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Forthcoming events and seminars

Dealing with student/staff sexual harassment allegations

Who should attend

This training event is aimed at education professionals working in FE Colleges/ HE Higher Education institutions.


The education sector is under increasing scrutiny in respect of how it responds to allegations of sexual harassment and assault and the strategies and arrangements institutions have in place generally to prevent such conduct.

This area raises fundamental considerations for institutions including their duty of care to students and staff, the interplay between student and staff procedures used to deal with allegations raised by students against staff (or vice versa), the relationship between an institution’s internal policies and procedures and the criminal justice system, and the protection of an institution’s reputation. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for institutions to adopt and institutions will need to have a solid grasp of the legal and procedural considerations which can arise in order to deal fairly and effectively with matters and to ensure they have robust strategies in place.

This panel-style session will provide a forum for high level discussion of these issues and will assist institutions to identify best practice. It will be chaired and facilitated by two of our education law experts specialising in student and employment law. Issues for discussion will include:

• The distinction between disclosure and complaint

• Dealing with anonymous, confidential, third party or historic allegations

• How does an institution decide under which internal process to investigate and deal with matters?

• Are traditional student / staff procedures fit-for-purpose to deal with such allegations?

• Defining the standards of required behaviour by students and staff, and formulating disciplinary charges

• The importance of robust and lawful investigation and decision-making

• Managing expectations, and ensuring fairness and support for all parties concerned

• Confidentiality and non-disclosure clauses

• The potential implications for internal process of police involvement

• What information can be shared, with whom and when?

There will be no powerpoint presentation. Rather, our experts will guide discussion of these issues.

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