Lessons from the Abrahart Case- Webinar

Thursday 25th Apr 2024 - Thursday 25th Apr 2024
In association with ARC and AHEP, will be hosting a webinar on Thursday 25th April between 13:00-15:00.

The “problem with the University’s reliance on its own Regulations and policies… was that they are not the law. They were subject to the law, including the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.” (Mr Justice Lindon, Feb 2024).

In a landmark case in February 2024, the High Court upheld an earlier judgement from May 2022, that the University of Bristol failed to make reasonable adjustments for Natasha Abrahart, a 20-year-old female student who suffered social anxiety. Natasha took her own life in April 2018 on the day she was due to give a presentation in a 329-seat lecture theatre. The ruling concluded that Natasha had been indirectly discriminated against on the grounds of disability, contrary to the Equality Act 2010.

This tragic case serves as a poignant reminder for higher education providers to reassess their policies and procedures, ensuring they are robust and effective, particularly in accommodating students with known mental health issues. While the court did not explicitly define the duty of care, its decision prompts critical discussions about institutions’ obligations and empowers students to assert their rights when facing similar challenges.


  • To stimulate thought and reflection on the Natasha Abrahart case and encourage critical examination of current practices within higher education providers concerning support for students with disabilities, particularly mental health difficulties.
  • To assess the effectiveness of communication strategies within higher education providers regarding disability awareness, reasonable adjustments, and proper procedures for notifying staff.
  • To highlight the accountability of institutions in addressing students’ mental health-related needs and the consequences of failing to do so adequately.

We’re pleased to confirm the following speakers:

  • Julian Sladdin– Pinsent Masons
  • Pete Quinn – AHEP Consulting
  • OIA update: Complaints from Disabled Student 
    • Jo Nuckley – OIA
      • The OIA will share themes, trends and points of good practice emerging from the complaints they have received from disabled students
    Student Suicide Prevention 
    • Prof. Jo Smith, University of Worcester and  Dr Simon Merrywest, University of Manchester 
      • This session presentation will provide an overview of relevant HE sector guidance around student mental health promotion and suicide prevention, draw out key messages and identify potential intervention opportunities when enacting academic policy and processes. This will specifically consider the role of Higher Education professionals s in modifying/improving processes and proactively creating environments that promote and support student mental health and wellbeing throughout the academic learning journey from registration to award, while still maintaining academic integrity and adherence to structure, policies and procedures.

To register for this event please use the Wufoo Link below and not the embedded form, thank you. 

Wufoo Registration form 

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Event Breakdown

Event Details

This event belongs to the following categories:
Event Begins:
Thursday 25th Apr 2024 13:00

Event Ends:
Thursday 25th Apr 2024 15:00

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