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Inns of Court student presidents write to BPP over teaching concerns

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Group express solidarity with BPP Law School bar and GDL students experiencing ‘systemic deficiencies’ this term

The presidents of the Inns of Court student associations have written to BPP University Law School about what they describe as “systemic deficiencies” with the teaching this term.

In a joint letter, the student presidents of the four Inns, Gray’s Inn, Inner Temple, Lincoln’s Inn and Middle Temple, who study at different providers to BPP, express their “unwavering solidarity” with fellow members “negatively impacted” by the quality of teaching on BPP’s Bar Course and Graduate Diploma in Law.

The group explain in the letter that over the last few weeks they have been made aware of a number of grievances articulated by BPP students, and have been “shocked” to learn how commonly and extensively the issues have been experienced by students across the law school’s campuses. It is unclear exactly how many BPP students expressed their concerns.

The presidents, who are all current bar course students, have now stepped in on their behalf to demand BPP address, with immediate effect, three broad issues that have been raised as “serious causes of concern”. These include the quality of online teaching during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown period; the proximity of a “challenging” bar exam to those set centrally by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and the conditions in which it will be conducted; and the “inconsistency” of messages received by BPP students from senior members of staff.

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Within the context of online teaching this academic year, the group outline concerns including class sizes, issues with IT and a lack of hard copy course materials. On the latter point, the group claims that many students did not receive hard copies of essential practitioners texts Blackstone’s or White Book. Although available online, they assert that these would be easier to work from in printed form ahead of this month’s centralised assessments, one of which adopts an “open-book” format.

They also allege that last week the first of two civil litigation exams was stopped five minutes in due to some bar students receiving the incorrect paper. “Many students have expressed their frustration about the unnecessary disruption to an already highly pressurised exam,” they write. “By contrast, we have not received any complaints from students at other course providers about the delivery of their BSB exams last week.” The group continues:

“It is gravely concerning that every major cause of concern this term has stemmed from our Inns’ members studying at one of BPP’s campuses. The breadth and frequency of complaints has led us to the conclusion that there are systemic deficiencies in the way BPP has approached the provision of its teaching this academic year.”

They go on to say that they will enter into discussions with the regulator should BPP be unwilling to address the issues.

BPP University Law School declined to comment.

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46 Comments

dkdkdk

wtf is going on at BPP?

(31)(1)

Billy Boi Jr

Nothing new. The pandemic just exposed how sh*t they are.

(24)(1)

Anonymous

You mean the entitled snowflake students lining up excuses to try to get exam dispensations?

(6)(10)

_

They’ve been caught out by the pandemic, like many businesses. Not sure why these Inns of Court presidents think it’s their business though. They are not even at BPP!

(12)(36)

Anon

Because they are student representatives of every Bar student at BPP. It is entirely their business. Plus complaints from individual students have been ignored or fobbed off by BPP, a bigger response with some clout behind it was required.

(39)(3)

I See Flakey People

No-one cares. This is an exceptional period. Grit is a great quality in a lawyer, those with it would just buckle down. Those without it will moan and try to get special treatment in exams. Are you a worker or a moaner, ‘flake?

(11)(38)

fdfd

*boot licking noises*

(10)(0)

Anonymous

Snowflakes, the world is going through crap right now. Work with it, not against it. That is what adults do. Stop being pathetic.

(10)(34)

fdfd

Adults never stand up for themselves? Enjoy staying at the bottom of the heap because you’re scared of confrontation.

(21)(1)

Anonymous

Ghastly straw man approach. You have to know when to accept and when to push. Sadly, the impression from these moaning campaigns is it all boils down to snowflakes trying to evade proper exams.

(1)(7)

Current and successful BPP Student

Yes, but not getting the books on time or being able to properly access what you paid for in terms of teaching is a classic sale of goods and services issue. These are ongoing students at BPP who will succeed but just want value for money or a refund, not one’s that have failed exams looking for excuses. In any arena should you accept poor service from the most expensive provider?

(20)(1)

Anon

We all know you want special treatment in the exams and this is a try on.

Octogenarian

What kind of loser overpays for a bad service? I thought that the generation that gave us Karens and calling cops on black people would have sided with the students on this

(2)(1)

Anon

The behaviour of the students is decidedly Karenish, especially the “I’ve paid for this now do what I want” foot stamping.

frosty

I’ve been doing the GDL this year and its beyond terrible. I would highly recommend looking elsewhere.

(32)(1)

🚩🚩🚩

Again.
Another story.
Where students complain.
About BPP.

If this isn’t a massive 🚩🚩🚩, I don’t know what is.

(34)(0)

Anonymous

Not to ruin the atmosphere… but i took note students always complain. At this stage of education it’s always best to take your destiny into your own hands and act like a professional !

(4)(28)

lol

By rolling over and getting dicked by the uni you’re paying?

(23)(1)

Abc

“I’m paying for this so do what I want…”

(4)(4)

Anonymous

To be said in a “toys out of the pram” scream.

(1)(1)

Nope,

shut up

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Every time Legal Cheek posts an article like this about the BPTC, the comments section gets filled with people whining about millennial snowflakes not being able to roll with the punches, and claiming they’ll never make it as barristers if they can’t overcome difficulty.

I struggle to see why the fact that it’s hard work being a barrister, means that students are wrong to complain about a private equity run institution charging 18 grand a year for a consistently crappy service.

(38)(1)

Anon

Yes, because 2020 has not been different or challenging at all. For everyone.

(1)(12)

Current and successful BPP Student

Is it not possible to post books to someone in 2020, especially if they have paid £20k and cannot collect them because the office/uni is closed. Or has that become impossible too ?

(10)(1)

Barrister

Exactly. If no one says anything, they will continue to be shit and charge absurdly high fees for it. Yes, there are Inn scholarships and if you’re lucky, you won’t have to pay a penny. But that’s just making the Inns pay for, as you say, a consistently crappy service. That’s not entirely fair either and it ultimately means that money doesn’t go to other worthwhile causes.

(23)(1)

Curious Bystander

I genuinely don’t know whether BPP is malicious or just incompetent.

(19)(0)

lol

Why not both!

(5)(0)

Northern Circuiteer

Ah yes, students are now consumers. The letter writing equivalent of asking to speak to the manager and by the way I don’t think much of your tone sunny Jim.

Grow up.

(4)(14)

Current and successful BPP Student

Its hard to believe the seasoned professionals that run and operate BPP are either. They are a corporate entity and profit will most likely and consistently be the primary motivating factor.

(7)(0)

Anonny Mouse

I remember over a decade ago the differences in teaching styles between BPP and ICSL were very very different.

It was a wonder the courses even had the same title.

(9)(0)

Clara

I am really not surprised about this. BPP is the worst university I have ever been to. They don’t seem to care about students at all. I really hope this university shuts down soon because they are destroying many young people’s future. While I understand that many universities are struggling during this pandemic to provide the same level of teaching they would have had there been face to face classes, having online classes with 50 plus students, failing to reschedule classes and having very incompetent tutors who are giving mixed messages on how to approach exams is simply unacceptable.

(30)(0)

Clara

I am really not surprised about this. BPP is the worst university I have ever been to. They don’t seem to care about students at all. I really hope this university shuts down soon. They have made many students suffer for so long. While I understand that many universities are struggling during this pandemic to provide the same level of teaching they would have had there been face to face classes, however having online classes with 80 plus students, failing to reschedule classes is simply unacceptable. Law is a very difficult course and very competitive as well so it is essential that they

(3)(0)

Magellan

I am studying the PGDL at BPP and it is beyond terrible. The materials we are given to study are riddled with errors, the admin team’s emails include conflicting and incorrect information, some of us still haven’t received the results of our mock exams taken in October. Emails sent to the student services are never acknowledged or responded to, not a single complaint has been taken into account or addressed. BPP’s teaching is not worth the £12k tuition fee, and I would really, really advise everyone to consider applying elsewhere.

(10)(0)

Anonyme

Reading through these comments is really a very disquieting experience.

I’m going to have to start my GDL at BPP next autumn because I have a TC at one of the 6 City Consortium firms that have signed a deal with BPP to deliver the SQE courses from next year. But, I really am not willing to compromise on the quality of my GDL because I am considering going to the commercial bar sometime after my training contract. Anyone knows if there is the possibility of doing the GDL at, say, City before moving back on to the SQE prep courses at BPP?

(7)(0)

Ms Lukey

ULAW seems a good alternative. i am currently at BPP and if i could get my money back i would…i feel i paid someone 16K to teach myself

(8)(1)

Current and successful BPP Student

In my experience a successful candidate from BPP will already have overcome significant obstacles not faced at other providers, and therefore could be more competent

(4)(3)

Anonyme

@Current and successful BPP Student

Well that’s a worrying thing to say…

(0)(0)

Name

The firm is paying for your GDL so just do it where they tell you to do it and be grateful. You’ll also be with your future intake so it’s great for making friends and networking. After you finish your TC and qualify no one will care in the slightest where you did your GDL. See the GDL and LPC (or SQE) as hoops you have to jump through rather than key determinants of your future career prospects.

(0)(0)

Anonyme

Yeah I understand all that, but considering the amount of apparently well-founded criticism BPP are getting I might make life a lot easier going to a better run GDL, making a new network there, then joining my trainee cohort back at BPP for the SQE prep courses (which last around 8 months I think).

Obviously I need to check this carefully with the firm as the last thing I want to do is to annoy them. I know people have gone to different gdl providers before but am not sure if the new sqe arrangements make that more difficult.

(0)(0)

Gyngjk

I totally agree. I have brought these to their attention and they simply didn’t care. I am a disable student and I have no support.
I really regret studying at BPP. There’s no reason why I should be paying £16k for low quality teaching.

(11)(0)

Disappointed BPP student

As a BPP student, I have been seriously unimpressed by the poor quality of the teaching materials and some of the teaching. It was especially dismal that many students had still not received copies of the White Book by the date of the open book exam.

BPP’s response to feedback has been consistent: stonewall or make excuses. It is a mystery why BPP have felt entitled to charge more than other better law schools.

(9)(0)

ffff

I did the BVC years ago at BPP in Leeds. Could have been better.

It was the exam papers that had mistakes in (spelling etc) that really were the icing on the cake.

(4)(0)

Disgruntled Student #10.

Can we just acknowledge the fact that BPP hasn’t bothered updating its lectures from two years ago for even its sponsored LPC cohorts (CC, A&O, etc.), meaning that students are still being given out of date references for e.g. the SRA Standards and Regulations.

(10)(0)

BPTC student

Isn’t it strange that none of the other providers are having this issue, just BPP, and mainly in London. To all the posters calling victims of poor service at one of their most vulnerable times “snowflakes”, the common denominator here is one university and not students in general.

(8)(0)

Lord Bond

Here we are, yet again, snowflakes finding something else to moan about. I was part of last year’s BPTC cohort who sought a waiver for the Centralised exams. It did not work.

Two things came to my mind when I read the letter. Firstly, why on earth was the letter published on Twitter? Surely this is a private matter to be resolved by BPP and the authors should have waited for a response, before taking to twitter. The only explanation is snowflakes chasing clout.

Secondly, the student representatives gave BPP 3 working days to respond. During a pandemic. I mean who do they think they are ?! I hope BPP did not respond within that short deadline.

(0)(4)

Frustrated BPP student #289

One of my worst decisions choosing this institution for the BTC. I’m fortunate in that have a scholarship but feel like that money is being entirely wasted by giving it to BPP. It takes weeks not hours to get hold of people for key information, teaching is a lottery (one tutor literally showed us the script that they read off and admitted that they had no real understanding of the topic area) and the ‘groundbreaking online learning platform’ AKA Adapt is just an online copy and paste of the hardcopy textbook that they gave previous cohorts. If you’re reading this and considering where to do the bar course then take note and avoid BPP like the plague.

(6)(0)

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