Statistics of number of parents / nominated persons contacted by university regarding student mental wellbeing.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear University of East London,
Following 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:
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/contacting-peop...
https://thetab.com/uk/2018/09/20/these-a...
https://thetab.com/uk/bristol/2019/10/31...
This important scheme has been implemented at a number of universities, and perhaps at your institution as well. If so, please provide me with the following information as absolute numbers and percentages.
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• How many students subsequently rescinded their consent?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?

Yours faithfully,

Gillian Green

Freedom Info, University of East London

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Dear Gillian,

 

We refer to your FOI request sent on 12^th March 2021 and set out below
our response to your inquiry.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[1][University of East London request email]

University of East London

4-6 University Way

London

E16 2RD

 

 

FOI REQUEST

 

Following 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.

 

This important scheme has been implemented at a number of universities,
and perhaps at your institution as well. If so, please provide me with the
following information as absolute numbers and percentages.

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?

RESPONSE

 

UEL does not have an opt-in scheme.

 

 

If you are dissatisfied with the way the University of East London has
handled your request for information, you can request an internal  review
of this decision by contacting:

 

University Secretary

University of East London

4-6 University Way

London

E16 2RD

E-mail [2][University of East London request email]

 

If the review does not address your concerns, you can exercise a right of
appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Live Chat [3]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/liv...

Tel: 0303 123 1113

[email address]. 

 

 

 

 

From: Gillian Green <[FOI #735836 email]>
Sent: 12 March 2021 15:10
To: Freedom Info <[University of East London request email]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Statistics of number of parents
/ nominated persons contacted by university regarding student mental
wellbeing.

 

Dear University of East London,

Following 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:

[4]http://www.bristol.ac.uk/contacting-peop...

[5]https://thetab.com/uk/2018/09/20/these-a...

[6]https://thetab.com/uk/bristol/2019/10/31...

This important scheme has been implemented at a number of universities,
and perhaps at your institution as well. If so, please provide me with the
following information as absolute numbers and percentages.

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?

Yours faithfully,

Gillian Green

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