Complaints from Students & Refunds

Peter Johnson made this Freedom of Information request to Amersham and Wycombe College

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Amersham and Wycombe College,

Please provide me with a list of all refunds that have been made to students on courses at Amersham & Wycombe college over the last 3 years following complaints and / or reviews by the college of the courses in question. please provide
a) the number of refunds
b) the total value of the refunds
c) which courses these refunds were related to

Yours faithfully,

Peter Johnson

Freedom Of Information, Amersham and Wycombe College

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Johnson

 

Thank you for your email. Please find the information requested below.
Please note that we do not record details of course refunds in the format
requested, and the majority of refunds/courses were due to other factors
such as courses being cancelled; pre-enrolment deposit refunds etc and not
necessarily complaints and/or reviews.

 

a)     The number of refunds: 290 since September 2012 to date

b)    The total value of the refunds: £95,688.04 since September 2012 to
date

c)     Which courses these refunds were related to: Various - a total of
175 course across college since September 2012 to date

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your
original request and should be addressed to: Anna Smith, Amersham &
Wycombe College, Stanley Hill, Amersham, Bucks HP7 9HN.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF.

 

Yours sincerely

Anna Smith

 

Anna Smith

PA to the Deputy Principal &

Assistant Clerk to the Corporation

Working Hours : Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays (am only)

T. 01494 585547

E. [1][email address]

 

 

 [2]cid:image003.png@01CD6E55.36552E40

 

 

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Dear Amersham and Wycombe College,

Thanks you for your response. I would ask for an internal review of this response please as the information is not sufficient. I appreciate that the 290 refunds is a large number and relates mostly to return of deposits etc . However, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator confirms in his annual letter to the University dated 23rd July 2014 that the university issued Completion of Procedure Letters following complaints in very few cases . In fact he confirms that only 27 CoP case letters were issued in 2013 and 36 CoP letters in 2012.

These are not large numbers and as such my request concerns how many refunds were given in relation to these complaint cases. Under the FoI request protocol this would be viewed as not being an inappropriate request for the college to respond to .

On a separate note I find it astonishing to hear that the college is unable to report on which specific courses that it runs it has had to refund students following complaints. This is a matter which i would view as falling short of normal accounting and record keeping standards of a higher education body I will consider raising this further with the college board and financial oversight committee.

I look forward to a prompt response

Yours faithfully,

Peter Johnson

Freedom Of Information, Amersham and Wycombe College

Dear Mr Johnson

Thank you for your email requesting an internal review of the college’s earlier response. I have asked the college’s Director of HE, Marketing & Admissions to look into this matter.

As a result of our review, we note your reference in your email to the ‘University’ and a letter sent to it by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator dated 23 July 2014. We therefore assume your interest is in connection with provision accredited by Bucks New University. We are a small Further Education College with an element of Higher Education provision validated by the University.

We have not received a copy of the letter you mention and it may be more useful for you to contact the University instead for the information you require. Please contact me directly at [email address] if you would like details of the appropriate person to contact at the University. I am aware that the University produces an annual university-wide report on complaints received and refunds paid (including those relating to this College’s HE courses validated by them) and it seems likely that this will provide the level of detail you have requested.

I hope that this response is helpful but would be pleased to assist further if necessary.

Yours sincerely

Anna Smith
PA to the Deputy Principal &
Assistant Clerk to the Corporation
Working Hours : Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays (am only)
T. 01494 585547
E. [email address]

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Dear Ms Smith,

Thanks you for your letter.

No i am specifically asking this information from your college and not the full Bucks Uni.

My apologies for transposing the word 'university' previuously.

I wish to obrain this information in respect of all the Higher education and Further education courses run by Amersham and Wycombe college .

Please address the points made in my previous letter to you at the college as I wish to obtain this information from you . My points remain unanswered in that I believe that the work involved in extracting this information is not materially adverse or time consuming and should be provided under the FIO regime.

In the event that you decline to provide this then I will refer this onwards inclusing the Information Commissioner for review.

Please remember that your colege is a publicly funded entity and as such should be in a position to account fully for any returns / refunds of cousre fees and to mainatain a full audit trail on such payments.
Yours sincerely,

Peter Johnson

Freedom Of Information, Amersham and Wycombe College

Dear Mr Johnson

Thank you for the clarification. Apologies for the delay in responding fully, please be assured that we are investigating our records further and I will respond fully in due course.

Yours sincerely

Anna Smith

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Freedom Of Information, Amersham and Wycombe College

Dear Mr Johnson

Further to my previous email, thank you for your patience in awaiting our full response and thank you again for clarifying your request.

I can now confirm that as a result of following our complaints procedure, a total of nine students have received course refunds totalling £35,750. The refunds related to the following courses:

FD Musical Theatre
BA (Hons) Musical Theatre
FD Animation & VFX
FD Business Management

I trust this satisfies your request for information but do let me know if you have any future requests.

Yours sincerely
Anna Smith

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Dear Ms Smith

Many thanks for this info - it is what I was requiring - however can you please just show the split of these refunds across each course and when these refunds were made ie which course years they refer to ?

Yours sincerely,

Peter Johnson

Freedom Of Information, Amersham and Wycombe College

Dear Mr Johnson

As some of the complaints/refunds relate to only one student on a course this could lead to individuals being identified.

This information is therefore exempt under section 40 (personal information) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as the information constitutes third party data. Section 40(2) provides that personal data about third parties is exempt information if one of the conditions set out in section 40(3) is satisfied. Under the FOI Act disclosure of this information would breach the fair processing principle contained in the Data Protection Act (DPA), where it would be unfair to that person/is confidential.

Yours sincerely
Anna Smith

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