Legal Action against Student Loans Company - Please Help :)

Good Evening,

Please can somebody assist?

This is quite a long winded story but I'll try and keep it factual and to the point.

In January 2017, I invoked the Student Loan Company Complaint Procedure. The procedure is in 3 stages - Stages 1 and 2 are reviewed by internal people, and Stage 3 is reviewed by an Independent Assessor. The assessor that viewed my complaint is an employment tribunal judge who also specialises in immigration, asylum and social entitlement. Independent Assessors are appointed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Assessor completed a report - and to summarise, she makes reference to the following phrases:

1) SLC have erroneously advised me.
2) SLC have accepted responsibility for the mistakes
3) Wherever the blame lies, it is not with me.
4) He should be allowed to re-apply for Postgraduate Funding under the grounds of a Compelling Personal Reason based on the experience he has had with SLC.
5) He should be offered an ex gratia payment of xxxx
6) He has not been able to continue studying because of errors caused by SLC and has wasted an academic year.

The Independent Assessors have no legal powers or to direct the SLC on what to do, but they offer an impartial view and make recommendations. Any recommendations will be followed unless the SLC is instructed not to do so by a Secretary of State.

The report was sent to me in July 2017, and I was notified at a Liaison Office at the SLC would review the report and come back to me. I told the lady that I had been given an unconditional offer at a university to undertake a distance learning masters course, and I would be grateful for a speedy response as I would like to continue studying on a new course.

In a nutshell - since that email, I've heard nothing. I've chased and chased, they ignore my emails. I've re-invoked the complaints procedure at Stage 1 given that I am being ignored.

What doesn't help is that the new university need the first instalment of course fees by Friday - if this isn't paid, I lose out.

I feel let down - why am I being ignored? The amount of time and effort on a daily basis by writing emails/letters is now starting to take its toll.

My question is - if I took the matter to a Small Claims Court, would this court system be able to enforce the recommendations made by the Assessor? Time is against me as taking the company to court will take time, however if anything, I would like some confirmation that I can reapply for funding in the future - whether that be now, or for the next academic year, which isn't ideal.


  • poppy10_2
    poppy10_2 Posts: 6,567
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    buffness wrote: »

    I feel let down - why am I being ignored? .
    It's nothing personal. The Student Loans Company is in meltdown and near total collapse. They are barely processing anything at the moment, and their chief exec just got fired by the government
  • Hi Buffness i have sent you a direct message. In short the county court has no jurisdiction as the independent assessor's report is not legally binding, however, depending on what is or what has not happened, the High Court might have the jurisdiction via a 'Judicial Review' and would consider that you have tried to exhaust alternative remedies before making an application to the court.
  • Voted worst place to work in the UK public sector. It was horrible when I was there. Hope it works out for you.
  • quiddity
    quiddity Posts: 7 Forumite
    Hey, OP,

    Curious to know how this turned out for you, if you can be bothered to say. I have a similar-ish story: independent assessor found in my favour, SLC said the report was being passed to the Department of Education for review, three months later . . . nothing, and no replies at all to a succession of emails. Did they ever get back to you? If so, how long did it take them?
  • Surely these examples are what your MP is for. Polite letter of explanation to them detailing the position and asking them if they can help. They will write to the Dept for Education asking for an explanation. It is rare for an MP not to receive a reply, and they will always forward any response to you.
  • The complaint process does not work, because the Student Loans Company (SLC)do not give the Independent Assessor complete records. This is because they do not keep historical data, they do not record what, who and when something is changed on their system. I am very interested in being involved with regards any legal claim against the SLC. I am so please Martin Lewis is on the case.
  • The SLC do not keep historical records of information changed on their computer systems. They do not record what was changed, who changed it, and when it was changed. Therefore any Independent Assessors investigation is futile. I know as I have been through the internal complaints process of the SLC.
  • Of course SLC's computers record every change etc and who made it. And why have you replied to a 2 year old thread?

    I used to be Starrystarrynight on MSE, before a log in technical glitch!
  • Taiko
    Taiko Posts: 2,711
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    It is kept. Who accessed the account, what time and date, what changes they made.
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