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

Gillian Green made this Freedom of Information request to De Montfort University

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The request was successful.

Dear De Montfort 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• How many students subsequently rescinded their consent?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

Freedom Of Information, De Montfort University

Dear Gillian Green

 

During the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic, while De Montfort University will make every effort to comply
with the timescales of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the General
Data Protection Regulation, and the Data Protection Act 2018, it may be
necessary to temporarily divert resources to support the welfare and
safety of staff and students, and away from the University’s compliance
and information rights work, and this may impact our response times.

 

We apologise for any impact this may have, but this is a challenge many
organisations will face at the moment and one the Information
Commissioner’s Office have recognised.  The Information Commissioner’s
Office have advised:

 

We can’t extend statutory timescales, but we will tell people through our
own communications channels that they may experience understandable delays
when making information rights requests during the pandemic.

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office have provided additional information
[1]here

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

 

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Yours sincerely,

 

 

Michael Davies

 

Information Governance Officer

Governance and Legal

 

DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY

Trinity House

The Gateway

Leicester

LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 250 6513

E: [3][email address]

W: dmu.ac.uk

 

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Freedom Of Information, De Montfort University

Dear Gillian Green

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000-INFORMATION REQUEST

 

During the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic, while De Montfort University is making every effort to comply
with the timescales of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the General
Data Protection Regulation, and the Data Protection Act 2018, it has been
necessary to temporarily divert resources to support the welfare and
safety of staff and students, and away from the University’s compliance
and information rights work, and this has impacted our response times.

 

We apologise for any impact this may have, but this is a challenge many
organisations will face at the moment and one the Information
Commissioner’s Office have recognised.  The Information Commissioner’s
Office have advised:

 

We can’t extend statutory timescales, but we will tell people through our
own communications channels that they may experience understandable delays
when making information rights requests during the pandemic.

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office have provided additional information
[1]here

 

Your request for information has been considered under the requirements of
the Freedom of Information Act and our response is as follows:

 

De Montfort University does not operate such a scheme.

 

If you have any queries please get in touch with me to discuss them. You
might like to know that the University’s website [2]www.dmu.ac.uk contains
a section on the Freedom of Information Act that lists other publications
readily available from the University under its Publication Scheme.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Michael

 

Michael Davies

 

Information Governance Officer

Governance and Legal

 

DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY

Trinity House

The Gateway

Leicester

LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 250 6513

E: [3][email address]

W: dmu.ac.uk

 

You have the right to complain to the University about this decision.  If
you wish to do this please write to:

 

Regulations and Complaints Manager

Corporate Services

0.13 Trinity House

Leicester

Telephone (0116) 257 7694

 

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your complaint you have a right of appeal to the independent Information
Commissioner.

 

The Information Commissioner’s Offices are currently closed, and therefore
unable to receive correspondence via post.  Please contact the Information
Commissioner’s Office through their [4]contact page

 

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Act 2000 request will be subject to copyright protection. In most cases
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For information where the copyright is owned by another person or
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