Being asked to attend a Preliminary Disciplinary meeting
A guide to the different stages of the Preliminary Disciplinary procedure, including how to prepare for the meeting, what happens at it and possible outcomes.
The Director of Student Services will determine if there is a case to be answered. Where the Director of Student Services is unavailable to deal with a disciplinary matter an alternate will be nominated to act on his/her behalf.
This will be based on one or more of the following:
- a written statement from the complainant
- written statements from any witnesses
- evidence from other relevant sources
The University has a formal Disciplinary Procedure for responding to allegations of misconduct by students within the University Regulations for Students. Disciplinary Regulations for Students (7) details the behaviours which are covered and Disciplinary Procedure for Students (8) outlines how allegations will be dealt with.
Responding to allegations
If the Director of Student Services determines that there is a case to be answered (s)he will:
- ask you to provide a written response to the allegations and/or
- write to you, requesting that you attend a meeting to discuss the case
This letter will outline the basic details of the incident under consideration and explain which part of the Student Regulations you may have breached. The letter may also outline some specific behaviour that we expect you to comply with ahead of the meeting. It is important that you comply with this and if doing so presents you with any issues, please immediately inform the Director of Student Services.
University regulations require you to attend this meeting. Please do not ask for it to be rearranged due to work or sporting commitments.
If you have a disability and would like to request reasonable adjustments to this disciplinary process, please inform us at the time you confirm your attendance at the meeting, in order that appropriate arrangements can be made. If you are a non-native English speaker, we can arrange for a telephone translation service for the meeting.
How to prepare for the meeting
You have the right to bring someone with you to the meeting for support, a fellow student or a representative from the Students' Union. You can seek advice and support from the Students’ Union but contact them early so they have time to help you prepare your case. You can also get support from the Wellbeing Service.
Make some brief notes about what happened on the day of the incident. For example timings, conversations with relevant people and the sequence of events.
Who will be at the meeting
The Preliminary Disciplinary Panel will include:
- the Director of Student Services or deputy (Chair)
- the Head of Security Services or deputy
- a note taker
What happens at the meeting
The meeting follows a formal process detailed below:
- you (and your support person if you have one) should wait near the meeting room until you are called
- the panel members will be introduced and the purpose of the meeting explained
- the allegations against you will be outlined
- the panel may ask you questions to help them to understand what happened
- you will be given the opportunity to explain from your point of view
- both you and your support person will then be asked to leave the room for a few minutes whilst the panel consider their decision
- you will then be asked return to the room to be informed of the decision
- the decision and any penalty to be imposed will be explained
After the panel has made a decision, the Chair may:
- determine that no further action need be taken
- seek further advice, including medical advice where this is considered appropriate and subject to your consent
- issue you with a written warning which will indicate the period of time after which it will be considered 'spent'
- issue you with a financial penalty not exceeding £250
- take other action that is both proportionate and relevant to the misconduct e.g. requiring you to change or leave University accommodation; paying compensation for damage caused; attending a follow up session such as a drug awareness course or sign a behaviour agreement
- refer you for consideration under the Fitness to Study policy
- make a written report to the University Secretary for action under the terms of Disciplinary Procedure for Students 8.1(b)(i), this report will be accompanied by full supporting documentation relating to the case.
After the meeting
The Chair of the panel will:
- notify you in writing of the outcome of the meeting
- inform your Director of Studies, supervisor or equivalent of the outcome of the meeting, as it is important that these staff are able to provide you with support and guidance
- provide you with information on how to pay any fines imposed. Please note failure to pay fines will result in further disciplinary action
- provide you with information on relevant workshops and how to attend them
- if relevant, provide a behaviour agreement that you will need to sign and return.
If you want to appeal against the decision please write to the University Secretary within ten working days.
In order to identify and respond to patterns of misconduct emerging across the different Disciplinary Procedures for Students, details of all University sanctions are held on a confidential database. This database does not include details of any sanctions imposed by the Students' Union.