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

The request was successful.

Dear Roehampton University,

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• How many students subsequently rescinded their consent?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

FOI, Roehampton University

Dear Gillian,
Receipt of your FOI request is acknowledged and a further email will be
sent to you shortly.
Kind regards,

Afia Nicholas 

Student Casework Officer University Secretariat 

University of Roehampton | London | SW15 5PU Extension: 7252 

[1][email address]| [2]www.roehampton.ac.uk 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Gillian Green <[FOI #734791 email]>
Sent: 09 March 2021 12:50
To: FOI <[Roehampton University request email]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Statistics of number of parents
/ nominated persons contacted by university regarding student mental
wellbeing.
 
Dear Roehampton University,

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:

[3]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...

[4]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...

[5]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...

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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show quoted sections

FOI, Roehampton University

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Green

With reference to the FOI request below, please find our response attached.

Best wishes
Alison Bainbridge

Information Access Manager (& Data Protection Officer)

I am currently working remotely please telephone 020 8392 3104 and your call will be transferred

Usual working hours Monday to Thursday, 0830 to 1630

show quoted sections

Dear FOI,
I am confused by your reply. If not at annual registration or enrolment, exactly how and when are your students asked to opt-in? Is there a policy document on your web site that explains matters?

Yours sincerely,

Gillian Green