Upper Tribunal decision in ETS case

24 March 2016

On 23 March, the President and Deputy President of the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) allowed an appeal by two students who had been accused of cheating in their English language tests, as part of the Home Office action in 2014 and 2015 against students whose qualifications were awarded by Educational Testing Services (ETS).

The full determination is not yet available, but we have a summary of the judgment is available.

Summary judgment

Summary judgment


The President of the Upper Tribunal had previously considered the expert evidence that made the difference in this case in an application for judicial review.

That application was not successful because it was considered necessary to examine and cross-examine witnesses in order to make a decision and so the case was unsuitable for determination by an application for judicial review. However, after having heard evidence in the appeal, the tribunal determined that the expert witness's evidence was persuasive and that the students "were truthful and reliable in their accounts".

We await publication of the full determination and news of whether the Home Office seeks to pursue further legal action. It has been reported that the the Home Affairs Select Committee intends to investigate the matter. When more information is available, the consequences of this judgment for students and institutions affected by the events surrounding ETS qualifications should become clearer.

In the meantime, the solicitors who represented the students in the tribunal have issued a press release with more details.