FOI: bereavement services

Poppy Damon made this Freedom of Information request to Reigate College as part of a batch sent to 499 authorities

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Reigate College,

I am e-mailing to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

If you have any questions or need clarification to complete my request, I would be grateful if you could contact me prior to the deadline of 20 working days from receiving my request.

I’m looking for information regarding the bereavement services which are available in your university or college. Please could you answer the following:

+Do you offer special provisions for counselling services for students specific to bereavement? Y/N
+Do you offer any support or counselling services for students? Y/N
+Do you have an institution wide policy/guidance regarding caring for students following a bereavement? Y/N
+Do your policies or practices exclusively relate to support for students who have lost parents or does your support factor in other forms of bereavement, such as losing a sibling?
+Can you tell me what special provision you have for offering extensions and academic breaks in study after a bereavement?
+How much money did you allocate to counselling and support services for bereavement per year (Jan 2016-Jan 2019)?
+If you feel you would like to offer an opinion, would you say your institution feels you are offered enough from the Government in order to support students who have experienced bereavement while studying?

I understand that under the Act, I should be entitled to a response within 20 working days. I would be grateful if you could confirm via e-mail that you have received this request.

Regards,
Georgia Coan + Poppy Damon
[Number Removed]

Yours faithfully,

Poppy Damon

Sam Davey, Reigate College

Dear Georgia & Poppy,

 

Please can I ask who you are and what the information will be used for?

 

Kind Regards

 

Sam Davey

Associate Principal

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Melanie Pearl, Reigate College

Dear Poppy Damon,

 

Further to your email, I would be grateful you if could provide us with
the following information:

 

What is your occupation and what if any organisation are you making this
request for?

What is the information requested indented to be used for?

 

I have tried to call on the mobile number provided but without response.

 

Many thanks

Melanie Pearl

Reigate College

Dear Melanie,

Thank you for getting back so swiftly and apologies for missing your call. Under the Freedom of Information Act I am not required to provide the information you have asked for in order to receive a response to my request. However, I am happy to share that I am a BBC journalist speaking to Universities and colleges about bereavement provision to explore the differences in access to services nationwide. It is for a piece for BBC News.

Yours sincerely,

Poppy Damon

Melanie Pearl, Reigate College

Dear Poppy,

Thank you for getting back to me. It sounds very interesting. I will find out the information and get back you. In the meantime if you would like to discuss any further please do not hesitate to contact me.
Many thanks
Melanie Pearl
Pastoral Director
Reigate college

+Do you offer special provisions for counselling services for students
+specific to bereavement? Y/N Do you offer any support or counselling
+services for students? Y/N Do you have an institution wide
+policy/guidance regarding caring for students following a bereavement? Y/N Do your policies or practices exclusively relate to support for students who have lost parents or does your support factor in other forms of bereavement, such as losing a sibling?
+Can you tell me what special provision you have for offering extensions and academic breaks in study after a bereavement?
+How much money did you allocate to counselling and support services for bereavement per year (Jan 2016-Jan 2019)?
+If you feel you would like to offer an opinion, would you say your institution feels you are offered enough from the Government in order to support students who have experienced bereavement while studying?

I understand that under the Act, I should be entitled to a response within 20 working days. I would be grateful if you could confirm via e-mail that you have received this request.

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Melanie Pearl, Reigate College

Dear Poppy,

Further to your email please find below the information you requested.

Kind regards
Melanie Pearl

+Do you offer any support or counselling services for students? Yes

+Do you have an institution wide policy/guidance regarding caring for students following a bereavement? No

+Do your policies or practices exclusively relate to support for students who have lost parents or does your support factor in other forms of bereavement, such as losing a sibling?
Support would be offered through the pastoral system regardless of if it were a parent or sibling. If as a result of the bereavement a student no longer has someone with parental responsibilities, referrals would be made into children’s services and support would be given to access support such as special guardianships and financial support could also be sort through the bursary system. Help would be provided to access other financial or practical support, for example independent living allowance or special guardianship allowances. This should be offered through other organisations such as the local council but we can signpost the students and support them with applications etc. If a student was struggling, then referrals might be made to try to access target support such a youth support but the threshold in order to access services is very high. A referral to bereavement counselling can be made for any form bereavement, it is not restricted to family members.

+Can you tell me what special provision you have for offering extensions and academic breaks in study after a bereavement?
One to one support with a pastoral lead who should coordinate the support package. This could include referrals to bereavement counselling, extension with work, one to one support to catch up, breaks in learning, restarts at college, and special considerations in exams, in line with the exam board procedures. Special concentration/extenuating circumstances can be sent to the Universities subject to student agreement, in order to seek a reduced offer and access support whilst at University. Support through careers to explore bursaries and grants, 365 accommodation at Universities etc.

+How much money did you allocate to counselling and support services for bereavement per year (Jan 2016-Jan 2019)? There is no specific allocation. The support would be funded through the normal budget allocation for pastoral support which is allocated from the general government funding for students. General fund has declined by 16- 20% over the past 5 five years.

+If you feel you would like to offer an opinion, would you say your institution feels you are offered enough from the Government in order to support students who have experienced bereavement while studying? No specific funding is allocated.

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