What you need to know about your course
As a Higher Education provider we comply with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 set by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Our policies and procedures are compliant with the legislation. Knowing your rights under consumer law will help you get the information you need when choosing a course and provider, and help to protect you if things go wrong. The Competition and Markets authority (CMA) publish information for undergraduate students to inform you of your rights under consumer law.
Higher Education courses at Ashton Sixth Form College are accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, the independent agency in the UK, established to safeguard standards and improve the quality of UK higher education.
We hope that this information is useful and accessible and that you have sufficient initial knowledge about our Higher Education programme. Please feel free to contact the HE & Skills Office on 0161 6668215 or by email to HEadmissions@asfc.ac.uk should you require any further guidance and clarification in relation to this information.
Higher Education Student Contract
The arrangement set out in the documents below define the basis of the contractual agreement between the student and the college. These documents will be available here for reference throughout your studies and we recommend that you download and save a copy of the linked documents for future reference.
Below is information about our terms and conditions and the different policies we have in place outlining rights and responsibilities. Students need to be aware of the types of policy which exist and able to access them as the need arises. All the documents below are available to download as pdf files or they are hosted on a web page.
Higher Education Terms and Conditions
You are strongly advised to read the terms and conditions document below which summarises the most important elements and has links to relevant policies. This document covers the main terms and conditions of the contractual relationship between the student and the college including the applicant stage.
Please take note of section 2 outlining your right to cancel your acceptance of your course offer by informing the college in writing within 14 working days after your acceptance. Please also take note of section 7 which sets out how much of the tuition fees are payable when you decide to withdraw or intermit from a programme of study. Course fees are published on the College website, Course Guidance and Information Packs, UCAS (if applicable) and on Student Finance England/Student Loan Company (SFE/SLC).
The college operates with the Academic Regulations as set by our university partners. It is important that students are aware of the Academic Regulations pertaining to their programme of study. Current Academic Regulations are available here:-
Click here to read the University's policies and regulations, including Academic Appeals, Academic Misconduct and the Student Disciplinary Procedure.
Click here to read Staffordshire University's standard terms and conditions.
Policies and Procedures
Making a Complaint
The college seeks to continually improve the quality of its services and meet student expectations. If we have fallen below the standard that a student expects, we would like to know so that we can address the shortcoming.
A complaint arises when an applicant or student feels that an aspect of their learning or a service, facility or site is unsatisfactory and should be investigated. We aim to deal with all legitimate complaints in a fair, prompt and objective manner. Complaints will be dealt with without recrimination and students will not be disadvantaged by raising a complaint. We are unable to accept anonymous complaints, however all information is kept in strict confidence, shared only on a need-to-know basis.
We welcome the opportunity to address any concerns at the earliest opportunity and as such it is best if complainants try to speak to the relevant staff member first. Experience shows that this is the simplest and most effective way to resolve an issue. If the issue has not been resolved in this way then a complaint can be submitted.
The College has a set procedure for dealing with complaints and there are three stages, each to be completed before proceeding to the next.
Before making a complaint, we ask that you:
Download and read the College’s Higher Education Complaints Policy and Procedure
Stage 1 - Early Resolution at Local Level
Bring your complaint to the attention of an appropriate member of staff close to the source of the issue. The College expects that the majority of complaints can be resolved at this early stage. If you are a student you can feed your concern through your HE Student Ambassador, the student staff liaison committee, student panel or via a survey. If the matter is not resolved contact the Head of Subject to discuss further or the Assistant Principal Higher Education & Skills.
Stage 2 – Formal Complaint to the College ‘Comps Service’
If you do not feel that due process was followed through the investigation or additional evidence becomes available you can write to the ‘Comps Service’ following the College’s Complaints Policy using the HE Complaints Form (appendix 2), email or letter and an investigation will be conducted. The deadline for submitting a formal complaint is 28 days after the occurrence.
Stage 3- Review Stage (Appeal Process)
If you are not satisfied with the response at the formal stage and have grounds for complaint in the handling of this stage or new evidence to consider, you can appeal by writing to the Principal and a further investigation will be conducted. You will receive notification of the outcome of the appeal within 20 working days.
Once the College’s processes have been exhausted, a student may complain to the relevant partner university using their complaints policy if the matter is related to an area of responsibility held by the university or in cases where individual issues cannot be resolved in line with the College procedures. If the College hands over a formal concern or complaint to the university having exhausted its own investigation, the student will receive a ‘Completion of Procedures Letter’ from the College and the College will provide all necessary evidence and details pertaining to the complaint to the university as appropriate.
Taking your complaint further
If your complaint hasn’t been resolved, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) provides an independent scheme for the review of complaints of registered college students. On completion of internal procedures you will be provided with a ‘Completion of Procedures Letter’ which you will need to forward to the OIA with a scheme application form. Applications must be made within twelve months of completion of internal procedures.
Further information is available from the OIA:
Second Floor, Abbey Gate, 57 – 75 Kings Road, Reading, RG1 3AB.
Telephone - 0118 959 9813
Wider Information about Higher Education
Ashton Sixth Form College is committed to making it easier for students and the wider public to access to information about our Higher Education provision and courses. As part of the Wider Information Set (WIS) requirements as set out by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), we have made documents publicly available for students and the wider public. The links below will point you in the direction of information which we hope you will find useful.
The aims of the WIS are to:
- Inform the public about the quality of HE, and in particular, help provide potential students with information that will help them make a choice about what and where to study
- Help provide evidence to contribute to quality assurance processes in institutions (specifically review by the QAA)
- Help provide information that institutions can use to enhance the quality of their HE provision.
There are three categories within the WIS:
• The College Mission statement is available here.
• Our Quality Assurance Procedures and Policies are listed here and are available on request from Lisa Pagan our Senior Admissions Officer. The College's Vision of Enhancement for Higher Education is available here.
Franchise provision – academic regulations which govern the delivery of awards the College delivers on behalf of partner institutions can be found here:
• The Higher Education Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy is available here.
• The College has one university partner who validates our provision, Staffordshire University. The programmes that are delivered with our partner, and the benefits for students are outlined in the University Course Guide.
• Our HE Careers and Employability Offer for HE Students is available here.
Our University and Adult Education Course Guide is available here.
Detailed information on our University Courses is available here.
• Staffordshire University franchise provision 2018 programme specifications are available below.
- BA (Hons) Education
- BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies
- Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies
- Foundation Degree in Education
- Foundation Year Health and Social Care
- PGCE (PCET)
- PGCE School Direct Primary and Secondary
• Information on our links with employers is available here.
• The College offers programmes in partnership with awarding bodies. Information on our awarding bodies can be found in our University Course Guide and course information packs.
• Our Higher Education Student Engagement Strategy is available here.
• Programme Approval, Monitoring and Review procedures.
• External Examining Procedures.
• Policies for student complaints, appeals and representations.
The above documentation is available internally. It is detailed on the College intranet (moodle) and/or in student handbooks.
• The Higher Education Student Submission document is available here.
• The Higher Education Self Assessment document is available here.
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) has confirmed the quality and standards of provision at Ashton Sixth Form College following its review in October 2014. Click here to read our press release.
The full report is available on the QAA website. Click here.
Click here to read our response to the Higher Education Review by the QAA in October 2014.
Those external to the organisation can request this information by contacting Jo Fletcher-Saxon, Assistant Principal, Higher Education, Skills and International by email on firstname.lastname@example.org giving the reason for the request.