Conduct, Concerns and Complaints Policy

What You Can Expect

—and—

what to do if something goes wrong


1. Scope

Faber Academy is a creative writing school. We want to create the best possible environment for writers to explore, question and master their craft, supported by world-beating tutors and sympathetic staff.

For us that means bringing together small groups in often intense working conditions, sharing work and ideas and opinions. It means allowing our tutors the flexibility to shape their courses to suit the room while maintaining a steady throughline to ensure everyone gets what they came for; it means a burden of responsibility on our students to engage in an open and tolerant way with their fellows and with the work before them; and it means an open-door, three-ring pick-up policy on the part of our office staff so our students – and our tutors – know there’s always someone they can talk to if something goes wrong.

And it does sometimes go wrong. We’re always looking for feedback to improve our courses – every student will have the opportunity to fill in a feedback survey at the end of their course. But what if something needs addressing before then?

That’s where this policy comes in.


2. Principles


2.1 What we expect of our students

Writing is hard. It can place an emotional – and sometimes physical – strain on the writer as she strives to improve. So while we expect our students to be prepared to be challenged, we also expect them to be open, tolerant, respectful and empathetic in their interactions with other students, tutors and office staff alike, to create the sort of supportive environment we know can create magic.

2.2 What we expect of our tutors

We expect our tutors to lead the way. They have years of experience in creative writing classrooms and as such we expect them to challenge their students, nurture debate, bring in reluctant voices to balance discussions, and to be as open, tolerant, respectful and empathetic in their responses to writers’ contributions as we expect our students to be to each other’s.

2.3 What we expect of Faber Academy staff

We expect our staff to be sympathetic and fair, courteous and helpful and prompt to reply to any queries, concerns or complaints.

The office is always available by email or phone – and if you’re at Bloomsbury House for a course, there will always be someone to speak to. If you would like to raise a concern or a complaint, we will always respond within two working days, if only to acknowledge receipt.

2.4 What constitutes a concern?

For our purposes, a “concern” is something that you feel is not right with your course, but that you feel could be rectified without recourse to any formal proceedings. An example of this might be if you felt that a peer review schedule had been decided in a way that adversely affected you; or if you felt that a fellow student had engaged with your work in a way that contravened the guidelines above.

2.5 What constitutes a complaint?

A complaint is more formal than a concern. It would be appropriate to raise a complaint in the following circumstances:

1 — An earlier concern had not been addressed in a satisfactory way and you would like to take it up a step

2 — The issue concerns a member of Faber Academy staff

3 — The issue concerns potential or actual harm – physical or mental – to you or a fellow student

4 — You deem the issue to require legal counsel or a third-party mediator to achieve a proper resolution


3. Procedure


3.1 How to raise a concern

If you have a concern and would like to let us know, there are two ways of doing that:

The first way is to talk to your tutor: they will be available before, during or after class for you to raise your concern. If on the one hand it can be resolved between you, it will be, with no undue delay. If on the other hand it is appropriate to bring it to a member of staff, your tutor will do that.

If, for example, your concern relates to your tutor, you should bring it directly to a member of Faber Academy staff. Click here for our contact page.

3.2 How to raise a complaint

To raise a complaint, you should in the first instance contact the Director of Faber Academy, Ian Ellard. His email address is ian.ellard@faber.co.uk and his direct line is 0207 927 3827. You can also write to:

Ian Ellard
Director of Faber Academy
74–77 Great Russell Street
London
WC1B 3DA

When raising a complaint, you should try to include as much relevant detail as possible – dates and times, the names of the parties involved, the specific nature of the complaint, and if possible, record of any previous contact you have had with Faber Academy regarding the issue.

The head of Faber Academy will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within two working days, and will aim to respond in full within ten working days. In order to try to resolve your complaint, it may be necessary to appoint a third-party mediator. This may be the head of Faber Academy, it may be someone else, but if such an appointment is deemed necessary, it will be made with the agreement of the complainant. Our aim, of course, is always to resolve the matter in a way all parties are happy with.

3.3 How to appeal

If you feel that your complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved, or if your complaint specifically concerns the head of Faber Academy, you may raise it to the Director of Faber Press, Henry Volans. To do that, write to:

Mary Cannam
Financial Director
Faber & Faber
74–77 Great Russell Street
London
WC1B 3DA

The Finance Director's decision will be final.

4. Our assurances


4.1 Timing

We will always hear your concern or complaint in good time – no unnecessary delays, all emails replied to within 2 working days, even if just to acknowledge receipt.

4.2 Confidentiality

Your concern or complaint will always be treated in confidence. If anyone at Faber needs to hear the details, you will be informed who and why.

4.3 Legal advice/consultation

If it is appropriate, Faber Academy may seek legal advice or consultation from any quarter. In this event, you will be notified.

4.4 Terms and conditions

Click here for our full terms and conditions: TERMS AND CONDITIONS