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

Gillian Green made this Freedom of Information request to Brunel University

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The request was successful.

Dear Brunel 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• How many students subsequently rescinded their consent?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 requests, Brunel University

Dear Ms Green,

Thank you for your recent Freedom of Information Request, you should receive a response by 07 April 2021.

Please be aware that due to the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, there may be a delay in us processing your request. This means that in some cases, you won’t receive a response within the usual 20 day deadline.

For further information on the latest guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office, please visit: https://ico.org.uk/global/data-protectio...

We appreciate your patience at this challenging time, and we will endeavour to respond to all requests are quickly as possible.

Kind Regards,

Amy Pocknee
Deputy Data Protection Officer

• Please note, I am currently working from home. Please contact me by email or on Teams.
• During this period, the Data Protection Team is experiencing extremely high volumes of both legislative and Internal requests. Due to this, you may experience delays in responses. Please bear with us.
• For general information about Brunel’s response to the Coronavirus, advice or support, please visit our portal

Brunel University London
Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, United Kingdom
T +44(0)1895 274000
www.brunel.ac.uk

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Dear FoI requests,
I am writing to remind you of my FOI request which should have been answered by now.
I understand that times are difficult, so this is just a polite reminder.

Yours sincerely,

Gillian Green

FoI requests, Brunel University

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Green,

Please find attached our response to your request.

Kind Regards,

Amy Pocknee
Deputy Data Protection Officer

• Please note, I am currently working from home. Please contact me by email or on Teams.
• During this period, the Data Protection Team is experiencing extremely high volumes of both legislative and Internal requests. Due to this, you may experience delays in responses. Please bear with us.
• For general information about Brunel’s response to the Coronavirus, advice or support, please visit our portal

Brunel University London

Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, United Kingdom
T +44(0)1895 274000
www.brunel.ac.uk

Connect with the University on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook

show quoted sections