Safeguarding – considerations for transition from school to Imperial College

Safeguarding of children is a highly regulated area and schools will be familiar with the record-keeping and reporting arrangements required to be in place for vulnerable children.   Whilst schools have an obligation to pass on safeguarding records for children under the age of 18 moving between educational establishments, this requirement is not in place once the child reaches 18.   Indeed, at this point, passing on records or information without the permission of the young person is likely to breach confidentiality and obligations governing the transfer of personal data unless there is an overriding matter of substantial personal safety.

Designated Safeguarding Officers/Leads (DS0) in schools may have concerns about the transition to University for a young adult in their care who has needed to access support systems during their time in sixth form.   The move to Higher Education is a big step for any young person and we will want to do our best to support the transition.

Our approach:

We will clearly signpost the support available to our new students in our recruitment and induction material – examples here:

Safeguarding records from the school should only be transferred to Imperial College with the permission of the prospective student.   Where this permission has been provided, in writing, then the information and prospective student’s contact details should be sent to Hannah Bannister, Director of Student Services, as the College’s Lead Safeguarding Officer for students.    The information will be reviewed and shared on a ‘need to know basis’ to ensure appropriate transition support can be put in place.   This will be done in consultation with the student.   Information will be held securely in line with our GDPR obligations.

Contact details for Hannah Bannister are available here:

Student Services 

If the student has not given permission for the transfer of their records or information, a conversation can still be held between Hannah Bannister (or a Safeguarding Deputy) and a School DSL, on a no-names basis, to signpost the support that is available to Imperial College students. 

We aim to support all students in growing into their independence and taking responsibility for aspects of their support.  As a prospective student moves through the process to joining Imperial College, we wish to build our relationship with them.  So while we take due note of information provided by parents or guardians, we expect to be contacted directly by prospective students.  Where a student requests that a parent be part of discussion about their needs, we will accommodate this as far as is practical.  Once a student registers with us, we would usually only engage directly with parents or guardians in exceptional circumstances.  It might be helpful to look through our Emergency Contact information which gives further context.

Members of Imperial College who are contacted by a school DSO should direct the query to Hannah Bannister.

Louise Lindsay, Director of Safeguarding, August 2022
Agreed by Safeguarding Committee, August 2022
Reviewed May 2024, no changes.   Next review May 2026