Safeguarding is about protecting children, young people or adults who may be vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Safeguarding in the context of the University also refers more broadly to concerns about the well-being of students, staff and visitors.
The University context
Each year, the university admits students who are under the age of 18 at entry and engages with up to 20,000 children in its outreach programmes. Staff and students over the age of 18 may be vulnerable because of mental ill-health concerns, disability, a medical condition or illness. Many of our students are working with children or vulnerable adults as part of their studies or career development goals. Research is taking place which may involve vulnerable groups. Clearly, the University and its community must take safeguarding seriously.
Who is responsible for Safeguarding?
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Staff and students alike have a role to play in keeping each other and themselves safe. We all have a duty to take action if we have a cause for concern about the well-being of others, whether this is on university property or in our own communities.
The University as an organisation has a general duty of care under common law to take reasonable steps to ensure that children, young people and adults who may be at risk are safe and that foreseeable harm does not occur as a result of careless acts or omissions of the university. In some cases, the University may also have a legal duty which must be fulfilled.
In response to this duty of care, the University has appointed a team of Designated Officers responsible for receiving and acting upon reports of safeguarding concerns. These officers are trained to respond appropriately to reports and to support anyone who makes a report.
In these pages you will find information, advice and guidance to help staff and students understand what safeguarding means and how you can help ensure that the University of Leicester is a safe place to work, study and succeed.