Updated 13 February 12.46pm
We are conscious of rumours circulating that we excluded a student because of their campaigning for Palestine on college premises. This is not an accurate account. The College wishes to make absolutely clear that no disciplinary action whatsoever has been taken against any student because they support Palestine.
We’ve taken the unusual decision to provide more details than we might normally. We did this to correct the misinformation circulating. We recognise the distress that this has caused some individuals and communities.
The College has supported the student in question in exercising their legitimate rights. For example, by providing guidance on how to engage in lawful and peaceful protest, including attending one of the many local or national organised protests.
As a College, we support students to develop an understanding of political systems. We also encourage debate and free speech. For example, on 7 February we supported peaceful protests by our unions on our campuses. The protests were calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. We are also holding a Big Iftar on 21 March. It is in conjunction with City Retreat. We want to share knowledge and information about Ramadan. At this event we are also fundraising for charities that support the people of Palestine.
The College has a duty, however, to take appropriate action when someone’s behaviour causes other students or staff members unreasonable and unwarranted distress. We also have a duty to provide a safe and secure environment for all students and staff. Our College values expect staff and students to be inclusive and respectful of everyone.
Fulfilling this responsibility is vital to help every student and apprentice to succeed in their education and to achieve the qualifications that they are studying for. It also supports them to make decisions about what to do after Leicester College.
Updated 13.06pm 9 February
Statement on behaviour and code of conduct
Leicester College has a Student Pledge that sets out our expectations of all students and what students can expect from us. This includes respecting everyone and their differences, promoting equity and inclusion, and ensuring that everyone can share their views, in a proportionate and safe manner.
Students and apprentices are expected to behave as though they were in a professional working environment. This is set out in our student/apprentice behaviour and conduct policy. Other policies govern behaviour of staff and students, including our Acceptable use of IT policy, which prohibits the viewing, creating displaying or transmitting of material that is fraudulent or otherwise unlawful or inappropriate, as well as prohibit the use of obscene, profane or abusive language, and language that could incite hatred against any ethnic, religious or other minority group.
We provide support and guidance to students and apprentices to resolve breaches of policies before any formal action is taken.
Our aim is to support all students and apprentices to succeed in their education and achieve the qualifications that they are studying for, as well as supporting them to make decisions about what to do after Leicester College.
We aware of comments circulating regarding a student who has been excluded from the College. This is in no way related to views or comments in connection with the situation in Palestine.
We cannot provide details or information about individual students.
However, we have a duty to provide a safe and secure environment for all students and staff.
As a college we are saddened by all recent conflicts and support efforts to help people who are impacted by these. This includes supporting staff and students’ right to freedom of expression through lawful and peaceful fundraising efforts and protests.
We permitted peaceful protests on The Workplace Day of Action (Wednesday 7 February) on campus, in collaboration with our unions, including the Student Union.