Trusted Contacts

Find out about trusted contacts and how we use them to help protect students safety and wellbeing.

What is a trusted contact?

A trusted contact is someone the conservatoire can contact if there are serious concerns about a student’s health or wellbeing.

A trusted contact is someone the student nominates whom they trust to handle sensitive information about them. A trusted contact may need to work with us and statutory/emergency services (e.g. health services) to act in the student’s best interests, for example if they become unwell.

The student should explain to their trusted contact that we may reach out to them if we have serious concerns about that student’s health or wellbeing. It is the student’s responsibility to inform their trusted contact they have chosen them to act in this important role.

Why do students need to provide a trusted contact?

At Leeds Conservatoire we are committed to fostering a culture of care and to protecting student wellbeing. As part of this commitment, we ask all students to provide up-to-date contact details for a trusted contact throughout their studies at the conservatoire.

When would we get in touch with a trusted contact?

Staff will only attempt to contact a student’s trusted contact if we have serious concerns for their wellbeing and decide that we need to share this information with them.

For example:

  • The student has not responded to attempts made to contact them and we are concerned for their wellbeing
  • The student is displaying symptoms of serious physical or mental illness or concerning behaviour
  • The student has been admitted to hospital

This list is not exhaustive.

Staff must make sure that the situation warrants this and seek authority from within the conservatoire. Wherever possible, Leeds Conservatoire staff should consult with the student prior to communicating with their trusted contact. On certain occasions, it may be necessary for us to share information with a trusted contact without the student's consent, if it is in the student's best interest to do so.

When wouldn’t we get in touch with a trusted contact?

  • If a student has poor attendance or doesn’t submit work or doesn’t attend a practical assessment but we don’t have any reason to be concerned for their wellbeing.
  • If a student discloses something as part of an additional consideration (formerly mitigating circumstances) request or directly to a member of staff, e.g. in a student support session.
    We will offer the student support or signpost them to external support as appropriate, but we would not share this information with their trusted contact.

What would the conservatoire do if a trusted contact contacts us directly?

We understand that trusted contacts may also want to get in touch with the Conservatoire. For example, they may ask how the student is settling in, particularly if the student has not been in touch, or how they are progressing academically.

Unfortunately, the conservatoire is unable to disclose this information due to the Data Protection Act 2018, unless the student proactively contacts us with explicit consent for specific information to be released to a specific person. We always encourage contact to be made directly with the student, rather than trying to make contact via the conservatoire.

We are able to discuss general procedures at the conservatoire, for example, what happens if a student fails a module, or what support is available for students for personal or practical issues. This information can then be passed onto the student by the trusted contact.  

More about trusted contacts

A trusted contact must be over the age of 18. In most cases, a trusted contact will be a parent, a guardian, partner or other close family member. It can be someone else, but the most important thing is that it is someone the student trusts.

A trusted contact should care about the student and know their medical, social history and lived experience. The student should be confident their nominated trusted contact will respect their privacy and understand how to handle the responsibility of this role.

A trusted contact should not normally be another conservatoire student or staff member, unless they are also the parent/guardian/partner/close family member.

We ask that students obtain their chosen trusted contact’s permission to fulfil this role before they give us their details, make them aware of what the role entails and that their contact details will be shared with the conservatoire. A good way of doing this is by sharing this webpage with a chosen trusted contact.

It is essential that students keep their trusted contact details up to date. Students can review and update these details at a later date once they have fully enrolled.

In practice and for most students, the conservatoire will never need to get in touch with a trusted contact. However, where we do decide that we need to share information with a trusted contact, we will try to get the student’s permission to do so first, but there could be situations where we make contact without having been able to involve the student in the decision to share information.

We might contact you if we have reason to believe a student’s welfare or safety is at significant risk. This would usually happen alongside the conservatoire contacting other organisations such as emergency services. Ultimately our aim is to prevent any student coming to harm and reduce any risks of that happening.

What actions you take will be determined by the circumstances. We will not dictate what your next steps should be.

Trusted contact information will be held on the conservatoire’s student records system in accordance with our privacy policy and the Data Protection Act 2018.

The conservatoire may share trusted contact information with the emergency services if requested to do so without a student’s consent if circumstances warrant this e.g., we think this is in the student’s vital or best interests, it may help to prevent harm to the student concerned, or to someone else, or it is requested as part of a police investigation or may be helpful to the emergency services for the purpose of admission to hospital.

Where there has been a death, it is usually the responsibility of the police to contact the next of kin. In accordance with the policy on the release of personal information, the conservatoire might share the trusted contact’s details with the police irrespective of their relationship to the student. The conservatoire would not normally be involved in the initial direct contact with the next of kin.

Students are not required to nominate a trusted contact as part of their registration; however, they are strongly encouraged to do so.

It is essential that students keep their trusted contact details up to date. Students can review and update these details at a later date once they have fully enrolled. Students don’t need to tell us why they have nominated a particular person as their trusted contact or why they change who that person is.

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