Reference Number: RI1821.
Thank you for your request for information (under the Freedom of Information Act 2000).
Please find the answers to your questions below:
Fol owing a spate of sudden student deaths in 2018, an ‘opt-in scheme’ was pioneered by the
University of Bristol as part of a set of measures aimed at preventing suicide. In 2019, a coroner
wrote to the Department for Education and Minister for Suicide Prevention suggesting that these
measures might be shared throughout the sector. I am now seeking to establish the extent to
which ‘opt-in’ has been subsequently adopted and/or utilised.
The ‘opt-in’ or ‘consent at registration’ scheme implemented by Bristol University comprises an
additional personal information sharing agreement that supplements when information might be
shared. It gains consent at annual registration for the university to contact a ’safe and nominated’
parent, guardian or friend in situations that are not emergencies, but where staff have serious
concerns that something bad might happen to an enrolled student, and/or where their health,
wellbeing or welfare could be affected. Essentially it involves lowering the bar at which parents or
nominated others could be contacted by a designated professional at the university, from ‘vital
interests’ to ‘serious or significant concerns’. It could for example apply in cases of trauma or
distress associated with suspension / expulsion / non-attendance / mental health issues etc.
To qualify as ‘opt-in’ a scheme must be optional and additional to the regular emergency contact
protocol. The latter is compulsory and typically restricted to serious incidents and/or emergency
situations, that may present an imminent threat to a student’s vital interests. Further particulars
can be found at:
This important scheme has been implemented at several universities, and perhaps at your
institution as wel . If so, please provide me with the fol owing information as absolute numbers
Cardiff Metropolitan University has not implemented this scheme.
For each academic period (2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21) and year-of-study (e.g. 1st year, 2nd
year, 3rd year) sub-division:
• How many students opted-in at registration?
• How many students subsequently rescinded their consent?
• How many times was the opt-in consent used to contact somebody?
• How many times was use of the opt-in consent considered, but with you deliberately
choosing not to contact a parent or nominated individual?
If you are unhappy with the way in which your request has been dealt with or with the outcome of
the consideration given to your request, you may ask for an Internal Review. If you are not content
with the outcome of the Internal Review you have the right to apply directly to the Information
Commissioner for a decision. Our procedure for carrying out Internal Reviews can be found under
the ‘Complaint’ section of this document.
If you have any queries about this response or would like any further information about your
request, or the Freedom of Information Act in general, please do not hesitate to contact us again by
Governance and Compliance Advisor / Ymgynghorydd Llywodraethu a Chydymffurfiaeth
Cardiff Metropolitan University / Prifysgol Metropolitan Caerdydd
Western Avenue / Rhodfa’r Gorl ewin
Cardiff / Caerdydd
Wales, UK / Cymru, DU
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