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Student Appeals Panel Terms of Reference

The terms of reference for the Student Appeals Panel, including its primary responsibilities and procedural rules.

Terms Of Reference


1) To consider any Student Appeal cases referred to it from the following policies:

2) To determine whether any Student Appeal case referred to it meets the grounds for appeal set out in the Student Appeals Procedure, paragraph 2.2, namely:

  • That there was procedural error in the conduct of the relevant process which may cause doubt as to the determination reached;

  • That new evidence has been made available which the student could not reasonably have provided during the relevant process;

  • That there was bias during the relevant process which may cause doubt as to the determination reached;

  • That the sanction or outcome imposed was disproportionate.

3) To hold hearings to consider the Appeal on the basis of the grounds set out in the Student Appeals Policy, paragraph 2.2.

4) To decide for each case:

  • To reject the appeal case, confirming the original outcome (and sanctions in Student Disciplinary cases);

  • To uphold the appeal case and amend the outcome (and/or sanctions in Student Disciplinary cases).

5) To provide informal feedback to the University on any issues identified during the course of an appeal. The Appeals Panel are only able to give feedback on any identified issues.

6) To conduct an annual review of best practice and lessons learned, including a review of its membership and procedures to ensure that they are consistent with guidance on student appeals from the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) and the Office for Students (OfS).

Procedural Rules

Conduct of Appeal Hearings

1) The appeal is not a re-hearing of the student's original case.

2) Although the Appeal Panel is a formal proceeding, it is not itself a legal proceeding, and is not intended to be adversarial.

3) Neither the student or the University attendees will have the opportunity to ask each other questions, and all remarks should be directed via the Chair.

4) At least five working days' notice of an Appeal Panel will be given to the student.

5) The student may be accompanied by a friend, family member or advisor: this person cannot speak on their behalf but can support them and advocate to ensure that they are being heard, encouraging them to request further information if needed to fully understand the process.

6) If the student cannot attend or fails to attend the Appeals Panel without good cause and/or sufficient prior notice (either in person or virtually), having had appropriate notice of the meeting, the Panel may hear the appeal in the absence of the student. It is within the discretion of the Chair to make this decision.

7) In Student Discipline cases where there are multiple parties, all accepted Appeal Cases will be considered by the same Appeals Panel.

8) The Panel may invite the Chair of previous stages of the processes, the Deputy Director, Student Policy & Safeguarding, or other appropriate members of staff to explain earlier decisions and outcomes/sanctions.

9) All parties will be provided with the same documentation in relation to the Appeal (redacted as appropriate) at least 5 working days before the panel and verification of this will be sought at the beginning of the meeting.

10) Any new evidence will be thoroughly tested, and this may include speaking to other parties to the case such as the reporting party, the respondent, or other witnesses (where relevant).

11) An audio recording will be made of the meeting so that a transcript can be produced. Consent for this recording will be confirmed at the beginning of the meeting.

12) The Panel may, at any moment, request any parties attending the hearing to withdraw to enable it to deliberate in private.

13) The Chair can adjourn an appeal hearing to a future date in order to obtain additional information, or to conduct additional investigative activities at their discretion.

14) The transcript will be circulated to all parties along with the Panel's decision, and the grounds for that decision, within a period of 14 days of the appeal being heard.

15) All documentation provided for, and created during the appeal will be held and destroyed in accordance with the University of Bath Records Retention Schedule.


1) The Appeals Panel will be made up of three members of the Student Appeals Panel Pool, at least one of whom is a member of University of Bath Staff and at least one of whom is an external colleague.

2) The external colleague will be a member of the Panel Pool who is not in the employ of the University. This includes lay members of the University Council.

3) Of the three members of the Panel there will be at least one woman and at least one man to ensure a fair gender balance.

4) The Chair of the Panel will be the member of the Appeals Pool who carried out the initial review of the case with the Head of Governance (Student Appeals Process, paragraph 2.4).

5) The Panel retains the right to co-opt expertise to advise on individual cases. This includes legal or other external advice, as appropriate.

6) In the case of a Fitness to Practice appeal, a Practitioner from the relevant discipline will become an advisor to the Panel.

7) A member of the Governance Team will act as Secretary to the Panel and remain in attendance throughout. The Secretary is not a member of the Panel, though may provide advice to Panel members as appropriate.

8) Members of the Student Appeals Panel Pool are appointed for a term of three years (renewable).

9) Members of the Student Disciplinary and Misconduct Panel are not eligible for appointment to the Student Appeals Pool. Senate members who are part of the Student Appeals Pool are not eligible to hear cases under the Health Wellbeing and Support to Study Policy.




It is expected that no member will hear an appeal until they have received appropriate training. This training should be refreshed on a biennial basis.

Conflicts of Interest

No Panel member who has knowledge of the case in question, or the individuals involved, is eligible to hear an appeal. This includes staff members from the same Faculty/School, even if the student is not a member of their department.

Rules for voting

Decisions will be made by a majority, in the event of a tied vote, the Chair has second or casting vote.

Version Information

Owner: Governance Office
Approval Date: 22 February 2024
Approved By: Council on the recommendation of Senate (31 January 2024)


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