After some 17 years in post, Patricia Mugglestone the English UK Complaints Ombudsman has decided to retire. After consideration of all suitable candidates, at their meeting in early January, the Board unanimously decided to appoint Michael Wills as her successor. Mike was formerly chairman of ARELS and one of the first Joint Chairs of English UK and, following the sale of Weymouth School of English at the end of summer 2008, has no active involvement in the sector after 42 years in ELT.
Members will be familiar with the role of the Ombudsman, which is to be an independent external third stage of the English UK complaints process. Access to the Ombudsman is normally after attempts within a centre to resolve a student complaint have failed, and attempts by English UK to mediate and suggest a compromise resolution have also been rejected. Any one of the three parties (student, centre, and English UK) can initiate reference of a complaint to the Ombudsman if it is felt that there is no progress otherwise possible towards a resolution.
For more information on the complaints process and the role of the Ombudsman, please refer to the English UK Rules and the complaints section on the English UK website. (http://www.englishuk.com/en/members/membership-matters/complaints-procedure-for-students)
The Board also resolved to put a resolution to the AGM (that will take place in May) to bestow Honorary Membership of English UK on Patricia in recognition of her outstanding service to ARELS and then English UK.
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