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Blackfriars Hall and Studium Complaints Procedure for Junior Members

Section 1: Introduction

1. The well-being of all staff, fellows and students is of central importance for Blackfriars Hall and Studium. We are a small community which seeks to foster a sense of respect for the dignity of all our members. To achieve this Blackfriars encourages open communication and listens seriously to complaints. These procedures lay out the mechanisms Blackfriars has in place for the resolution of complaints.

 2. Complaints may relate to any aspect of Blackfriars’ operations, but most commonly will concern academic matters (e.g. arrangement of tutorials), domestic matters (e.g. accommodation) or financial matters (e.g. student support).

 3. This procedure does not cover:

a)  cases involving harassment, for which Blackfriars has a separate policy.

b) appeals against the outcomes of academic or disciplinary procedures (see Regulations Governing Discipline A.10).

4. Complaints may be resolved through either an informal procedure (see section 2 below) or by a formal procedure (see section 3 below). In order to determine which of these paths to take complaints may initially be discussed with the Vice-Regent.

5. Anonymous complaints or complaints made through another party will not normally be considered, unless there are compelling reasons to do so which are clearly stated.  

 Section 2: Informal Procedure

6. If the student bringing the complaint decides to initially pursue an informal procedure they should normally bring the complaint to the relevant office holder:

  • for academic matters: the Senior Tutor
  • for domestic and financial matters: the Hall Bursar
  • for matters concerning the library: the Prefect of the Library
  • for complaints about a Hall Officer: the Vice-Regent
  • for all other matters: the Vice-Regent

7. The relevant officer will arrange a meeting with the student bringing the complaint. In this meeting the officer will offer the complainant sympathetic advice and confidential (subject to the normal duties of care) and attempt to find a remedy for the complaint or a reconciliation (in cases where relations have broken down between individuals, and the complainant does not object to this course). The outcome of this meeting is to be recorded in a written response to the complainant (including when the complainant decides to withdraw the complaint).

Section 3: Formal Procedure

8. If a student decides to pursue a formal procedure the complaint should be made in writing to the Regent or in the Regent’s absence the Vice-Regent. In most cases a formal procedure will only be used when a resolution through an informal procedure has not brought about a resolution. If a student immediately pursues a formal procedure the Regent may refer the complainant back to an informal procedure.

9. The Regent will determine the appropriate response to the formal complaint and if necessary convene a panel to hear the complaint consisting of three members of the Hall’s Disciplinary Committee (see Regulations Governing Discipline) who, so far as is practicable, will not have been involved in the case, plus an officer from the JCR who likewise will be independent of the case. All members of the panel will observe confidentiality in regard to the case.

10. The complainant may take advice in advance of the hearing and should be adequately represented at the hearing itself, being given the chance either to make a written submission, or, if they prefer, to appear before the committee. The complainant may, in the latter case, be accompanied by a member of the Hall. Along with the complainant and their representative, the tutor(s) and any member of staff involved in the presentation of the case against will withdraw before a decision is made. The committee’s decision will be conveyed in writing to the Moderators. The committee’s written decision will include all the relevant facts. A copy of it will be given to the complainant. This letter will also inform the complainant that recourse to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education can be made within three months of the date of the completion of the procedure if the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of the internal procedure.


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