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

The request was successful.

Dear Worcester College, Oxford,
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• How many students subsequently rescinded their consent?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

Worcester College Academic Administrator, Worcester College, Oxford

Dear Gillian Green

I acknowledge receipt of your freedom of information request. We will respond by the required deadline.

Best wishes

Phillipa Tarver

Phillipa Tarver
Academic Administrator
Worcester College
Oxford
OX1 2HB
 
Worcester College is a Registered Charity, No. 1143479

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Worcester College Academic Administrator, Worcester College, Oxford

Dear Gillian Green

 

I write in response to your freedom of information request of 18 March
2021 to Worcester College, Oxford.  The College has not set up an ‘opt-in
scheme’ as detailed in your request and therefore has no data to provide.

 

If you are not satisfied with the response to your request, you have the
right to request an internal review of the decision; if you are not
satisfied with the outcome of any internal review, you have the right to
complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

 

Internal review requests should be submitted within 40 working days of the
date of receipt of the response to your original email and should be
addressed to the College’s FOI email account
([1]mailto:[Worcester College request email]).

 

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. Details of how to do so can be found on the Information
Commissioner’s website:
[2]https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/offi....

 

Yours sincerely

 

Phillipa Tarver

 

Phillipa Tarver

Academic Administrator

Worcester College

Oxford

OX1 2HB

 

Worcester College is a Registered Charity, No. 1143479

 

______________________________________________

 

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