- Court of Appeal quashes higher education provider’s refusal of registration based on undisclosed policy (Bloomsbury Institute v The Office for Students)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Local Government analysis: The Court of Appeal has allowed the appeal of Bloomsbury Institute Ltd (Bloomsbury), a provider of higher education, and quashed the decision of the Office for Students (OfS) refusing Bloomsbury’s application for registration under the scheme established by the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (HERA 2017). Bloomsbury has a focus on serving students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was refused registration in May 2019 on the basis that it had failed to meet the OfS’ condition requiring that providers ‘secure successful outcomes for all their students’. The court held that the OfS’ decision was guided by an internal undisclosed document which was adopted in breach of its scheme of delegation, and further that the OfS had unlawfully failed to consult on or publish the document until after the relevant decision was made, which constituted clear unfairness in the treatment of Bloomsbury. Written by Katherine Anderson, barrister at 3PB Barristers.
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