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The Heatherley School of Fine Art, 75 Lots Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0RN  |  phone 020 7351 4190

Heatherley School of Fine Art Complaints Policy

The Heatherley School of Fine Art views complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future and to put things right for the person that has made the complaint.

Our policy is:

  • To provide a fair complaints procedure that is clear and easy to use by anyone wishing to make a complaint.
  • To publicise the existence of our complaints procedure so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint.
  • To make sure everyone at The Heatherley School of Fine Art knows what to do if a complaint is received.
  • To make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely manner.
  • To make sure that complaints are resolved and good relationships are maintained.
  • To gather information that helps us to improve what we do.

Definition of a Complaint A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about any aspect of The Heatherley School of Fine Art.
Where Complaints Come From
 Complaints may come from any student of The Heatherley School of Fine Art. A complaint can be received verbally, by phone, by email or in writing. This policy does not cover complaints from staff, who should refer to The Heatherley School of Fine Art Discipline and Grievance policies.
 Complaints will be handled sensitively. Details of a complaint will be subject to the relevant data protection requirements.
 The Academic Board has overall responsibility for this policy and its implementation.
Policy Review
 This policy is reviewed regularly and updated as required. Last reviewed: 29 October 2014 Signed: Veronica Ricks, Principal

The Heatherley School of Fine Art Student Complaints Procedure Introduction

It is anticipated that most complaints will be resolved on an informal basis, amicably, fairly and to the satisfaction of all concerned. We would encourage you to try to resolve the matter informally before making a formal complaint. You may complain about any aspect of school life for example, academic matters, the delivery of your course. Note: If you are a member of a group that wishes to make a complaint, the group should appoint a spokesperson.

How to make a complaint

  1. Discuss the matter with your project / class tutor or personal tutor at the earliest opportunity.
  2. If your tutor is unable to resolve the issue, you should then contact either your Course Director or the Director of Studies. They will attempt to resolve or mediate the problem on your behalf by means of informal discussion. At this stage there may be a need for a written record to be made of your complaint.
  3. If your complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved via informal discussion, you may then lodge a formal complaint.
  4. Formal complaints must be made in writing to the School Principal and will be considered by the School’s Complaints Advisory Panel. The Panel will consist of the School Principal, members of the Academic Board and a student representative. The School Bursar will be present if there is a financial aspect to the complaint. The Panel will not include any member of staff who may be directly involved in the complaint.
  5. Complaints will be acknowledged in writing within 5 working days. The acknowledgement will identify who is dealing with the complaint and when the complainant can expect a reply.
  6. The complaint will be reviewed and if the complaint relates to a specific person, they will be informed and given an opportunity to respond.
  7. After review you will receive a definitive reply within 4 weeks. If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report will be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.
  8. The response will contain a report of any conclusions or recommendations made or actions taken by the Complaints Advisory Panel in order to address the complaint. The Panel may dismiss the complaint if it is found to be unsubstantiated.
  9. If you wish, you may ask for a hearing with the Complaints Advisory Panel to discuss the reasons for their decision and you may choose to be accompanied by an advisor. If your complaint has been made against another person, he or she may also be present and may also be accompanied by an advisor.
  10. You have the right to see any witness statements.
  11. The decision taken at this stage is final unless the Complaints Advisory Panel decides to seek the assistance of the Board of Trustees.

Please note:

  • Student records are confidential.
  • The School is unable to share any information concerning the academic progress, financial circumstances or health status of another student and will not enter into any discussion with a third party concerning these matters.
  • The School cannot consider complaints made by a third party.
  • The panel will only consider complaints received within one year of any alleged incident.
  • Academic judgments made by the School’s internal or external assessors about the quality of a student’s academic work (for example, at assessment exhibitions) are final. However, you may make an appeal to the Academic Board in certain circumstances, for instance in the case of mitigating factors with regard to final assessment. Your appeal should be made within 28 days of notice of assessment. Records of complaints received will be reviewed on a regular basis in order to identify any trends which may indicate a need for further action.
  • This procedure is reviewed regularly and will be updated as required. (Last reviewed October 2014).