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Complaints against staff

Disclosure date: 25 November 2013

Reference: FOI2013/121

Request

1.)  I would like to know how many university staff had complaints made against them for inappropriate behaviour and/or relations with students in the past 5 years.

2.)  I would like the information broken down into job titles please and what action was taken following complaints.

3.)  I would also to like to know how many university staff were disciplined for inappropriate behaviour and/or relations with students in the past 5 years without any complaint being made.

Response

1.)  8

2.)  The action taken following the complaints is:

Case 1: Final written warning for two years
Case 2: First and final written warning for two years
Case 3: Dealt with informally
Case 4: 6 months written warning
Case 5: No formal action taken after evidence considered
Case 6: Ongoing
Case 7: Ongoing
Case 8: Ongoing

Job titles of those involved are being withheld under the exemption set out at section 40(2) and section 40(3)(i) of the Freedom of Information Act. This exemption protects personal information where its disclosure would contravene any of the data protection principles. Firstly, it is SOAS’s view that this information is personal information because if this information was put together with other knowledge held by some members of the public (notably members of the SOAS community or friends or relatives of the people affected), individuals could be identified and personal information relating to them thereby disclosed. Given the low numbers involved, it is likely that individuals could be identified in this way if more details were provided for each case. Information disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act is effectively disclosed to all, so this possibility has to be considered. SOAS believes that disclosure would breach the first data protection principle as both those making such reports and those who are the subject of allegations would expect their identity to remain confidential. It would therefore be unfair to disclose further details that could allow them to be identified.

3.)  None. The School will only commence an investigation upon receiving a complaint.