We need to ensure we have appropriate safeguards in place to support students who are under 18. Associate Deans’ Students are informed of students who are under 18 at the start of each academic year. They are responsible for ensuring risk assessments are completed in relation to the academic programme, including curriculum and field trips.
The Director of Library & Student Services is responsible for ensuring that students who are under 18 have a suitable UK based guardian and appropriate accommodation. Students who are 17 can live in University accommodation.
Heads of Department are responsible for ensuring appropriate risk assessments are completed for all outreach activity involving children or young people. Guidance can be provided by the University’s Business Risk Manager.
If you are hosting a child or young person undertaking work experience, take a common sense approach to interactions with them.
Here are a few tips:
Keep to a minimum. There may be situations where a young person may be distressed and need reassurance: adults should use their discretion in such cases. When administering first aid, another adult or young learner should be present. Physical contact could be misconstrued by a learner, parent or observer.
It is important to reassure a young person who may feel nervous in a new placement, but avoid being overly familiar. Occasionally, staff may encounter young learners who display attention-seeking behaviour, or profess to be attracted to them. Staff should aim to deal with these situations sensitively and appropriately but must ensure that their own behaviour cannot be misinterpreted and that their manager is aware of the situation.
Use language and conduct that is appropriate to the learners’ age and gender.
Avoid being on your own in an isolated or closed environment with a young person.
Individual young learners should not be transported by a lone adult without the express permission of the learner’s parents/carers. Ensure that there is a known destination and check-in times with a third party in situations where a young person will be travelling alone with an adult during the placement. It is a good idea to make available a mobile phone (or equivalent) in such situations.
Young people may disclose confidential information to a work colleague that gives rise to concern for their physical or emotional safety. In such situations you should speak to your line manager and share you concern with an appropriate representative of the education provider (usually this will be a school’s work experience coordinator or the head teacher) or the Central Work Experience Coordinator.
Employees required under the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act to declare that they are disqualified from working with children.