Information about making a complaint about the impact of strike action at Goldsmiths that took place in 2021-22.
Primary page content
This page has been archived as a record of what was published around industrial action between October 2021 and July 2022.
Goldsmiths prides itself on providing a high-quality service to its students, but it is also prepared to recognise when those standards fall short of those it aspires to. Regrettably, this academic year was uniquely challenging due to protracted and wide-scale strike action as a result of local and national issues.
In recognition of the impact the strike issues have had on a number of students, and in line with guidance from the Office for Students (OfS) in relation to industrial action, the College has assessed the level of disruption to students’ learning.
All students are being written to let them know the outcome of this assessment as it relates to them and whether or not they are eligible for an award under the Strike Assessment Scheme.
What you can complain about
You can complain about the outcome of the Strike Assessment Scheme or any dissatisfaction resulting from the strikes in 2021-22.
Students complaining about the outcome of their assessment will need to provide details of why they feel the outcome the Strike Assessment was not justified in respect of their personal circumstances.
Please note, that the College’s position on the industrial action and the Recovery Programme is outside the scope of this Complaints Procedure. Complaints that are solely about the College’s position or Recovery Programme will not be considered. Information on how students can respond to the Recovery Programme is on Learn.gold (VLE) and can also be raised via Goldsmiths Students' Union channels.
When you can make a complaint
You can make a complaint at any time within 3 months of receiving your written notification of the outcome of the assessment of the level of disruption to your learning. The College communicated the assessment to the level of disruption to learning to all students by the beginning of August 2022. You will therefore be entitled to submit complaints about this until 4 November 2022. Complaints received later than this will not normally be considered.
Please note that you cannot submit a complaint until after you have received notification of the decision taken under the Strike Assessment Scheme.
Procedure for dealing with complaints
In line with the obligation and guidance from the Office for Students, the College will be operating a slightly revised complaints process in relation to the strikes in 2021-22.
The procedure will be as follows:
- The Student Casework Team will assess the validity of all complaints and will write to students to let them know if their complaint is accepted for consideration. You may be asked to provide additional context or evidence at this stage
- Strike Complaint panels will be assembled to consider complaints received under the Strike Assessment Scheme which have been accepted as valid. These complaint panels will be composed as follows: a member of the Senior Management Team; a Head(s) of Department; and a further officer of the College, not previously involved in the initial assessment
- Students will be issued with a dual outcome and completion of procedures letter, which will detail the decision that has been made in respect of your complaint and will set out what you can do if you still disagree with that decision
Strike Assessment Scheme eligibility
Students who have submitted complaints about strike action will be given a further opportunity to accept any offer that has made to them under the Strike Assessment Scheme in the event that their complaints are dismissed by the College.
As with all complaints, students will also be entitled to have the decision of their strike complaint outcomes reviewed by the OIA following receipt. Their strike complaint outcome letter will detail how to do this.
When complaints will be dealt with
Complaints regarding the strikes will take some time for the College to respond to as we assemble panels and review decisions. We will endeavour to keep students updated as the progress of complaints via web pages and emails in the coming academic year.
Office of the Independent Adjudicator information
In responding to complaints, we follow guidance from the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). We recommend that you read their FAQs on industrial action.
The OIA has said the following regarding complaints made by students about industrial action:
“Your provider may do several things to try to ensure that you are not disadvantaged because of the industrial action. They may be able to re-schedule missed teaching or offer a different way to deliver the content. Providers may also take the industrial action into account when deciding how to carry out assessments. You might not be entitled to a financial remedy if the provider is able to take steps to put things right another way.”
“Your provider might offer you a financial remedy, particularly if it is unable to take any other action to put the situation right.”
All students have the right to refer their complaints to the OIA following receipt of a completion of procedures letter.