright of other parties and to cite reference properly. For more information students should refer to the ‘Harvard Referencing Guide’ available in the ‘Dissertation Guides’ section of the MyACM area of the ACM website.
  • 6.2. For further information about the use of other peoples’ material on social media please refer to the ACM Social Media Policy and Procedures.

7. Cyber-bullying

  • 7.1. Cyber-bullying is a form of bullying which utilises technology. It can happen at all times of the day, with a potentially bigger audience, and more accessories as people can quickly and easily forward on content. The rapid development of, and widespread access to, technology has assisted cyber-bullying and as such it is difficult to police. (Preventing and Tackling Bullying: Advice for Headteachers, Staff and Governing Bodies, October 2014, p.6)
  • 7.2. The wider search powers included in the Education Act 2011 give teachers stronger powers to tackle cyber-bullying by providing a specific power to search for and, if necessary, delete inappropriate images (or files) on electronic devices, including mobile phones. Advice on teachers’ powers to search (including statutory guidance on dealing with electronic devices) is available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preventing-and-tackling-bullying
  • 7.3. Members of staff should refer to ACM’s Bullying & Harassment Policy and Procedures to address any allegations of bullying.
  • 7.4. Anyone found guilty of cyber-bullying will face disciplinary action under ACM’s Student Discipline Policy and Procedures.

8. Extremism & Radicalisation Websites

  • 8.1. “Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. Calls for the death of members of British armed forces is also included in this definition.” (Prevent,Police & Schools Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) 2013).
  • 8.2. Under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 ACM staff have a duty to have due regard to the need to prevent students and staff from being drawn into terrorism, including travelling to join/support terrorist groups.
  • 8.3 ACM keeps its students safe from terrorist and extremist material by setting appropriate levels of filtering on the internet when accessed via ACM IT facilities.
  • 8.4. If ACM staff are concerned that students have been visiting websites that may be affecting students’ views and behaviour, they should contact Registry via registry@acm.ac.uk who will advise on next steps.

9. Procedure for Reporting an E-Safety Incident

  • 9.1. ACM takes students’ online safety very seriously. Students who have worries about any aspects of their e-safety, or that of another ACM student are advised to contact their mentor, another tutor, IT via ITSupport@acm.ac.uk or ACM’s Designated Safeguarding Lead via safeguarding@acm.ac.uk. ACM will ensure the concern is quickly and appropriately addressed.
  • 9.2. When contacting the appropriate department, please detail the following:
    • i. When (dates/times);
    • ii. Where (places);
    • iii. Who (any names of participants in the transgression);
      plus
    • iv. Names of any witnesses;
    • v. Any action taken, e.g. reported to a member of staff;
    • vi. Original copies of any correspondence or written material connected with the issue.
  • 9.3. ACM will act immediately to prevent, as far as is reasonably possible, any harm or further harm occurring.
  • 9.4. Staff should take care not to guarantee any measure of confidentiality to any individual reporting any concerns regarding e-safety.
  • 9.5. Following any reported incident a full investigation will be carried out and ACM will decide on the most appropriate course of action. Depending on the seriousness of the incident, actions may include:
    • 9.5.1. withdrawal of services;
    • 9.5.2. expulsion or dismissal;
    • 9.5.3. involvement of external agencies, such as the police.

10. More Serious Student Safety Concerns

  • 10.1. If ACM staff have a more serious concern about the safety of a student, they should report their concerns to a member of the ACM Safeguarding Team. There will always be a member of the designated safeguarding team on duty to respond to any allegations/ suspicions/ concerns of abuse.
  • 10.2. The ACM Safeguarding Team are:
    • Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) Fiona Lambie – Senior Specialist Tutor and Wendy Finlay – Registrar
    • Helen Hosker – Specialist Tutor
    • Karen Kirk – Assistant Registrar (Student & Programme Administration)
    • Rosita Vazquelero – Student Administration Officer
    • Roger Davis – Part-Time School Manager
    • Adam Pain – Senior Lecture
    • Jo MacKinnon – Head of Mentoring
    • Matt Bates – E-Safety Officer
      You can contact any of the members of the team via: safeguarding@acm.ac.uk; or ACM switchboard number: 01483 500800
  • 10.3. For more information about safeguarding, members of staff should refer to ACM’s Safeguarding Policy and Procedures.

Appendix 1:

Common E-Safety Risks

Content

  • exposure to inappropriate content, including online pornography; ignoring age ratings in games (exposure to violence, often associated with racist language); and substance abuse
  • lifestyle websites, for example pro-anorexia, self-harm or suicide sites
  • hate sites
  • content validation: how to check authenticity and accuracy of online content.

Contact 

  • grooming
  • cyber-bullying in all forms
  • identity theft (including ‘frape’ (hacking Facebook profiles)) and sharing passwords.

Conduct

  • privacy issues, including disclosure of personal information
  • digital footprint and online reputation
  • health and well-being (amount of time spent online (internet or gaming))
  • sexting (sending and receiving of personally intimate images) also referred to as SGII (self- generated indecent images)
  • copyright (little care or consideration for intellectual property and ownership – such as music and film).

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Equality and Diversity (Students) Policy

1. Introduction

  • 1.1 The Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) recognises and encourages the valuable and enriching contribution of all who work within ACM and the rights of all individuals who come into contact with ACM, such as prospective students and other stakeholders. This policy provides the overarching college vision, values and commitments in relation to equality and diversity. It has been written to reflect changes in equality legislation including the Equality Act 2010.
  • 1.2 We are committed to advancing equality of opportunity, respecting and celebrating differences, eliminating discrimination, harassment and victimisation and fostering good relations between all who work or learn at ACM, or use our services. We recognise that all have a right to equality of opportunity regardless of the nine characteristics covered by the Act:
    • i. Race
    • ii. Disability
    • iii. Gender
    • iv. Age
    • v. Sexual Orientation
    • vi. Religion and belief
    • vii. Gender Re-assignment
    • viii. Pregnancy/maternity
    • ix. Marriage/civil partnership
  • 1.3 Other aspects of a person’s identity, background or circumstances can cause them to experience discrimination, for example a person’s socio-economic status, class or background. ACM is committed to advancing equality and eliminating discrimination on these and other grounds.
  • 1.4 Equality and diversity is central to all we do and all college students and stakeholders will be made aware of ACM’s Equality and Diversity (Students) Policy.

2. Principles

  • 2.1 This Policy is underpinned by principles to which all college students and stakeholders should adhere, namely:
    • To create an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all our staff and students are recognised and valued;
    • That successful implementation of the Equality and Diversity (Students) Policy is the responsibility of all college students and stakeholders;
    • That all students and other stakeholders of ACM will be treated with fairness, respect and sensitivity;
    • To aim to create and maintain a working and learning environment where all will have the opportunity to fully participate in order to achieve their full potential in a climate free from discrimination, bullying or harassment.
  • 2.2 Breaches of this Policy will be regarded as misconduct and could lead to disciplinary proceedings
  • 2.3 The Equality Act 2010 recognises the following types of discrimination (please see Appendix 1 for further information):
    • Direct discrimination, including associative and perception discrimination
    • Indirect discrimination
    • Harassment
    • Victimisation
    • Discrimination arising from disability
    • Failure to make reasonable adjustments

3. Scope

  • 3.1 This Policy applies to all students and visitors to ACM. Where students are working at premises other than college locations they will be subject to the Policy. The Policy covers behaviour in the Virtual Learning Environment, by email and other social media.

4. Implementation

  • 4.1 The Equality Act 2010 introduced a Public Sector Equality Duty, in force from April 2010, which requires ACM to give due regard to:
    • a. Eliminating discrimination, harassment or victimisation;
    • b. Advancingequalityofopportunity;
    • c. Fostering good relations.
  • 4.2 Implementation of this Policy is managed via ACM, School and Department plans which will take account of ACM’s commitment to Equality and Diversity and seek to implement its provisions.

5. Responsibility for Implementing the Policy

  • 5.1 ACM will ensure that the its strategic plan has a commitment to equality and diversity; that they receive and review reports on student equality and diversity; that they agree relevant equality targets and impact measures and monitor progress towards these.
  • 5.2 The Senior Management Team and Executive Team will take an active and visible lead in driving forward equality and diversity; provide reports; oversee implementation of this Policy; ensure equality and diversity data is embedded within self assessment reports and development plans and agree quality targets with managers
  • 5.3 This Policy will be kept under review and revised in response to feedback or as circumstances change; evaluation and comment are welcomed from interested parties.

6. Monitoring

  • 6.1 The effectiveness of this Policy in ensuring we are meeting our commitments will be monitored through the regular collection and analysis of data that should be as unobtrusive to individuals as possible, commensurate with this objective.
  • 6.2 College monitoring of the implementation and effectiveness of the Policy will be the responsibility of the Executive and will be undertaken on its behalf by the Senior Management Team. Schools and Departments will be responsible for the gathering and analysis of data as required. Outcomes from analysis of information collated will inform self-assessment processes and college improvement plans. Regular reports assessing ACM’s progress in meeting commitments and improving practice will be submitted to senior managers and governors, together with equality improvement targets.
  • 6.3 ACM will publish annually on our website an Equality and Diversity report which will summarise the outcomes of the monitoring activities and highlight progress and performance in equality and diversity. The Senior Management Team is the lead on this.

7. Tackling Discrimination, Harassment and Victimisation

  • 7.1 We will:
    • a. Actively challenge and tackle all forms of prejudice, discrimination and stereotypical attitudes;
    • b. Deal with all allegations of discrimination, harassment and victimisation sensitively and investigate promptly, fairly and thoroughly;
    • c. Treat any form of discrimination, harassment or victimisation carried out by an individual as a matter for possible disciplinary action. This includes harassment by a third party.

8. Publicity

  • 8.1 The image ACM projects of itself in its promotional material, advertising and public relations activity, sends messages about the people ACM expects and wishes to serve. ACM’s publicity will be regularly reviewed to ensure that:
    • i) it is non-discriminatory to any group or individual;
    • ii) it is provided in hard copy and electronic forms to ensure that information is widely available and accessible by individuals with a range of needs
    • iii) it gives a positive image of a place which welcomes everyone for education and training; i
    • v) applications from members of disadvantaged/under-represented groups are actively encouraged into areas where such groups might be under represented.
  • 8.2 Every effort will be made to ensure that appropriate publicity reaches all groups in the community, enabling the widest possible recruitment.
  • 8.3 All ACM users and potential users should be made aware of:
    • a. the available study support;
    • b. the services available within ACM to support students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities;
    • c. ACM counselling and guidance services;
    • d. the availability of careers guidance.

9. Student Recruitment

  • 9.1 The process of gaining admission to college programmes will be clearly expressed and structured to allow, wherever possible, ease of access to all students throughout the year where appropriate. Prospective students will be offered support and guidance at all stages.
  • 9.2 During the admissions process, students will be asked about their ethnic origin and any learning difficulties and/or disabilities. This information will be used only for the purposes of providing support, for monitoring and as a reference when considering necessary modifications to curriculum, marketing activities, buildings and equipment.
  • 9.3 No ACM employee will discriminate unfairly, directly or indirectly, in the guidance and recruitment of students. 9.4 Students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities will be given the opportunity to discuss ways of overcoming any problems of access (in its widest sense, including access to the curriculum) and should be actively involved in problem solving.

10. Curriculum and Access to the Curriculum

  • 10.1 ACM is an open access institution that seeks to offer learning opportunities to all, whatever their previous level of achievement.
  • 10.2 Programme Handbooks, syllabi and resources will be regularly examined to ensure they do not discriminate, directly or indirectly, against any student group. They should be enhanced by including positive acknowledgement of the contributions made to society by a diversity of cultures.
  • 10.3 Programmes should be accessible to as wide a range of students as possible by enhanced flexibility in both delivery and timing.
  • 10.4 Learning Support will be made available to all students requiring it, subject to resources.
  • 10.5 Ways of modifying curriculum delivery to allow access to classes for individuals with learning difficulties and/or disabilities should continue to be sought.
  • 10.6 Assistive technologies will be developed and deployed to assist and enhance the participation of students with disabilities and impairments in their use of learning opportunities.
  • 10.7 Learning opportunities will be provided for targeted groups to facilitate access and opportunity.
  • 10.8 Procedures for accreditation and assessment will, wherever practicable, be flexible and responsive to the needs of the whole range of students who attend ACM.
  • 10.9 ACM supports the entitlement, for the whole ACM community, to information, guidance and counselling, which will enable individuals to manage their personal development.

11. Complaints or Grievance

  • 11.1 Any student, customer or client who feels she/he is being discriminated against for reason of disability, gender, ethnic origin, age, socio-economic group or sexual orientation should raise the matter formally or informally, as appropriate, with one of the following, in the first instance:
    • His/her Personal Tutor
    • Heads of School
    • Student Mentor
    • Head of Teaching, Learning and Assessment (HoTLA)
    • Registry staff
    • Member of the Senior Management Team
    • Executive Chairman and Directors
  • 11.2 The Student alleged discrimination against students. Complaints and Grievance Procedure is available for cases of
  • 11.3 All complaints will be taken seriously by the person receiving them and the appropriate process will be followed to respond to the complaint. The Senior Management Team will review all complaints regularly and provide an annual report to the Executive.

12. ACM Environment

  • 12.1 By adapting and modifying the environment and facilities, where appropriate, ACM will strive to make students, staff, customers and visitors feel welcome.
  • 12.2 Offensive material of a discriminatory nature will not be displayed in any part of ACM.
  • 12.3 ACM communications and publication (internal and external) will not use language or images which are potentially discriminatory against any group or individual.
  • 12.4 Wherever possible, a facility will be made available, if required, to meet diverse religious needs.
  • 12.5 ACM catering facilities will reflect the needs of and show sensitivity to different dietary needs.
  • 12.6 ACM will strive to comply with the requirements of all current legislation relating to the access rights of people with disabilities.
  • 12.7 Consideration will continue to be given to the provision of off-site tuition, where appropriate, to the needs of disadvantaged groups.

13. Related Policies and Arrangements

  • 13.1 All employment policies and arrangements have a bearing on equality of opportunity. ACM’s policies will be reviewed regularly to ensure they do not contain any discriminatory elements.

14. Review

  • 14.1 The Policy & Strategy Committee will review the Policy annually, monitor its effectiveness and measure its impact. Their findings will be reviewed annually as part of the annual report to the Executive.

1. Legislation

  • 1.1 The Equality Act 2010 replaced existing anti-discriminatory legislation including:
    • The Equal Pay Act 1970
    • The Sex Discrimination Act 1975
    • The Race Relations Act 1976
    • The Disability Discrimination Act 1995
    • The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
    • The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
    • The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006.
  • 1.2 The Equality Act requires equal treatment in access to employment, as well as private and public services regardless of the nine protected characteristics.
  • 1.3 The Equality Act 2010 recognises the following types of discrimination:
    • Direct discrimination, including associative and perception discrimination
    • Indirect discrimination
    • Harassment
    • Victimisation
    • Discrimination arising from disability
    • Failure to make reasonable adjustment
  • 1.4 These are explained in more detail below:
    • (i) Direct Discrimination happens when someone is treated unfairly or less favourably than another person because they have a protected characteristic. This often arises because of assumptions, stereotyping or prejudice. The Equality Act 2010 extended the definition of direct discrimination to cover associated discrimination. This is direct discrimination against someone because he/she associates with another person who has the protected characteristic. The Act also extends the definition of direct discrimination to cover perception discrimination. This is direct discrimination against someone because others think they have a particular protected characteristic. It applies even if that person does not have the particular protected characteristic.
    • (ii) Indirect Discrimination happens when a person imposes or proposes to impose a requirement, condition or practice, that has, or is likely to have, the effect of disadvantaging people with a protected characteristic and which is not reasonable. The Act harmonises the definition of indirect discrimination across protected characteristics (with the exception of pregnancy/maternity). Although pregnancy and maternity are not covered by indirect discrimination, policy and practices that disadvantage pregnant women and new mothers could constitute indirect gender discrimination.
    • (iii) Harassment is defined as unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity, or creating an intimidatory, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual:
      • Related to a protected characteristic (except pregnancy/maternity or marriage/civil partnerships);
        Or
      • Of a sexual nature (sexual harassment) or where a person is treated less favourably because they have either submitted to or rejected sexual harassment, or harassment related to sex or to gender reassignment (this is known as consequential harassment).
        The Equality Act enables volunteers to have the same rights against sexual harassment as those who are paid employees. The Act does not specifically cover harassment on the grounds of pregnancy/maternity or marriage/civil partnerships. However, direct discrimination prohibits treatment such as bullying or harassment which results in a person being treated less favourably.
        The Act changed the definition of harassment from unwanted conduct “on the grounds of” to “ related to”. This means that people who are offended by the conduct even it if is not specifically aimed at them are covered. Also the definition protects in relation to association or perception. For example someone may be harassed because they are perceived to be gay or their partner is disabled.
        Harassment by a third party: employers are potentially liable for harassment of their staff by people they do not employ. (is this if the person who is doing the harassing is on ACM premises?)
    • (iv) Victimisation occurs when someone is treated unfairly, or less favourably, because they have supported someone in making a complaint or an allegation of discrimination under the Equality Act, or because they personally have made an allegation of discrimination. An employee is not protected from victimisation if they have maliciously made or supported an untrue complaint.
    • (v) Discrimination arising from disability. Previous legislation recognised this type of discrimination. However, the Act replaces this with two new causes of action in relation to disability – indirect discrimination (see above) and discrimination arising from a disability. The latter occurs when a person with a disability is treated less favourably because of something connected to their impairment, medical condition or specific learning difficulty. Additionally, indirect discrimination now covers people with a disability.
      A disabled person under the Act is anyone with “a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial long-term adverse effect upon his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.”
      Under legislation ACM has the following duties:

      • not to treat disabled students or employees less favourably for a reason related to their disability
      • to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate disabled students and employees
    • vi) Failure to make reasonable adjustments happens when an organisation fails to make reasonable adjustment for a disabled person to avoid the disabled person being placed at a substantial disadvantage when compared to a non disabled person. Direct Discrimination, harassment, victimisation and failure to make reasonable adjustments can never be justified. Indirect discrimination and discrimination arising from a disability may be permissible if an organisation can “objectively justify” that their actions are a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
      It should be noted that:

      • a. it is unlawful for anyone to instruct, or attempt to induce, or aid another to discriminate, harass or victimise.
      • b. it is normally unlawful to publish an advertisement or notice which indicates an intention to discriminate.
      • c. the law is not interested in the motives behind specific action, but simply in the facts.

2. Positive Action

  • 2.1 The Equality Act permits certain kinds of positive action if an employer thinks that employees or job applicants who share a particular protected characteristic suffer a disadvantage connected to that characteristic, or if their participation in an activity is disproportionately low. The Act allows an organisation to take a protected characteristic into consideration when deciding who to recruit or promote. However, this can only be done when candidates are “as qualified” as each other for a particular vacancy. Evidence would need to be shown that people with that particular characteristic face particular difficulties in the organisation or are disproportionately under represented in the organisation where there is a vacancy. In these circumstances the fact that a candidate has a protected characteristic can be used as a tie breaker when determining who to appoint. Job seekers who share a protected characteristic may not, however, be automatically treated more favourably in recruitment and promotion decisions.

3. Genuine Occupational Requirement (GOR)

  • 3.1 It may be lawful for an employer to treat people differently when recruiting in very limited circumstances. If an employer can show that someone with a particular protected characteristic (on grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion/belief, gender or sexual orientation) is suitable to the job, then the employer can insist that only someone who has that particular protected characteristic is suitable for the job. This would be a genuine occupational requirement (GOR). GORs must be reviewed each time the job becomes vacant, as circumstances may change. For example, an actor playing a character of a particular age may be selected for a play or a GOR may exist where the position involves providing welfare services to people of a particular racial group, where services can most effectively be provided by a member of the same racial group due to their understanding of cultural needs and sensitivities.
  • 3.2 More information on the above can be obtained from the HR Department in the first instance. The Equality and Human Rights Commission are contactable on www.equalityhumanrights.com or 0856 604 6610.

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Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Procedures

1. Policy Statement

  • 1.1. This policy describes how the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) looks upon the issue of Extenuating Circumstances
  • 1.2. This policy applies only to students studying on degree programmes and is designed to ensure that degree students are treated in a fair and equitable manner.
  • 1.3. The Registrar is responsible for managing and reviewing this policy and Registry staff are responsible for the effective administration of the Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Procedures outlined below.
  • 1.4. The content of this policy aligns with the regulations of ACM’s validating partners and other external stakeholders to whom ACM must make reference.
  • 1.5. Extenuating Circumstances have a direct link with
    • Academic Appeals
    • Assessment
    • Attendance
    • Deferral of Assessment
    • Equality and Diversity

2. Objectives

  • 2.1. To explain in an open, transparent and accessible way how ACM will treat students who wish to submit a request for Extenuating Circumstances.
  • 2.2. To describe the steps of the Extenuating Circumstances process.

3. Extenuating Circumstances

  • 3.1 Extenuating circumstances will consist of the recording of one or more personal difficulties, such as ill health, submitted by a student and supported by acceptable evidence and will be considered and may be taken into account by Student Progression and Assessment Boards and Final Exam Boards in determining the classification of degrees and the progression of students.
  • 3.2 Extenuating circumstances will not normally include:
    • 3.2.1 proximity or number of examinations or other assessments
    • 3.2.2 pressure of paid or unpaid employment
    • 3.2.3 misreading of examination timetables
    • 3.2.4 poor time management
    • 3.2.5 scheduling of holidays or time abroad
  • 3.3 No student shall be put in a position of unfair advantage over other candidates; the aim should be to enable all students to be assessed on equal terms.
  • 3.4 All work submitted by students for assessment will be graded on its merits without consideration of any extenuating circumstances known to the marker. Extenuating circumstances will not be used by Student Progression and Assessment Boards and Final Exam Boards to alter the grades of students.
  • 3.5 Students must submit extenuating circumstances to Registry, with documentary evidence, by the deadline of the last day of the examination period for the trimester in which the assessment is due.
  • 3.6 Extenuating circumstances will be considered by Student Progression and Assessment Boards and Final Exam Boards in the following circumstances:
    • 3.6.1 in considering whether a student may progress to the next stage of the programme
    • 3.6.2 in determining the classification for a qualification where the student is borderline or there are conflicting classifications in the profiles of grades
    • 3.6.3 consideration for an aegrotat award (a qualification that is awarded although one or more assessments have been missed due to illness).
  • 3.7 Normally extenuating circumstances shall not be taken into account where the circumstances have already been allowed for (for example, by special assessment arrangements). Special assessment arrangements should be agreed at enrolment in cases of known disability and in any case agreed with the student before an examination period begins.
  • 3.8 Extenuating circumstances brought to the attention of the Chair of the Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board after the deadline specified in 3.5, should normally be considered only if the student was unable or, for valid reasons, unwilling, to disclose them before the deadline.
  • 3.9 The student’s extenuating circumstances will be recorded by Registry at the time of the affected assessment, noting what documentary evidence had been supplied, and the summary made available to the Student Progression and Assessment Boards and Final Exam Boards in the comments section of the results spreadsheet. Access to the original evidence is restricted to the Chair, Secretary and the External Examination Auditor(s) of the Student Progression and Assessment Boards and Final Exam Boards, and the Registrar, for the purposes of assessment, unless the student declares otherwise.
  • 3.10 Only extenuating circumstances submitted directly by the student to Registry will be recorded and considered by the Student Progression and Assessment Boards and Final Exam Boards. Tutors and other staff should advise students accordingly.
  • 3.11 The Student Progression and Assessment Boards and Final Exam Boards will consider the full history of summarised extenuating circumstances. Where necessary the Chair or Secretary will obtain the original evidence from Registry prior to the meeting. The extenuating circumstances may be taken into account in accordance with Regulation 3.6 above, and it should be noted where this is used in determining the classification of the qualification awarded.
  • 3.12 In considering extenuating circumstances the Student Progression and Assessment Boards and Final Exam Boards will wish to:
    • note whether acceptable evidence has been supplied;
    • consider whether the student has performed unexpectedly badly in a given module or modules; whether there is a significant difference between the student’s performance in the year in which they experienced difficulties and their previous or later performance; and whether it correlates with the evidence provided;
    • consider whether, where extenuating circumstances are judged to be very severe and it is not possible for the student to undertake further assessment, an aegrotat degree (which is without classification) be awarded. A student, or authorised representative, must signify acceptance of an aegrotat award within three weeks of notification, and if so accepted waives any right to reassessment.
  • 3.13 Where a Chair considers extenuating circumstances submitted under 3.8 and which have not been considered by the Student Progression and Assessment Boards and Final Exam Boards, the Chair will follow the procedure in 3.12 and may either make a decision in the student’s favour or advise the student to submit an academic appeal to the Registry.

4. Academic Appeals

  • 4.1. Students have the right to appeal the decision on an Extenuating Circumstances submission. Please refer to the Academic Appeals policy for details.

Procedures (Extenuating Circumstances)

  • 1. Student completes Extenuating Circumstances form attaching supporting evidence as required:
    • Illness or injury – an original medical certificate must be provided and be signed, dated and stamped by an approved Doctor/Surgery/Hospital. It must state what you are suffering from, the period of time affected and how it may affect your academic performance
    • Death of a relative or friend – a copy of the death certificate is normally required
    • Burglary or theft – a Police crime report or case reference number is required
    • Public transport delay of over 1 hour – a letter from the Operating Company is required
    • Private transport problem – will only be considered if acceptable authoritative evidence is supplied
  • 2. Student submits Extenuating Circumstances form and supporting evidence to Registry no later than 3pm on the day of the deadline specified in 3.5. Supporting evidence should be submitted no later than 20 working days after submission of the Extenuating Circumstances form, otherwise the request may be rejected.
  • 3. Registry logs Extenuating Circumstances form and supporting evidence.
  • 4. Registry passes summary of Extenuating Circumstances and supporting evidence to the Chair of the Student Progression and Assessment Board and/or Final Exam Board.
  • 5. Registry will not inform the student directly about the result of the Extenuating Circumstances submission as the information is used only in the case of considering whether a student may progress to the next stage of the programme; in determining the classification for a qualification where the student is borderline or there are conflicting classifications in the profiles of grades; or consideration for an aegrotat award. The result of the Extenuating Circumstances will therefore be apparent in the results that the student receives in the normal process of results dissemination.
  • 6. At this stage the student is entitled to appeal the decision of the Student Progression and Assessment Board and Final Exam Board – please refer to the Academic Appeals policy for details.

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Fitness to Study

1 Purpose and Scope

1.1 This policy describes how the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) looks upon an individual’s capacity to participate fully and satisfactorily as an ACM student, both in relation to their academic studies and life in the local community.

1.2 This policy applies to all students and is designed to ensure that students are treated in a fair and equitable manner.

1.3 The content of this policy aligns with government legislation, the regulations of ACM’s validating partners and other external stakeholders to whom ACM must make reference.

2 Reference Points

2.1 Internal:

  • Academic Misconduct Policy
  • Admissions Policy
  • Admissions Complaints Policy
  • Drugs and Alcohol Policy
  • Equality and Diversity Policy
  • Safeguarding Policy
  • Student Complaints & Grievances Policy
  • Student Disciplinary Policy

2.2 External:

  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
  • Equality Act 2000
  • QAA Quality Code, Chapter B4: Enabling Student Development and Achievement

3 Policy Statement

Fitness to Study

3.1 ‘Fitness to study’ refers to an individual’s capacity to participate fully and satisfactorily as a student, in relation to their academic studies and life generally at ACM.

3.2 Capacity refers to an individual’s ability to make authoritative and objective decisions into matters regarding their well-being or academic progress. Capacity refers to temporary or permanent impairment.

3.3 ACM recognises that ensuring the mental and physical well-being of its students is crucial to their learning and academic achievement. ACM is committed to supporting and responding to student needs and to seeking to ensure a positive experience which assists students to engage with their studies and the local community.

3.4 There may be instances where a student’s health or well-being causes ACM concern regarding the student’s fitness to study on their programme/course. ACM has a duty of care to respond appropriately to situations where there are concerns relating to visible signs of illness, mental health difficulties, psychological, personality or emotional disorders and the detrimental impact on the functioning of the individual student and/or other members of the ACM community.

When to use this Policy

3.5 This policy should be used in circumstances where as a result of a known or suspected underlying physical or mental health impairment:

  • A student’s ability to study is neither manageable nor achievable in relation to specific tasks and/or activities;
  • A student poses a risk to his/her own health, safety and/or well-being and/or that of other persons;
  • The student’s behaviour is, or is at risk of, negatively affecting the teaching, learning and/or experience of other students;
  • The student’s behaviour is, or is at risk of, negatively affecting the day-to-day activities of ACM.

3.6 This policy should be used when a student’s fitness to study is a cause for concern and all other procedures or options have been considered or exhausted.

3.7 ACM may choose to initiate another process either alongside or in place of this policy and procedure.

3.8 Staff who have any level of concern about a student’s health or behaviour should consider use of this policy and procedure. If there is a concern of this nature, it is appropriate to explore the student’s health/behaviour and agree supportive action rather than enter into a disciplinary procedure. If a member of staff is unsure about whether to implement this procedure, they can seek advice and discuss their concern with ACM’s Designated Safeguarding Lead or a member of the ACM Safeguarding Team.

3.9 This policy may also be applied if there are concerns about an applicant pre- admission to ACM, which may result in a refusal of a place on application or during the induction period if it is identified that ACM cannot meet the needs of the learner concerned.

4 Responsible Parties

4.1 Implementation and compliance with the Policy, and corresponding Procedure will be overseen by the following designated staff:

  • Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Education Guidance Manager
  • Admissions Manager
  • Head of Education in liaison with Pathway Leaders
  • Quality Assurance and Enhancement Manager

4.2 Decisions and appropriate actions in support of the implementation of the Policy will be authorised by the following designated staff:

  • Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Principal
  • Head of Education

5 Date of Approval and Next Review

Approved on:              25 Jan 2017

Approved by:              Adam Bushell, Principal and Chair of Senior Management Team (SMT)

Next Review:              1 Aug 2018

 

Participation & Attendance Policy & Procedures

1. Policy Statement

  • 1.1. This policy describes how the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) looks upon the issue of student participation and attendance at timetabled activities.
  • 1.2. This policy applies to all students and is designed to ensure that students are treated in a fair and equitable manner.
  • 1.3. The Registrar is responsible for managing and reviewing this policy and Registry staff are responsible for the effective operation of the Participation and Attendance Policy outlined below.
  • 1.4. The content of this policy aligns with government legislation, the regulations of ACM’s validating partners and other external stakeholders to whom ACM must make reference.
  • 1.5. The Participation and Attendance Policy has a link with the following policies and procedures:
    • Academic Misconduct o Assessment
    • Deferral of Assessment o Extenuating Circumstances
    • Student Complaints & Grievances o Student Disciplinary
    • Student Disciplinary Appeals
    • Student Debt Management
    • Student Fees
    • Student Fee Refund
    • Withdrawal and Interruption

2. Objectives

  • 2.1. To explain in an open, transparent and accessible way ACM’s requirements for student participation and attendance.
  • 2.2. To describe ACM’s use of registers to record attendance.
  • 2.3. To describe the procedures by which students properly request permission to be absent from timetabled activities in advance of the session.

3. Participation

  • 3.1. ACM considers that the learning achieved by its students derives from the learning opportunities provided together with the commitment of time and practical effort and the intellectual investment that the student makes.
  • 3.2. ACM defines ‘learning opportunities’ as the combination of the curriculum, tuition, supervision, advice and support, and facilities it makes available to its students so they can learn.
  • 3.3. Students’ contribution to their own learning derives from their readiness to participate in the learning opportunities provided; their preparation for and participation in the classes, workshops, tutorials, practice/studio sessions and other opportunities made available to them; their submission of their work for assessment, their responses made to feedback on their assessments; and their feedback on the learning opportunities they have experienced. Learning best takes place when students take full advantage of the learning opportunities available to them and to do so requires a full commitment to the programme of studies.
  • 3.4. ACM students are expected to commit to study for 40 hours or more each week that their programme is in session. This figure derives from the credit values assigned to each module, where one credit is linked to a notional 10 hours of learning whether with a tutor, other students or self-directed.

4. Attendance

  • 4.1. Attendance at all timetabled activities is compulsory for all students who have agreed to join the programme. The attendance requirements for the programme cover all modules.
  • 4.2. Students are expected to attend 100% of timetabled sessions and registers are taken at all sessions. The registration system is closely monitored and poor attendance can lead to students being denied assessment opportunity, exclusion from certain additional resources or being withdrawn from the programme. Poor attendance can have a negative impact on a student’s academic progress and overall experience.
  • 4.3. Attendance is monitored by Registry and Academic Staff and students will be contacted if they have missed consecutive sessions in a module or if their overall attendance over a two week period falls below 75%.
  • 4.4. Should a Higher Education student’s overall attendance in a module fall below 50% the student may be excluded from the assessment and graded ‘X’ (ineligible for assessment due to unsatisfactory attendance/participation but may be retaken with permission) in the module.
    For Higher Education (Cert HE and Degree) students this is in accordance with the University Regulations on Attendance:
    http://www.mdx.ac.uk/about-us/policies/university-regulations (Undergraduate Taught Programmes – Section C2).
  • 4.5. For Diploma students, this is in line with our Further Education partners.
  • 4.6. Where there are no confirmed extenuating circumstances and the Student has failed to respond to any warnings given within a specific time period (typically 4 weeks) the Student will have their registration terminated.
  • 4.7. Students who leave the programme, for whatever reason, may be liable for any fees as outlined in their contract and ACM’s fee policy or as required through external arrangements such as student loan agreements.

5. Registers

  • 5.1. Registers are taken at the start of all lectures. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they have been marked in the register of lectures they attend. It is not the responsibility of the lecturer to interrupt the flow of their teaching to mark a student in the register if they arrive late.
  • 5.2. If the Student arrives late to a lecture, he/she must see the tutor at the end of the lecture and ensure that they are marked in the register. Attendance cannot be backdated.
  • 5.3. If the Student has attended lectures but failed to gain correct registration, he/she will still be issued with the relevant warnings. Registers are the only legal document that can account for students’ attendance.

6. Absences

  • 6.1. Students should be aware that absences could impact on educational attainment level and the ability to continue on the programme. It can also affect student funding.
  • 6.2. Students must not book tutorials or engage in extra-curricular activities at the time of scheduled lectures.
  • 6.3. Students should ensure that holidays, musical activities (including events/auditions organised by Industry Link) and other non-urgent appointments are undertaken outside of lecture and examination times and other timetabled activity.
  • 6.4. If the situation arises that high-level professional musical engagements, or significant illness, affect the Student’s ability to attend lectures, it may be necessary to ‘interrupt’ their studies. Students should refer to their Head of School in such cases at the earliest opportunity.
  • 6.5. If the Student is absent from a scheduled lecture with mitigating circumstances, he/she must inform Registry. The Student can do this in one of three ways:
    • 6.5.1. complete an Absence form, which is available from Registry;
    • 6.5.2. phoning Registry via the main switchboard number;
    • 6.5.3. emailing registry@acm.ac.uk.
      Students must notify Registry at the earliest opportunity either upon their return to ACM or before the date they will be absent (if known in advance). Students are required to provide the necessary supporting documentation when submitting their Absence form, but if it is not available, no later than 20 working days after submission of the form.

Procedures (Recording of Absence from Timetabled Activity)

  • 1. Student completes Absence form attaching supporting evidence as required:
    • Illness or injury – an original medical certificate must be provided and be signed, dated and stamped by an approved Doctor/Surgery/Hospital. It must state what you are suffering from, the period of time affected and how it may affect your academic performance
    • Death of a relative or friend – normally a copy of the death certificate
    • Burglary or theft – a Police crime report or case reference number
    • Public transport delay of over 1 hour – evidence such as photographic evidence of the delay, screen shot of the website, news report or a letter from the Operating Company.
    • Private transport problem – will only be considered if acceptable authoritative evidence is supplied 
  • 2. Student submits Absence form and supporting evidence to Registry no later than 10 working days after the recorded deadline. Supporting evidence should be submitted no later than 20 working days after submission of the form, otherwise the absence may not be authorised.
  • 3. Registry log Absence form and supporting evidence.
  • 4. Registry assesses evidence and either authorises or rejects the absence.
  • 5. Registry informs student of decision in writing. Registry also updates the student’s record on the MIS.
  • 6. Students will receive a response to their submitted form within 5 working days.
  • 7. The following would not normally be considered acceptable as a reason for absence from timetabled activities:
    • Gig, audition or other professional engagement
    • Wedding of a family member or friend
    • Death of a pet
    • Holiday which takes place during term time
    • Strike action on public transport which has been publicised in advance
    • Routine doctor or dental appointments

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Safeguarding Policy & Procedures

Introduction

The Academy of Contemporary Music believes that it is always unacceptable for a child, young person or vulnerable adult to experience abuse of any kind and recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults, by commitment to practice which protects them.

We recognise that:

  • The welfare of the child/young person/vulnerable adult is paramount.
  • All children/vulnerable adults regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.
  • Working in partnership with children, young people/vulnerable adults, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

ACM recognises that it has a moral and statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of its students. This document offers guidance and outlines procedures that should be followed in all cases of suspected abuse and situations of serious risk.

It applies to all students under the age of 18 or those over 18 who are considered to be ‘vulnerable adults’.

  • A ‘child’ is anyone under the age of 18 years and up to their 18th birthday.
  • A ‘vulnerable adult’ is a person aged 18 years or over who is, or may be:
    in need of community care services by reason of learning or other disability, age or illness, is unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation (Who decides? 1997 Lord Chancellor’s Department and ‘No Secrets’ 2000)
  • Whether or not a person is vulnerable will depend upon surrounding circumstances and/or environment. Each case is judged individually and on its own merits.

The purpose of this policy is:

  • To provide protection for the children and vulnerable adults who receive ACM services.
  • To provide staff with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or vulnerable adult may be experiencing, or be at risk of, serious harm.

This policy applies to all staff employed by ACM.

We will seek to safeguard children and vulnerable adults by:

  • Valuing them, listening to and respecting them.
  • Adopting child/vulnerable adult protection guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct for ACM staff.
  • Recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made.
  • Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, young people, vulnerable adults their parents/carers and staff.
  • Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents/carers appropriately.
  • Providing effective management for staff through supervision, support and training.

We are also committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.

What is Abuse?

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children and vulnerable adults may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger for example, via the internet. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.

Categories of abuse

Physical abuse

  • Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child or vulnerable adult.

Emotional abuse

  • Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child/vulnerable adult such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on their emotional development. It may involve conveying to children/vulnerable adults that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving them opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate.
  • It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed. These may include interactions that are beyond the person’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child/vulnerable adult participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children/vulnerable adults frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or their exploitation or corruption. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment, though it may occur alone.

Sexual abuse

  • Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or vulnerable adult to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not they are aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing.
  • They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children/vulnerable adults in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging them to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming them in preparation for abuse (including via the internet).

Neglect

  • Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child or vulnerable adult’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of their health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
  • provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
  •  protect from physical and emotional harm or danger;
  •  ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
  • It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

(Working Together to Safeguard Children, DCSF 2013)

Other forms of abuse associated with vulnerable adults include: 

Financial Abuse

  • including theft, fraud, exploitation, the misuse of possessions or benefits and pressure applied in relation to financial transactions.

Discriminatory Abuse

  • that is based on a person’s disability, including harassment.

The effects of child abuse/adult abuse are wide-ranging and profound. They vary accordingly to the type of abuse and how long it has been endured but can include:

  • behavioural problems
  • educational problems
  • mental health problems
  • relationship difficulties
  • drug and alcohol problems
  • suicide and self harm
  • in extreme cases, death following abuse.

There is a statutory duty on local authorities to take steps to protect children and the police have powers so that they can take action to protect them where necessary. The police and Children’s Social Care have the primary legal responsibility to protect children and investigate allegations of abuse.

In relation to vulnerable adults, the government set out six key principles which apply to all sectors and settings:

  • Empowerment – People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent.
  • Prevention – It is better to take action before harm occurs.
  • Proportionality – The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
  • Protection – Support and representation for those in greatest need.
  • Partnership – Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
  • Accountability – Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.

Recognising Abuse

It is recognised that some staff and students will have little, if any, contact with children/vulnerable adults at work and consequently may not be in a position to recognise abuse.

Abuse can and does occur both within families and in institutional or community settings. It is acknowledged that some individuals seek to use voluntary and community organisations to gain access to children/vulnerable adults, and that it is necessary to have an open mind when the possibility arises that a member of staff or a student attending the ACM is suspected of abuse or inappropriate activity.

Physical signs that may indicate that someone is being, or has been, abused:

  • unexplained or suspicious injuries, particularly if such an injury is unlikely to have occurred accidentally
  • an injury for which the explanation appears inconsistent
  • bruising/burns/cigarette burns/fractures which are unexplainable
  • genital injuries/infections/bleeding or discomfort
  • sudden speech disorders, delayed development, failure to grow
  • constant hunger, stealing food, frequently dirty, smelly,
  • untreated medical conditions or lack of treatment for illness or injury

Behavioural signs that may indicate a child/vulnerable adult has been abused or is being abused:

  • inappropriate sexual awareness or sexually explicit behaviour
  • the child appears distrustful of adults
  • unexplained changes in behaviour
  • aggressive behaviour or severe temper outburst
  • running away, not wanting to go home
  • cover up clothing to hide injuries
  • flinching when approached, fear of adults, fear of men or women
  • depression, low mood, self harm, eating disorders
  • sexualised language, play, drawings or knowledge
  • nightmares, bed wetting
  • behaving increasingly secretively, possessing unexplained amounts of money, gifts
  • drug and alcohol abuse, suicide
  • excessive lack of confidence, need for approval, attention or affection
  • missing classes, appointments, being continually late
  • difficulty forming relationships, no friends

The recognition of abuse is not easy and it is not the place of staff and students to make such a judgement. However, it is their responsibility to act on concerns in order to safeguard the welfare of the child/vulnerable adult. If you feel uneasy about something you have seen or heard which could be deemed to be abuse, seek advice from the ACM Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or a member of the Safeguarding Team.

Doing nothing is not an option

In some cases of suspected abuse parents/carers may not be informed first. This is the decision of the DSL.

Reasonable physical restraint to prevent a child/vulnerable adult from harming itself, another person, or from causing serious damage to property is not deemed to be abuse.

How to respond to signs or suspicions of abuse.

All ACM staff should report their concerns to a member of the ACM Safeguarding Team, there will always be a member of the designated safeguarding team on duty to respond to any allegations/suspicions/concerns of abuse. The Safeguarding Team includes a member of the Senior Management Team. All members of the team will receive training to carry out these roles and this will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

The ACM Ltd Safeguarding Team at the Guildford site are:

  • Fiona Lambie – Senior Specialist Tutor and Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) 01483 501211
  • Rene Ferm – Registrar and Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) 01483 501219
  • Karen Kirk – Student Relations 01483 500816
  • Helen Hosker – Specialist Tutor 01483 500856
  • Roger Davis – Part-time School Manager 01483 500882
  • Adam Pain – Senior Lecturer 01483 500837
  • Jo MacKinnon – Head of Mentoring 07802 439323

Responding to allegations of abuse against a member of staff or another student.

Any allegation made against a member of staff or another student will be treated seriously and investigated immediately. The DSL will take appropriate action to safeguard the welfare of the child/young person, vulnerable adult or any others who it may affect. If necessary, the police will be notified.

How to respond to a child/young person or vulnerable adult telling you about abuse.

There are some basic principles in reacting to suspicions, allegations, and/or disclosures.

What to do:

  • stay calm
  • listen, hear and believe
  • ask open ended clarification questions only
  • give the child/young person/vulnerable adult time to say what they want
  • reassure and explain that they have done the right thing in telling. Explain that only those people who need to know will be informed
  • act immediately in accordance with the procedure in this policy
  • record in writing as near verbatim as possible what was said as soon as you can
  • report to the Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • record the events in a report.

What not to do:

  • do not over-react. It is extremely unlikely that the child/young person/vulnerable adult is in immediate danger
  • do not probe for more information, questioning the child/young person/vulnerable adult may affect how their disclosure is received at a later date
  • do not make assumptions, paraphrase and do not offer alternative explanations
  • do not promise confidentiality to keep secrets or that everything will be ok (it might not)
  • do not try to deal with it yourself
  • do not make negative comments about the alleged abuser
  • do not ‘gossip’ or disclose any information with colleagues about what has been said to you
  • do not make the child/young person/vulnerable adult repeat the story unnecessarily

It is the duty of anyone who works with children/young people/vulnerable adults to report disclosure of abuse.

It is not for staff to decide whether or not a suspicion or allegation is true. All suspicions or allegations must be taken seriously and dealt with according to this procedure.

If the disclosure is made by a parent/guardian/carer, you should follow the same procedure and refer them to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Individual staff should never deal with abuse disclosures in isolation and should always refer to the DSL with responsibility for child/vulnerable adult protection. However, a key guidance in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’(2015) is the explicit statement that “in exceptional circumstances, such as in emergency or a genuine concern that appropriate action has not been taken, staff members can speak directly to children’s social care”.

No member of staff should give a student their personal phone numbers, email address or home address.

Once a referral is made to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

The DSL will make an initial assessment of the allegation; consult with the staff involved and other designated staff as appropriate. This will usually involve speaking to the student at the earliest opportunity. A first priority is to ensure that the student is not in any immediate danger. Designated staff will seek medical attention for the student if the student is suffering from a serious injury.

The student may be asked to repeat the disclosure they have made. Every effort will be made to communicate with the student in a way that is appropriate to their age, understanding and preference. This is especially important for students with a disability or those whose preferred language is not English.

The student will be asked if there are younger children or any vulnerable adults who might also be at risk. However the DSL will avoid asking leading questions and will not attempt to investigate the allegations. A written account will be made of the disclosure and the context and the student may be asked to sign it.

If the student wishes to take the allegation forward, the DSL should support the student in contacting Children’s Social Care, the police or the NSPCC. When a student is not sure about taking the allegation forward, the DSL can, without necessarily identifying the person in question, discuss concerns with Children’s Social Care or the police or with the Surrey local authority Designated Officer (DO) so that an informed decision can be reached.

Following consultation, the DSL will ask for the student’s views and whether they can understand the significance and consequences of a referral to Children’s Social Care or the police.

However, it remains the responsibility of the DSL to take whatever action is necessary to ensure the student’s safety and that of any other children or vulnerable adults who may be at risk. This may on occasion involve a referral against the wishes of the student involved.

Where practicable, concerns will be discussed with a parent or guardian unless this may, either by delay or the behavioural response it may prompt, place the student at risk of harm. The student’s view will also be considered in deciding whether to contact their parent/guardian. A written record will be made of any discussion with parents or guardians.

In the event of a decision to report, the DSL should inform the student of the proposed action and the reasons for the decision. Ideally this should happen before the appropriate agency is informed, unless doing so would place the young person at greater risk.

The DSL should contact the Children’s Social Care Department of the appropriate local authority by telephone in the first instance and record the date and time that this took place. The DSL will agree with the recipient of the referral what the student and parents will be told, by whom and when. The DSL will make a confirmation of the referral in writing within 48 hours.

All concerns, discussions, decisions made and reasons for those decisions will be recorded. Written records will be kept confidential in a securely locked location and in accordance with the Data Protection Act. However, where the police are involved then such records may need to be disclosed.

An ACM Designated Person will be the college contact if Children’s Social Care or the police require further information about the student and if necessary, represent the ACM at multi-agency strategy discussions or child protection case conferences.

There may be instances where more than one member of the designated staff will be involved in a particular Disclosure. On occasion they may work collaboratively to deal with a case.

Role of ACM Ltd Guildford

Within ACM’s duty of care it has a responsibility to act if there is a cause for concern and to notify the appropriate agencies so that they can investigate and take any action. ACM has a responsibility to provide information to Children’s Social Care about a student or family, if required for a child protection enquiry/assessment.

In addition, ACM may also provide help or a specific service to a student as part of a protection plan agreed at a Child Protection Case Conference and could also contribute to reviewing a student’s progress in this regard.

Therefore ACM’s response to its role in safeguarding the welfare of its students concerning abuse is:

  • To appoint designated staff members with responsibility for child protection; this should include a member of the Senior Management Team.
  • To review and monitor the policy and its procedures annually
  • To ensure that all new staff are checked with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
  • To ensure a risk assessment is undertaken in admitting a student who may pose a threat to others
  • To reserve the right to refuse admission to any person who may pose a risk to young people or vulnerable adults
  • To have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism (“the Prevent duty”) under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act
  • To have an Anti-Bullying Policy and procedures for students to ensure that a young person who being bullied, groomed or subjected to inappropriate material via the internet, mobile phones or other modern technology, can be safeguarded and supported. To ensure that students are aware of mechanisms for reporting bullying and abuse in college and on line
  • To establish child protection protocols and effective communication with schools, when pupils on their rolls seek admission and attend ACM and to ensure that all child protection files are transferred securely and as soon as possible
  • To provide appropriate staff training at the recommended level (every second year for DSLs, regularly for other staff ) to ensure staff are aware of the issue of protection from abuse and the procedures to follow starting from their initial induction, including providing staff with a copy of “Keeping Children Safe in Education 2015” and alerting them to “What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2015”
  • To refer any young person or vulnerable adult to Children’s Social Care or other appropriate agency e.g. the police or NSPCC, when the person requests it or the situation necessitates it, and to follow up concerns if dissatisfied with the response from Children’s Social Care
  • To ensure the person who discloses abuse is offered all possible appropriate support around the time of and after disclosure.
  • To support staff who deal with a disclosure relating to safeguarding
  • To keep records of a disclosure in a confidential file
  • To make the policy & procedures available to all staff and students on the ACM website.
  • To raise awareness of the policy and procedures to those outside the ACM via the prospectus and ACM website.
  • To work together with the Guildford College Group/ Local Safeguarding Children’s Board and Adult Protection Committees in the local area.

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Student Complaints & Grievances Policy and Procedures

1. Policy Statement

  • 1.1. This policy describes how the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) looks upon the issue of Student Complaints and Grievances.
  • 1.2. This policy applies to all students and is designed to ensure that students are treated in a fair and equitable manner.
  • 1.3. The Registrar is responsible for managing and reviewing this policy and Registry staff are responsible for the effective operation of the Student Complaints and Grievances Policy and Procedures outlined below.
  • 1.4. The content of this policy aligns with government legislation, the regulations of ACM’s validating partners and other external stakeholders to whom ACM must make reference.
  • 1.5. The Student Complaints and Grievances Policy has a link with the following policies and procedures:
    • Academic Appeals
    • Academic Misconduct
    • Admissions
    • Bullying and Harassment
    • Equality and Diversity

2. Objectives

  • 2.1. To explain in an open, transparent and accessible way how ACM deals with student complaints and grievances.
  • 2.2. To describe the processes undertaken as part of the Student Complaints and Grievances Procedure.

3. Student Complaints and Grievances

  • 3.1. Complaints against ACM made by students are treated seriously and, if found to be valid, are acted upon to ensure that the students’ interests are protected as far as it is possible for ACM to do so.
  • 3.2. Specific procedures exist already for dealing with the following matters:
    • Academic Appeals against the decisions of Student Progression and Assessment Board or Final Exam Board decisions;
    • Alleged bullying and/or harassment;
    • Alleged inequality of opportunity;
    • Matters which fall within the remit of the student disciplinary procedures (e.g. plagiarism/Academic Misconduct);
  • 3.3. The procedures detailed below are designed for all other forms of student complaints which do not fall within one of the above procedures.
  • 3.4. It should be noted that these complaints procedures are not designed to deal with problems such as:
    • missing coursework;
    • unexplained absence of a lecturer;
    • late return of work;
    • issues with room booking/tutorial credits;
      or
    • teaching room deficiencies etc.
      except in so far that such concerns are not resolved through simpler procedures or are persistent.
  • 3.5. These complaints procedures and any decisions made under them are not intended to give rise to legal rights, or obligations on ACM or its awarding bodies to pay compensation either in respect of a decision made pursuant to the procedures or for a breach of these procedures. These procedures are intended to facilitate ACM to resolve grievances.
  • 3.6. Anonymous complaints will not normally be considered.

4. Principles which underpin the general student complaints procedures

  • 4.1. The guiding principles of these procedures are that complaints shall be:
    • treated seriously and with fairness;
    • dealt with quickly, simply and at the appropriate level of ACM;
    • treated consistently across ACM subject to the principles of natural justice;
    • progressed through two stages – an informal stage and, if necessary, a formal stage;
    • dealt with and resolved wherever possible, at the informal stage; and shall be without prejudice to a student’s or group of students’ right to pursue legal remedies outside ACM and the awarding body, having exhausted ACM and/or the awarding body’s complaints procedures.
    • In order to be considered, any student complaint must be submitted no more than six calendar months after the event or problem relating to the complaint.

Procedures (Student Complaints and Grievances)

In all situations where students have a minor query or issue, they should talk to their Tutor, Mentor or a member of Educational Guidance, who may be able to resolve the issue without needing to make use of these Student Complaints and Grievances procedures.

Hierarchy of Escalation of Complaints

Nature of
Complaint/
Grievance
Informal Stage 1
Responsibility
Informal Stage 2
Responsibility
Formal Stage: Escalate
to
Academic Head of School Head of Teaching
and Learning /
Registrar
Other member of Senior
Management / Executive
Facilities Tutor / member of
facilities team
Facilities Manager/
Chief Operating Officer
Other member of Senior
Management / Executive
Administrative Member of
Registry staff
Registrar Other member of Senior
Management / Executive
IT; inc. Handitin
issues
Registry / member
of IT team
Marketing Manager Other member of Senior
Management / Executive
Financial Registry / member
of Finance team
Finance Manager Other member of Senior
Management / Executive
Student Union Student Union
team member/
President
Student Union
Manager
Other member of Senior
Management / Executive

Informal Stage:

  • 1. Informal Stage 1: In the first instance students who wish to make a complaint should discuss it with a member of ACM staff (Student Union, Tutor, Mentor, Educational Guidance, Registry) who will advise whether or not the complaint is best progressed through:
    • A School Programme Meeting or Board of Studies;
    • Reference to specific persons who can resolve the problem, e.g. Tutor, Mentor, Counsellor, Educational Guidance, Registry, Head of School or Head of Teaching and Learning;
    • One of the alternative procedures set out in paragraph 3.2 above;
    • These general complaints procedures; or
    • Exceptionally, the student complaints and grievances procedures of ACM’s awarding bodies.
  • 2. The member of staff consulted shall discuss the complaint fully with the student and, with the student’s consent, anyone else involved, to see if it can be resolved informally. Where appropriate, a member of Registry will support the process.
  • 3. The outcome of complaints dealt with informally at Stage 1 should be briefly documented and passed to Registry for recording against the student’s record and in order to send a copy of the outcome to the student. Students are permitted to complain without risk of disadvantage. Normally, complaints handled through Informal Stage 1 shall be dealt with within, at most, 10 working days.
  • 4. Informal Stage 2: If the student is dissatisfied with the result of Informal Stage 1, the complaint shall be sent in writing (either in hard copy, email or via the Student Complaints Form) to Registry within 10 working days of the completion of Informal Stage 1.
  • 5. Registry will direct the complaint to the relevant member of ACM staff(see hierarchy grid above), who will investigate the complaint fully and shall seek to achieve an informal resolution of the problem(s), either by correspondence or through discussion with the complainant as soon as possible.
  • 6. Progression to the Formal Stage should only be necessary in exceptional circumstances since most complaints, other than ones related to persistent problems, should be resolved at the informal stage.
  • 7. If the complaint directly involves a Head of School or manager of a service, it shall proceed directly to the formal stage.
  • 8. Groups of Complainants: ACM recognises that students may wish to lodge complaints collectively. In such instances students are asked to nominate one spokesperson with whom ACM staff will liaise to address the complaint. This spokesperson should endeavour to gather the views of all of the students who wish to lodge the complaint. If Informal Stage 1 does not satisfactorily address the complaint, the spokesperson should complete a written explanation of the complaint (either a report or via the Student Complaints Form), which should be agreed by the entire group before submission.

Formal Stage:

  • 1. If a student is dissatisfied with the result of the two informal stages, they shall proceed to the formal stage. They shall put the complaint and the reason why they are dissatisfied with the outcome of the two informal stages in writing to Registry within 10 working days of the completion of Informal Stage 2.
  • 2. Registry shall:
    • acknowledge receipt of the written complaint within three working days;
    • advise, in writing and within three working days, any member(s) of staff or students involved that a formal complaint has been received; and
    • escalate the complaint to a member of Senior Management.
  • 3. The member of Senior Management shall consider the evidence, written or otherwise, and, if necessary, hold such discussions with the complainant and any other persons they deem appropriate in order to fully investigate the complaint.
  • 4. The member of Senior Management, having fully investigated the complaint over a period not normally exceeding 10 working days from its receipt, shall decide whether:
    • the complaint should be progressed through other procedures (e.g. procedures indicated in paragraph 3.2) in which case the complaint shall be terminated at this stage; or whether
    • there is no reasonable justification for the complaint, in which case the complaint shall be terminated at this stage; or whether
    • there is reasonable justification for the complaint.
  • 5. The member of Senior Management shall:
    • make their decision known in writing;
    • recommend resolutions to any justifiable complaint which all parties involved in the complaint shall be invited to accept; and
    • if the recommendations are agreed, shall take steps to ensure that they are implemented in full within the agreed time period.
  • 6. Registry will then:
    • Inform the student and to the members of staff or other students involved of the decision.
    • Monitor the agreed resolutions to the complaint.
    • Record the number and type of complaints received in an academic year in order to identify trends, evaluate the effectiveness of and make enhancements to the Student Complaints and Grievances Policy and Procedures.

Monitoring

  • 1. The complainant will be contacted via email after 1 month to ask them to comment on the success of the formal stage of the complaints process. If the formal stage has not resolved the issue, the complainant may be asked whether they wish to repeat the formal stage process or they will be advised on how to progress their complaint to ACM’s awarding bodies.

Appeal

  • 1. If the student is not satisfied with the decision at the conclusion of ACM’s Formal stage or if the recommendations made at this stage are not implemented, they may appeal to ACM’s awarding body for their programme, which will follow their own process, as outlined below.
  • 2. If the student is enrolled on ACM’s own IQ or ACM@Metropolis courses, ACM’s decision is final.
  • 3. For information on this process, the student should refer to:
    • Cert HE / Degree students: Student Complaints and Grievance Procedures, Middlesex University Regulations: http://www.mdx.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/197671/Regulations-2014-15- v.3.pdf
    • Diploma Students: Complaints Policy & Procedures, Guildford College Charter & Policies: http://www.gcgrp.net/AboutTheGroup/CharterPolicies/ComplaintsPolicyProcedur e.aspx
  • 4. If the student intends to make use of these procedures, they should first contact ACM’s Link Tutor for advice.

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Student Debt Management Policy and Procedures

1. Policy Statement

  • 1.1. This policy describes how the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) looks upon the issue of student debt and aims to minimise levels of student debt in order to protect the overall financial health of ACM while still taking into consideration the circumstances of individual students.
  • 1.2. This policy applies to students or former students on a higher education programme and is designed to ensure that students are treated in a fair and equitable manner.
  • 1.3. The Finance Manager and Executive Board members are responsible for reviewing this policy and Finance staff are responsible for the effective operation of the student debt management procedures described below.
  • 1.4. The content of this policy aligns with government legislation, the regulations of ACM’s validating partner and other external stakeholders to whom ACM must make reference.
  • 1.5. The Student Debt Management Policy has a direct link with the following policies and procedures:
    • Academic Appeals
    • Academic Misconduct
    • Admissions
    • Attendance
    •  Equality and Diversity
    • Fee Appeal
    • Fee Refund
    • Withdrawal and Interruption

2. Objectives

  • 2.1. To explain in an open, transparent and accessible way how ACM will treat students
    who have outstanding debts.
  • 2.2. To demonstrate the actions ACM can take in recovering outstanding debt and to suggest how students can mitigate against such action.

3. Support for Students

  • 3.1. In applying the policy ACM will at all times seek to be sympathetic to, and understanding of, individual students’ financial circumstances. However, for ACM to do so, the student must engage in dialogue with ACM if they are experiencing difficulties.
  • 3.2. Action to enforce settlement of outstanding fees and charges will be taken against all current and former students who have failed to engage with ACM to find a solution to settle any outstanding debt and who have failed to honour their contractual obligations to pay them.
  • 3.3. Students experiencing difficulties in paying fees and charges should seek help at the earliest opportunity by making contact with the ACM Finance Department:
    Studentfinance@acm.ac.uk or telephone 01483 500800 (option 3 for Student Finance)

4. Student Fee Liability

  • 4.1. Students (or their parents or legal guardians for those students under the age of 18) become liable for the payment of the Total Programme Fee on the date of Registration. These fees cover registration, tuition, and entrance to examinations. Note, the fees do not include those for graduation, which are payable to the validating university.
  • 4.2. ACM offers students the facility to pay their full fee in instalments. Students must be aware of instalment payment dates, which are detailed on the ACM Contract sent to each student following acceptance onto a programme of study.
  • 4.3. Even where fees are payable by a third party, students remain personally liable to ACM for fees notified to them.

5. Student Loans and Fee Repayments after a Change of Circumstance

  • 5.1. In the matter of the recovery of the student loan element of the Total Programme Fee (for students in receipt of a student loan), ACM will charge the student 25% of the tuition fee if the student withdraws during the 1st term, 50% if they withdraw during the 2nd term and the full 100% if they withdraw during the 3rd term.
    ACM follows the guidance of Student Finance England, which administers student loans on behalf of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Information on this can be found on the Student Finance England website under ‘SFE Change of Circumstance Policy Chapter 2014/15’: http://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/policy-information/guidance-chapters.aspx
  • 5.2. In the matter of the recovery of the outstanding programme fees over and above those covered by the student loan (for students in receipt of a student loan), ACM will consider each student on a case-by-case basis. The options which may be applied in each case are:
    • 5.2.1. Fee remission, where students are permitted a part or full tuition fee waiver;
    • 5.2.2. Charge for the outstanding fee amount for year one of the programme;
    • 5.2.3. Charge for both academic years of the degree.
  • 5.3. In the matter of the recovery of the outstanding programme fees for the Total Programme Fee (for students who are self-financing their programme), ACM will consider each student on a case-by-case basis. The options which may be applied in each case are:
    • 5.3.1. Fee remission, where students are permitted a part or full tuition fee waiver;
    • 5.3.2. Charge for the Total Programme Fee for year one of the programme;
    • 5.3.3. Charge for the Total Programme Fee both academic years of the degree.

6. Library Charges, Materials and Other Equipment

  • 6.1. Students using the Library and/or borrowing equipment have an obligation to respect the rights of others by returning library and other equipment on time. To encourage this, fines are charged on items that are returned late.

Procedures (Student Debt Management)

Current Students

  • 1. Under Middlesex University Regulations, and in accordance with this policy, no certificates will be conferred unless all outstanding fees and other sums due to ACM have been paid.
  • 2. Persistent failure by enrolled students to meet financial or material obligations to ACM may lead to suspension of programme enrichment benefits or suspension or exclusion from the programme as follows:
    • 2.1. Day 7 (before due date)
      Finance Department will send a text message and email reminder to students of their due payment date.
    • 2.2. Day 0 (Due date)
      Tuition fees due. Reminder text message and email sent at the beginning of the day if fees have not been paid.
    • 2.3. Day 5 (after due date)
      Finance Department will issue a text message and email and may phone students asking for the student to pay any arrears immediately and/or to contact Finance Department to discuss their arrears position.
    • 2.4 Day 14 (after due date)
      Finance Department will attempt to engage the student in the issue in a human manner, for example, by finding them in one of their timetabled classes and inviting them to discuss their financial situation (Reminder 1). Finance will advise the student that they are at risk of suspension of programme enrichment benefits including tutorials, Masterclasses, access to Industry Link and Library etc. Finance will ensure that student contact details are accurate on the MIS to enable an easier dialogue. This contact will be followed up with a letter confirming the substance of the discussion. Students are required to bring their account up to date within 14 days of this contact.
    • 2.5 Day 30 (after due date)
      Finance Department send a letter (Reminder 2) requesting immediate payment and advising student of suspension of programme enrichment benefits including tutorials, Masterclasses, access to Industry Link and Library etc. Students are required to bring their account up to date within 14 days of the date of the letter.
    • 2.6 Day 45 (after due date)
      Finance Department send a Notice of Impending Suspension on Financial Grounds. Students are required to contact Student Finance within 5 days of the date of the letter to agree a meeting to discuss their outstanding debt. Failure to agree the meeting will result in immediate suspension from the programme of study.
    • 2.7 Day 50 (after due date)
      Formal Notice of Temporary Suspension is issued. Students are unable to participate in their programme of study or enrichment activities. Students in this situation will be requested to meet with the Executive Board regarding their outstanding debts.
      In extenuating circumstances and in agreement with the Executive Board an exceptional payment plan may be agreed. Failure to meet the payment plan will result in immediate suspension from the programme of study.
    • 2.8 Day 60 (after due date)
      If after this point the student has not engaged with the ACM Finance Department directly (i.e. not other members of staff or via social media) about their student debt, the student will be automatically terminated from the programme. Upon termination from the programme, the balance of the outstanding debt will become immediately payable.

Former Students

  • 1. If a student leaves their programme of study with debt still owing to ACM, the Finance Department will continue to pursue recovery of the debt. If the former student fails to make arrangements to settle the outstanding amounts, they will be referred to ACM’s debt collection agency.
  • 2. Former students who later decide to re-apply to ACM will not be allowed to do so unless any former debt has been paid in full prior to registration. ACM has the right to refuse application to pay by instalments from a returning student if they are deemed to have a poor payment record.

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Student Disciplinary Policy & Procedures

1. Policy Statement

1.1. This policy describes how the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) looks upon the behaviour and conduct of ACM students, specifically any instance where a student is not meeting the required standards outlined by ACM or that could be reasonably expected from a student.

1.2. This policy applies to all students in ACM buildings, on off-site visits or at other locations while undertaking work placement. The policy also applies to ACM activities outside of timetabled teaching activities, such as events or activities put on by students that involve or are promoted by ACM. The policy is designed to ensure that students are treated in a fair and equitable manner.

1.3. The Registrar is responsible for managing and reviewing this policy and Registry is responsible for the effective operation of the Student Disciplinary policy and procedures outlined below.

1.4. The content of this policy aligns with government legislation, the regulations of ACM’s validating partners and other external stakeholders to whom ACM must make reference.

1.5. The Student Disciplinary Policy has a link with the following policies and procedures:
o Academic Misconduct
o Acceptable Use of IT
o Bullying & Harassment
o Drugs & Alcohol
o Equality & Diversity
o Health & Safety
o Participation & Attendance
o Safeguarding
o Social Media
o Student Disciplinary Appeals
o Withdrawal and Interruption

2. Objectives

2.1. To explain in an open, transparent and accessible way how ACM approaches the issue of student discipline.

2.2. To describe the steps of the ACM student disciplinary process.

3. Student Disciplinary Principles

3.1. This Student Disciplinary policy and procedure was developed with the following principles in mind:

• All members of ACM staff have a responsibility to ensure that student discipline is maintained.

• The Student Disciplinary procedure is designed to establish the facts quickly and to deal fairly and consistently with disciplinary issues.

• At every stage in the disciplinary procedure, students will be given details of the complaint against them and be given the opportunity to state their case before a decision is made.

• The procedure may be implemented from any stage, depending on how serious the alleged misconduct is.

• If a student feels that they have been unfairly treated, then they have the right to appeal against any disciplinary penalty. For more information, students should refer to ACM’s Student Disciplinary Appeals Policy and Procedure.

• If the student is over 18 the student has the right to be accompanied by another person at formal disciplinary meetings and at any subsequent appeal (please refer to ACM’s Student Disciplinary Appeals Policy and Procedure). Students under the age of 18 or vulnerable adults must be accompanied by a parent/ guardian.

3.2. ACM will thoroughly investigate all transgressions of student discipline and in making judgements as to the appropriate course of action apply the principle of “balance of probability” based on the evidence available – ACM is not required to prove “beyond reasonable doubt”.

3.3. ACM reserves the right to take disciplinary action against students for incidents not directly related to ACM that could be considered to put other students or staff at risk or bring ACM into disrepute e.g. allegations of assault or involvement in illegal drugs (please refer to ACM’s Drugs & Alcohol Policy).

3.4. No student shall be suspended, excluded or expelled unless he or she has been given an opportunity to make representations in person to a member of the Executive Team or nominee from the Senior Management Team (SMT). Where for any reason it appears to the Executive Team or nominee from SMT that it is not possible for the student to attend in person, he or she shall be allowed to make written representations.

4. Student Discipline Expectations

4.1. The welfare and well being of all users of ACM depends upon the reasonable and disciplined behaviour of ACM students. ACM expects students to take responsibility for their learning and actions and behave in a mature and appropriate manner at all times while involved in ACM activities.

4.2. The need for disciplinary action is kept to a minimum by ensuring that students are made fully aware of their responsibilities as students and ensuring that when standards slip, measures are put in place to support students to continue their studies in a responsible manner.

4.3. The standards of student conduct are covered in separate policies and procedures and are also referred to in the Student Handbook. Relevant Programme / Course Handbooks provide details of any additional or specific standards relevant to those areas.

4.4. All students are made aware of their responsibilities and ACM’s expectations of them as part of their induction to ACM.

5. Definition of Misconduct

5.1. The conduct covered in this section shall constitute misconduct if it takes place on ACM property or premises or elsewhere if the student concerned is involved in an ACM activity, is representing ACM or is present at that place by virtue of his or her status as a student of the ACM, including any work placement.

It shall also constitute misconduct in any location whatsoever if the actions bring the good name of ACM into disrepute.

Any actions that contravene the principles of the Prevent Duty shall also be considered as misconduct and appropriate action taken, which may result in a charge of gross misconduct and subsequent dismissal. This activity may also lead to criminal proceedings. Refer to Appendix 1 for details of the Prevent Duty.

The following shall constitute misconduct:

5.2. Disruption of, or improper interference with, the academic, administrative, social or other activities of ACM, whether on ACM premises or elsewhere;

5.3. Obstruction of, or improper interference with, the functions, duties or activities of any student, member of staff or other employee of ACM or any contractor or visitor to ACM;

5.4. Violent, indecent, disorderly, threatening, defamatory or offensive behaviour or language whilst on ACM premises or engaged in any ACM activity;

5.5. Fraud, deceit, deception or dishonesty in relation to ACM or its staff or in connection with holding any office in ACM or in relation to being a student of ACM;

5.6. Action which causes or is likely to cause injury or impair safety on ACM premises; or when engaged in any ACM activity;

5.7. Breach of the provisions of the Policies, Codes, Rules and Regulations of ACM;

5.8. Behaviour which brings ACM into disrepute;

5.9. Any form of harassment of any student, member of staff or other employee of ACM or any contractor or visitor to ACM whether in person, in writing, by email, via the internet (including social media) or otherwise;

5.10. Damage to, or defacement of, ACM or associated property or the property of other members of the ACM community caused intentionally or recklessly or by negligence, and misappropriation of such property;

5.11. Misuse or unauthorised use of ACM premises or items of property, including computer misuse (see Acceptable Use of IT policy);

5.12. Conduct which constitutes a criminal offence (including conviction for an offence) where that conduct: (a) took place on ACM premises, or (b) affected or concerned other members of the ACM community, or (c) damages the good name of ACM, or (d) itself constitutes misconduct within the terms of this Policy, or (e) is an offence of dishonesty, where the student holds an office of responsibility in ACM;

5.13. Failure to disclose name and/or other relevant details to an officer or employee of ACM or its contractors in circumstances when it is reasonable to require that such information be given; or

5.14. Failure to comply with a previously-imposed warning under this Policy or any other Policies, Codes, Rules and Regulations of ACM;

5.15. The deliberate false activation of a fire alarm;

5.16. Academic Misconduct: Warnings issued under Academic Misconduct regulations will be considered when applying this Policy;

5.17. Consumption of alcohol in a teaching and learning environment unless explicit permission has been gained e.g. as part of a private view/ show;

5.18. Bringing alcohol onto ACM premises;

5.19. Coming into ACM in an unfit state to participate in lectures or other timetabled learning activities due to the consumption of alcohol, illegal or prescribed drugs;

5.20. Consumption of any food or beverages in a teaching area;

5.21. Unauthorised audio/video recording/ photography of a learning activity;

5.22. Excessive printing or copying, or other unauthorised use of printing or copying facilities.

5.23. The above list is indicative and not exhaustive. Other forms of behaviour which are not documented here may be considered misconduct.

6. Warnings and Misconduct Offenses

6.1. ACM will normally adopt the following procedure:

• Informal / Verbal Warning
• First Warning
• Second Warning
• Third/Final Warning (possible suspension/exclusion)

6.2. This is a progressive process, which means that each time an offence is committed, the student may move on to the next stage.

6.3. ACM may move immediately to the Second or Third/Final warning should it be felt the circumstances justify such action.

6.4. The following grading of offences is provided as guidance only and is not exhaustive:

6.4.1. Stage 1: Minor Misconduct:
• Failure to respond positively to informal warnings, requests or advice
• Bringing unauthorised visitors onto ACM premises
• General rowdiness and thoughtless behaviour or inappropriate behaviours or actions that do not cause a danger, threat or offence to others e.g. foul or abusive language or behaviour (non-discriminatory)
• Harassment: verbal / physical
• Spitting, littering, smoking in prohibited areas or other anti-social behaviour
• Repeated use of mobile phones or music-playing devices that disrupt scheduled teaching activities Unauthorised recording of a learning activity

6.4.2. The possible outcome of a confirmed incident of minor misconduct is:
6.4.2.1. Informal / Verbal Warning
6.4.2.2. First Written Warning

6.4.3. Stage 2: Serious Misconduct:
• Repeated minor misconduct
• Inappropriate behaviours or actions that cause a danger, threat or offence to others
• Petty theft of personal property excluding cash
• Bringing food or drink into designated ‘no food’ teaching areas
• Breaches of Health and Safety Regulations
• Damage to ACM property or equipment
• Deliberate false activation of a fire alarm
• Deliberate refusal to provide information required for statutory purpose
• Failure to disclose identity when reasonably requested for it or giving incorrect information
• Use / issue fraudulent documentation NOT relating to qualifications / academic performance
• Knowingly making a false and vexatious allegation against ACM or against any student or staff member

6.4.4. The possible outcome of a confirmed incident of serious misconduct is:
6.4.4.1. First Written Warning
6.4.4.2. Second Written Warning

6.4.5. Gross Misconduct:
• Previous serious misconduct
• Fraud/ attempted fraud
• Use / issue of fraudulent documentation relating to qualifications/ academic performance
• Major disruption of the academic programme or of the running of ACM
• Serious breaches of Health and Safety regulations
• Physical abuse or threat of physical abuse
• Carrying or possession of weapons
• Criminal activity – in or out of ACM – including theft, violence, sexual assault, deliberate damage to property/ goods and/or dealing, possession of, or under the influence of, illegal drugs
• Bringing alcohol/ other illegal substances onto ACM premises
• Unable to take part in lessons or activities due to consumption of alcohol or other substances
• Unauthorised publication of a recorded learning activity (e.g. on YouTube, Facebook, etc) with or without malicious or defamatory comment
• Deliberate misuse of the ACM computer network, e.g. hacking

6.4.6. The possible outcome of a confirmed incident of gross misconduct is:
6.4.6.1. First Written Warning
6.4.6.2. Final/Third Written Warning and Suspension / Permanent Exclusion

7. Suspension of Students

7.1. ACM may choose to suspend a student with immediate effect in the event of alleged gross misconduct, and where it is considered that the student may pose a risk to him/herself, other students or staff, ACM, or the conduct of an investigation.

7.2. Suspension will last until information has been gathered surrounding the incident of misconduct. In this instance, the student will subsequently be given opportunities to make representations in person to a member of the Executive or nominee from SMT.

7.3. Suspension should not be seen, or used as, a punishment in itself and is a neutral act. It is a means of removing a student from a potentially difficult or dangerous situation whilst an investigation is carried out.

7.4. ACM will inform the student, and parents/ guardians if the student is under 18 or a vulnerable adult, in writing within 24 hours of the reason for suspension and the restrictions this places on them.

7.5. Suspension and Exclusion bars a student from all ACM activities (on or off-site and including those organised by Industry Link, the Marketing team or Students’ Union), prohibits access to ACM facilities and premises and any external events or activities held on ACM premises, without prior written permission from the relevant member of the SMT.

8. Criminal Offences

8.1. If there is a genuine reason to believe that a student has committed a criminal offence, ACM will refer the matter to the police as appropriate.

8.2. The following procedures will apply where the alleged misconduct constitutes an offence under criminal law if proved in a court of law.

8.3. Where the offence under criminal law is considered not to be serious, action under this Policy may continue, but such action may be deferred pending any police investigation or prosecution.

8.4. In the case of all other offences under the criminal law, no action (other than suspension or exclusion) will be taken under this Policy unless the matter has been reported to the police and either prosecuted or a decision not to prosecute has been taken, at which time the Executive or Senior Management Team nominee shall decide whether disciplinary action under this Policy should continue or be taken.

8.5. Where a finding of misconduct is made and the student has also been sentenced by a criminal court in respect of the same facts, the court’s penalty shall be taken into consideration in determining any disciplinary action.

8.6. Except in cases considered not to be serious, if the victim will not report the matter to the police or will not co-operate in their enquiries ACM will not use its internal procedures to proceed with the matter. Only in exceptional circumstances will ACM report an alleged crime to the police contrary to the wishes of the victim.

8.7. If the police or the Crown Prosecution Service decide not to prosecute, ACM may, exceptionally, proceed with action under this Policy depending on the reasons for the non-prosecution.

8.8. ACM will normally refer all offences relating to controlled drugs to the police.

9. Representation

9.1. Student Representation
All formal invitations to disciplinary meetings will outline the student’s rights to bring with them a friend, parent, mentor or other representative. Students under the age of 18 or vulnerable adults must be accompanied by a parent/ guardian. Any other representation is not normally allowed except with express permission by the Chair of the disciplinary panel.

9.2. Advocacy
Helping a student to speak for themselves during the disciplinary procedure and ensuring that they are heard is known as “advocacy”. It is the responsibility of ACM to ensure that a student is provided with appropriate support. Students should be encouraged to make use of the support and guidance of the Student Union for this purpose during the appeals process.

9.3. Students will be offered a meeting with a member of Registry to outline the Student Disciplinary process.

9.4. Additionally, some young people, vulnerable adults and those who do not have English as a first language may need help to speak for themselves and to get other people to listen to what they say. This is particularly true when they are being disciplined by other people who are in a position of power over them. Students will be offered a meeting with a member of the Education Guidance team if student needs are identified.

10. Confidentiality

10.1. Some aspects of discussions or evidence may be confidential or inappropriate to share amongst a wider audience. The person chairing the meeting will make a decision as to the appropriateness of what information should be disclosed e.g. names of witnesses where there is a concern about their welfare or safety.

Procedures (Student Disciplinary)

1. Student Disciplinary Framework

1.1. The framework consists of the following stages:

• Informal / Verbal Warning
• Stage One – Minor Misconduct
• Stage Two – Serious Misconduct
• Stage Three – Gross Misconduct

2. Informal Procedure

2.1. Any member of staff can, and should, discuss minor issues of misconduct or unsatisfactory standards of work with students advising them of the standards required and the possible consequences of further or repeated unsatisfactory behaviour or work.

2.2. Members of staff will only bring minor infringements to a student’s attention for their benefit or the benefit of others; it is in everyone’s interest for students to co-operate.

2.3. This advice is classed as informal or verbal warnings and does not require official documentation; however staff may be required to provide evidence that verbal warnings have been given in subsequent stages of the student disciplinary framework.

3. Formal Procedure

3.1. Most minor faults will be dealt with informally by members of ACM staff. In the event that a student fails to respond positively to informal warnings or advice, the formal student disciplinary procedure should be followed.

3.2. The responsibility for conducting and managing the formal ACM Student Disciplinary procedure lies with the areas detailed below. In the absence of the appropriate member of staff, a person in a similar role should be appointed to take on the process.

♣ Minor Misconduct – Pathway Leader
♣ Serious Misconduct – Pathway Leader
♣ Gross Misconduct – Member of the Senior Management Team (SMT)

♣ Appeals against Gross Misconduct outcome – Registrar / alternative Pathway Leader / another member of SMT

The member of staff hearing a student’s appeal will never be the same person who has been involved in the application of the original disciplinary action against them.

3.3. A member of staff who identifies or who is made aware of the misconduct shall draw it to the attention of the student. This interaction may be recorded and should it be considered actually or potentially serious it will be drawn to the attention of the above member of staff in writing and the student informed that this is happening.

3.4. At each stage the following will be in place:

3.4.1. Recorded – All aspects of the formal process, including notification of a Final Written Warning, Suspension or Exclusion, will be recorded by Registry, filed centrally and the student’s electronic record updated. The student will also be given a copy of the written record.

3.4.2. Action Planned – In all cases the outcome should identify any action that is required by the student to demonstrate sustained improvement.

3.4.3. Additional Support – In some cases it may be necessary to identify and recommend additional support, either from within ACM or from external agencies that may aid the student’s progress.

3.5. Stage 1: Minor Misconduct

3.5.1. If a student is not meeting the expectations being placed upon him or her by ACM and there is a “cause for concern” (whether formally reported or not) it is the responsibility of the Pathway Leader to undertake a 1-to-1 meeting and:

• Discuss why there is “Cause for Concern” (CFC) and the reason for the meeting;
• Identify any support needs that may be required e.g. Additional Learner Support, Financial Support etc.;
• Identify and agree the required actions and timescales for improvement.

3.5.2. This meeting will be recorded by a member of Registry, acting in a supporting role, filed centrally and the student’s electronic record updated. The student will also be given a copy of the written record.

3.5.3. Where necessary a copy of this will be sent to other stakeholders / support services as appropriate.

3.5.4. It is the responsibility of the Pathway Leader in conjunction with tutors to monitor progress against the identified actions. To this end, the Pathway Leader should arrange another meeting within six weeks of the original meeting with the student to monitor progress. If the student has not made the required progress and is consistently failing to meet the required standards he /she should be referred to Stage 2.

3.5.5. Possible Outcomes:

• No further action
• Verbal Warning
• First Written warning – If appropriate additional sanctions may be imposed such as restricted participation in ACM events or trips (including Students Union), loss of access to programme enrichment benefits, including tutorials, Masterclasses, access to Industry Link etc.

3.6. Stage 2: Serious Misconduct

3.6.1. In the event of alleged serious misconduct or if at Stage 1 no progress has been made, a Disciplinary Panel meeting will be convened within 10 working days consisting of, as appropriate:

• Pathway Leader and/or appropriate area manager
• Student
• Tutor / Mentor
• Advocate / representative – if appropriate
• Parent(s) / Guardian – if appropriate
• Other agencies / persons as appropriate e.g. Social Services / Connexions / Student Services, etc.

3.6.2. Participants must be given a minimum of 3 working days notice of the meeting in writing.

3.6.3. Before the meeting, evidence should be gathered by the Pathway Leader, with support from Registry, as a part of an investigation of the alleged serious misconduct.

3.6.4. The allegation of serious misconduct will be put to the student by the Pathway Leader based on evidence collected as part of the investigation. The student will have an opportunity to respond and seek clarification.

3.6.5. This meeting will be recorded by Registry, filed centrally and the student’s electronic record updated. The student will also be given a copy of the written record.

3.6.6. Where necessary a copy of this will be sent to other stakeholders (e.g. parents / employer) and support services as appropriate.

3.6.7. Possible Outcomes

• No further action

• First Written warning – If appropriate additional sanctions may be imposed such as restricted participation in ACM events or trips (including Students Union), loss of internet access etc.

• Final Written Warning – If appropriate additional sanctions may be imposed such as restricted participation in ACM events or trips (including Students Union), loss of access to programme enrichment benefits, including tutorials, Masterclasses, access to Industry Link etc.

3.6.8. NB: Students cannot be removed from elected or representative positions without prior consultation and agreement of SMT.

3.7. Stage 3: Gross Misconduct

3.7.1. ACM may choose to suspend a student with immediate effect in the event of alleged gross misconduct, and where it is considered that the student may pose a risk to him/herself, other students or staff, ACM, or the conduct of an investigation. If a member of staff observes behaviour which may be considered gross misconduct, this must be reported to the Pathway Leader and Senior Management Team (SMT) for a decision to be made as to whether the student should be suspended.

3.7.2. Suspension will last until information has been gathered surrounding the incident of misconduct. In this instance, the student will subsequently be given opportunities to make representations in person to a member of the Executive or nominee from SMT.

3.7.3. In the event of alleged serious misconduct or if at Stage 1 or 2 no progress has been made, a Disciplinary Panel meeting will be convened within 10 working days consisting of, as appropriate:

• Member of SMT/Executive
• Pathway Leader and/or appropriate area manager
• Student
• Advocate / representative – if appropriate
• Tutor / Mentor – if appropriate
• Parent(s) / Guardian – if appropriate
• Other agencies / persons as appropriate e.g. Social Services / Connexions / Student Services, etc.

3.7.4. Participants must be given a minimum of 5 working days notice of the meeting in writing.

3.7.5. Before the meeting, evidence should be gathered by Registry in conjunction with the member of SMT as a part of an investigation of the alleged gross misconduct.

3.7.6. The allegation of gross misconduct will be put to the student by the Chair based on evidence collected as part of the investigation. The student will have an opportunity to respond and seek clarification.

3.7.7. This meeting will be recorded by Registry, filed centrally and the student’s electronic record updated. The student will also be given a copy of the written record.

3.7.8. Where necessary a copy of this will be sent to other stakeholders (e.g. parents / employer) and support services as appropriate.

3.7.9. Possible Outcomes

• No further action

• First Written warning – If appropriate additional sanctions may be imposed such as restricted participation in ACM events or trips (including Students Union), loss of access to programme enrichment benefits, including tutorials, Masterclasses, access to Industry Link etc.

• Final Written Warning – If appropriate additional sanctions may be imposed such as restricted participation in ACM events or trips (including Students Union), loss of access to programme enrichment benefits, including tutorials, Masterclasses, access to Industry Link etc.

• Temporary Exclusion – A period of up to 10 working days may be considered as an outcome. This is not to be confused with suspension.

• Permanent Exclusion – A student may be permanently excluded where it is considered that this would be in the best interests of ACM and other learners.

3.7.10. NB: Students cannot be removed from elected or representative positions without prior consultation and agreement of SMT.

Appendix 1: Prevent Duty

1. Introduction: Legal Context and the Academy Approach

1.1. The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on all RHEBs (Relevant Higher Education Bodies) to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. This legislation is given specific statutory force through the Prevent duty guidance for higher education institutions in England and Wales, referred to as the ‘Prevent Duty’.

1.2. The underlying considerations adopted by the Academy in implementing the Prevent Duty are:
• a commitment to the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students and all who interact with the Academy, including not being victims of, or complicit with any activities linked to radicalisation;
• preserving equality and diversity as foundations of the Academy life, whilst ensuring these values are not threatened;
• supporting campus cohesion and harmonious relations across all parts of the Academy community;
• that the requirements described in this Policy are implemented in a proportionate and risk-based manner, relevant to the local context in which the Academy campus is based.

1.3. The legal definition of terrorism as defined in the Terrorism Act 2000 applies to the Prevent duty. The Academy acknowledges and upholds the position that the definition of terrorism in the Terrorism Act is broad, in describing it as “the use or threat of action which involves serious damage to property; or endangers a person’s life; or creates a serious risk to the health and safety of the public or a section of the public; or is designed seriously to interfere with or disrupt an electronic system. The use or threat must be designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.”

1.4. Terrorism may take the form of extremist behaviour and acts. The statutory Prevent Duty Guidance defines extremism as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs and calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas”.

1.5. In accordance with this definition, the Academy considers that extremist ideologies, and those who express them, undermine the principles of freedom of speech and academic freedom.

HEFCE is the principal regulator of the Academy and has established a monitoring framework to assess compliance of all Higher Education Providers with the Prevent Duty. The Academy has a legal duty to provide reports and evidence of its compliance with the Prevent Duty to HEFCE, including serious issues which arise related to the Academy’s Prevent responsibilities. HEFCE’s role does not extend to investigating terrorism-related incidents on campus.

See more…

Student Disciplinary Appeals Policy & Procedures

1. Policy Statement

  • 1.1. This policy describes how the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) looks upon the issue of appeals against a student disciplinary decision.
  • 1.2. This policy applies to all students and is designed to ensure that students are treated in a fair and equitable manner.
  • 1.3. The Registrar is responsible for managing and reviewing this policy and Registry is responsible for the effective operation of the Student Disciplinary Appeals policy and procedures outlined below.
  • 1.4. The content of this policy aligns with government legislation, the regulations of ACM’s validating partners and other external stakeholders to whom ACM must make reference.
  • 1.5. The Student Disciplinary Policy has a link with the following policies and procedures:
    • Student Disciplinary

2. Objectives

  • 2.1. To explain in an open, transparent and accessible way how ACM approaches the issue of student disciplinary appeals.
  • 2.2. To describe the steps of the ACM student disciplinary appeals process.

3. Student Disciplinary Appeals

  • 3.1. In matters of Student Disciplinary action, ACM attempts to treat all students in a fair and equitable manner. If they believe they have not been fairly treated students have the right to appeal against a disciplinary decision.

4. Grounds for Appeal

  • 4.1. In the case of both items 5 and 6 below, the student’s appeal letter should set out the grounds on which the appeal is based in as much detail as possible, e.g.
    • how the disciplinary process was not followed in an equitable way;
    • the evidence that was available to the Chair was not used during the hearing; or
    • any other mitigating factors not considered at the original hearing.
  • 4.2. If the student intends to be accompanied at the appeal, they must provide full details of the representative (i.e. name and status of the person) in their letter. Students under the age of 18 or vulnerable adults must be accompanied by a parent/ guardian.

5. Appeals against First and Second warnings

  • 5.1. For both verbal and written first or second warnings, the student’s appeal should be made in writing to the Registrar within five working days of the disciplinary action decision. The student’s appeal letter should clearly state the grounds on which the student will base their appeal.
  • 5.2. The student may bring a friend, parent, mentor or other representative to the interview. If the student intends to be accompanied at the appeal, they must provide full details of the representative in their letter. Students under the age of 18 or vulnerable adults must be accompanied by a parent/ guardian.
  • 5.3. The student will be interviewed by the Registrar (or another member of the Senior Management Team) within five working days of receiving the written appeal.
  • 5.4. Following this, a decision will be given, in writing, within five working days of the interview.
  • 5.5. The decision of the Registrar or nominee shall be final.
  • 5.6. The member of staff hearing a student’s appeal will never be the same person who has been involved in the application of the original disciplinary action against them.

6. Appeals against Final Written Warning and Exclusion

  • 6.1. The student’s appeal should be made to the head of the institution within ten working days of the student being notified formally in writing of the decision of the disciplinary action. The student’s appeal letter should clearly state the grounds on which the student will base their appeal.
  • 6.2. Appeal hearings will be chaired by the head of the institution (or in his absence another member of Senior Management Team) and arranged within ten working days of receipt of the student’s appeal letter.
  • 6.3. The student may bring a friend, parent, mentor or other representative to the appeal hearing. If the student intends to be accompanied at the appeal, they must provide full details of the representative in their letter. Students under the age of 18 or vulnerable adults must be accompanied by a parent/ guardian.
  • 6.4. Where for any reason it appears to the Executive Team or nominee from the Senior Management Team that it is not possible for the student to attend in person, he or she shall be allowed to make written representations.
  • 6.5. The Chair’s decision will be sent in writing to the student within five working days of the appeal hearing taking place.
  • 6.6. The decision of the Chair shall be final. These procedures are now complete.

7. If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome of ACM’s Student Disciplinary Appeal procedure:

  • 7.1. If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome of ACM’s Student Disciplinary Appeal procedure, they can appeal to external bodies:
    • 7.1.1 The awarding body or academic partner: Students studying either Further Education or Higher Education awards can appeal to either the awarding body or the academic partner for their programme, depending on the nature of the appeal. Information on the awarding body’s procedures can be requested from Registry via registry@acm.ac.uk.
    • 7.1.2 The Office of the Independent Adjudicator: Students on Higher Education programmes are entitled to approach the Office of the Independent Adjudicator immediately after the ACM Student Disciplinary Appeal procedure is complete or after the appeal to the awarding body is complete.
      The student should write, within three months of receiving notification that the internal procedures of either ACM or the awarding body have been completed, to:
      OIA, Third floor, Kings Reach, 38-50 Kings Road, Reading, RG1 3AA, United Kingdom.
      The student should enclose a copy of the final decision of ACM or the awarding body and state the reasons for seeking redress from the Higher Education Independent Adjudicator. Email enquiries may be sent to enquiries@oiahe.org.uk. The website address is www.oiahe.org.uk

Procedures (Student Disciplinary Appeals)

1. Verbal and First Written Warnings

The student will be interviewed by the Registrar (or nominee) with a member of Registry present to act as a note-taker. The note-taker will record the main points of the meeting. The student may be accompanied by a friend, parent, mentor or other representative.

  • 1.1. The Registrar (or nominee) will obtain details about the warning from:
    • the student’s record;
    • written evidence from the person who has issued the warning.
  • 1.2. The Registrar (or nominee) will use this to outline to the student why they have been given a warning.
  • 1.3. At this stage the student will present their appeal, citing the reason/s why the warning should be revoked.
  • 1.4. The Registrar (or nominee) will then make a decision which will be conveyed in writing to the student within five working days. The decision of the Registrar is final.

2. Final Written Warning / Exclusion

This appeal will be chaired by the head of the company (or in his absence another member of the Senior Management Team) and he / she may be accompanied by other staff acting in an advisory capacity, where appropriate. A member of Registry will also be present, to produce a brief written record of the appeal. The student may be accompanied by a friend, parent, mentor or other representative.

  • 2.1. Registry will compile supporting documentation from the student’s record e.g. copies of previous warnings, records of attendance etc.
  • 2.2. The person who has issued the final warning / excluded the student will present their case, demonstrating why the action was taken.
  • 2.3. The student (and their representative) will have the opportunity to ask for clarification. At this stage the student will have the opportunity to present their appeal, citing why ACM should overturn the final warning or exclusion.
  • 2.4. The Chair may ask the student for clarification or further information and then summarise the points that have been made.
  • 2.5. The student is then asked if they wish to add anything further before the meeting is closed. They are informed that a decision will be given in writing and will be posted to them within the next five working days.
  • 2.6. The Chair will then make a decision which will be conveyed in writing to the student. The Chair’s decision is final. Copies of this letter will be forwarded to the Registrar, the Head of School and the decision recorded on the student’s record on the ACM MIS.
  • 2.7. The written record of the meeting is confidential

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2017/18 Prospectus

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