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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My daughter went to a University where about 75% of her year

Customer Question

My daughter went to a University where about 75% of her year were Special Needs
( mostly mental incapacity ) and no supervision was provided. This resulted in chaos and she was forced to leave after two years without a degree and with a large student loan. What rights does she have to be allowed to engage in her higher education without such disruption? Who is responsible for regulating this sort of thing please? Is this breach of contract by the University?
Many thanks

Ian
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Does the University have a policy on the special needs etc please?

JACUSTOMER-mf6u391s- :

I do not know. They have refused to discuss the matter. There is nothing published on their website.

Alex Watts :

When you say you consider it to be breach of contract. Were they things they said they would do and they did not?

JACUSTOMER-mf6u391s- :

Alex - I did not get this until this evening as I thought responses would be by email.

Alex Watts :

Ah, all communication is online

JACUSTOMER-mf6u391s- :

I do not know whether there is an actual contract but I suspect there must be an implied one which guarantees students proper teaching and value for money and to expect not to be disrupted by students who throw things around or self harm in lectures. The University will not comment in any way about why 75% of the year were special needs or who was responsible for supervision of them etc. In actual fact pretty much all of the promised teaching and facilities weren't provided which the University deny

Alex Watts :

So there was disruption? What is it you want to achieve please?

JACUSTOMER-mf6u391s- :

I want whole student loan repaid and damages for disruption of higher education. My daughter had a public school education all her life and made maximum use of it. She had two scholarships one in Art. She applied to the University for a place to study art and was told she should do a years foundation course first. This was a complete waste of time as students were taken on with no real qualifications and no proper interview. One got a place by throwing an axe on the table and another by showing photos of a pizza oven he had made. My daughter had a full portfolio as required by the University Prospectus which was ignored. She now has a student loan which means she cannot enroll again anywhere and works behind a bar. Not what she or I paid for. So far five years wasted and counting

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy.


 


If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.


 


The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.


 


If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.


 


Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?


 

Alex Watts :

However you may also wish to go to the Ombudsman. They are independent of the University. Their website is: http://www.oiahe.org.uk/

Alex Watts :

However they can NOT award £ back

JACUSTOMER-mf6u391s- :

Alex, thanks for the advice but I do know what my options are regarding court action. The claim will be way in excess of small claims court.

Alex Watts :

Yes indeed. If that is the case you would need to instruct a Solicitor and pay for that.

Alex Watts :

If you win then the Court can award costs for you.

JACUSTOMER-mf6u391s- :

In your opinion does disruption by special needs students amount to a breach of contract?

Alex Watts :

If you lose then you would be liable for not only your own legal costs but that of the other side.

Alex Watts :

I can't say whether disruption does - it really depends what it says in the Univerisity Terms and Conditions

Alex Watts :

It could be

Alex Watts :

But you would need to convince a Judge that it amounts to this.

JACUSTOMER-mf6u391s- :

Umm OK - end

Alex Watts :

Can I help clarify anything else?

Alex Watts :

You have rated poor service despite me giving you the legal answer?

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Alex Watts :

What else would you like to know from me?

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