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Hi Everyone, (I'm very new at this, so please stay with me!) I'm hoping that someone can help me find out what to do about a complaint I have on a City & Guilds Course in Photography which I left in October last year.


From the outset, the course tutor didn't seem to know what she was doing and a number of students were very disgruntled. After three lessons, I realised that I didn't want to be taught by someone who "wasn't sure she had got it right" after putting some figures up on the board, and a few of us made a complaint to the college saying that we were very unhappy with the tutor's method of teaching and her 'couldn't care less' attitude.


I had taken City & Guilds Level 1 the year before (at the same facility) and we had such a great tutor whose course was well structured and he made learning easy and enjoyable. It was a very intense course and we were given lots of projects and I came out of it with an overall Credit and Distinction for my coursework. Level 2 wasn't anything like this. There was nothing structured about this course. I had several e-mail discussions and one or two calls to this tutor's head of department, who sympathised with me and said he would conduct an investigation. This is all back in October last year and I have documented evidence of the lack of communication and prevarication by the college.


After weeks of not hearing from the college I started getting e-mails (after several prompts from me) saying that things were progressing and that I would be given a refund of the £752 fee I had paid in August. They have now reneged on this with the final e-mail today which said:


"... (Principal) has passed your email dated 17/01/11 to me for action.


Having, investigated matters fully and consulted with our Deputy Principal who has to authorise all course refunds, the College does not believe that your request for a refund is reasonable or justified.


We now consider this matter to be closed and therefore are not prepared to enter into any further communication with you."


I am very distressed by this (I'm coming up to 65 years of age) and feel I cannot let this go as it a lot of money to lose.


I have lodged a complaint with City & Guilds in London, who are investigating on my behalf.


At no time has the college agreed to arrange an interview with the the Principal, nor have they asked me to resume my place on the course. In fact, they have given me no alternative course of action whatsoever. I have repeatedly asked for a meeting with all parties concerned, so where do I go from here?


I am at a loss to know what to do.

Thank you for listening and I hope you can help me.


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I've moved your post to the Legal Forum for now as it seems you may have a claim against the college for breach of contract.

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Hi Cazfin.


Might be worth contacting your Local Education Authority and/or OFSTED. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Dl1/Directories/DG_10012144


Failing those working the next steps might be your county councillor or MP.


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Hi Cazfin, thank you for the PM


I think it would be a good idea to post your letter to the college on the forum, removing any personal details !!

I hope you layed out all the reasons for your complaint. Do you still have any contacts with any of the others that left the course??

I feel they have been very heavy handed in their responce 'We now consider this matter to be closed and therefore are not prepared to enter into any further communication with you." After all, thats for you to decide.

Do let us know what OFSTED think of this........



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Thanks to you Mr Lex for the advice and for responding with your recommendations. The City & Guilds are handling this for the time being but if they come down on the side of the college, I still have other avenues to follow now that I have heard from other members on the forum. I don't feel as isolated as I did before and know that I am doing the right thing by keeping at this. I am in touch with one other student who dropped out the week before me and so far, I have been writing to the college and including her in my responses. I have now asked her to make an official complaint on her own behalf to the City & Guilds so that I won't be fighting this on my own. Unfortunately, there are two others who have also left the course, but so far we have been unable to track them down. At the start of this course, there were 15 people and now at the time of writing, we believe there to be only 7 or 8 left. We are trying to get this information, but it is difficult. Once again, my sincere thanks to the forum for the prompt responses. I am very grateful ... CazFin

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  • 5 months later...


Welcome to The Consumer Action Group.



I am just letting you know that as you haven't had any replies to your post yet, it might be better if you post your message again in an appropriate sub-forum. You will get lots of help there.


Also take some time to read around the forum and get used to the layout. It is a big forum and takes a lot of getting used to.



Once you start to find your way, you will soon realise that it is fairly easy to get round and to get the help you need.


It can be bit confusing at first.

Please be advised that my time will be limited for the next few weeks.Thanks for your understanding.

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