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Safeguarding and prevent

The following pages give an overview of the procedures and policies the University has in place in relation to its prevent and safeguarding duty, including referrals, contact information, and links to relevant policies.

St Mary's is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for all staff, students and visitors to the university. The following pages give an overview of the procedures and policies the University has in place in relation to its Prevent and Safeguarding duty, including referrals, contact information and links to relevant policies.

Safeguarding is ultimately everyone's responsibility and both staff and students have a role to play in ensuring that St Mary's is a safe and supportive environment and to take action if there is any cause for concern about the wellbeing of others.

These pages give information, advice and guidance on the University's safeguarding responsibility, key contact information and how to report any safeguarding concerns.

  • Safeguarding Responsibilities
  • Safeguarding Policies
  • Contact Information
  • Reporting a Safeguarding Concern

Safeguarding refers to the process of protecting children and adults at risk from abuse, neglect or exploitation.

St Mary's takes its responsibility to ensure the safety and welfare of children and adults at risk very seriously and is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for all staff, students and visitors.

St Mary's Safeguarding responsibilities relate to:

  • All registered students and apprentices
  • All staff members who work on University premises
  • The Students' Union officers, employees and all associated clubs and societies
  • All visitors including individuals who hire or otherwise use the University's facilities
  • Volunteers and sessional workers/HPAs
  • Those associated with First Star Academy and Sport St Mary's


A child is a person under the age of 18.
A vulnerable adult is someone over 18 who may be unable to take care of/protect him/herself against significant harm or exploitation.
Visitors include clients, external groups, organisations, visiting children and individuals in any capacity.
Volunteers include individuals spending time, unpaid at the University.

Abuse and neglect

There are many forms of abuse and neglect, examples of which can include sexual abuse, physical abuse, psychological/emotional abuse, domestic abuse, discriminatory abuse and financial abuse.

More information can be found on the NHS or NSPCC website.

St Mary's Safeguarding Policy is intended to provide an overarching framework for safeguarding. Its purpose is to reflect legislation, protect children and adults at risk and provide guidance for staff and students on safeguarding procedures.

There are also a number of more specific policies to support the overarching Safeguarding policy.

The Safeguarding Children, Young People and Adults at Risk Policy is specifically to protect children, young people and adults at risk who receive St Mary's University's services or the services or organisations/individuals hiring St Mary's facilities.

In addition, the Sport St Mary's Safeguarding Policy relates specifically to individuals and organisations using the Sports facilities.

In addition there are a number of other policies and procedures which are relevant to the safeguarding of students, staff and visitors. Where necessary these should be considered alongside the safeguarding policy. These include:

  • Consensual Relations between Staff and Students
  • Social Media Policy
  • Dignity at Work Policy
  • Student Admissions Policy
  • Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures
  • Student Disciplinary Procedures
  • Disclosure and Barring Service
  • Policy on Alcohol Consumption and/or Substance Abuse at Work
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Whistleblowing – Public Interest Disclosure and Procedure
  • IT Policy
  • Work experience and volunteers
  • Lone Working
  • Major Incident and Serious Incident Response Plans

As part of its duty of care, the University has designated Lead Safeguarding Officers (LSOs) and Designated Safeguarding Officers (DSOs) who are available to advise and support with any safeguarding queries or concerns.

The Chief Operating Officer is the Senior Management Lead for Safeguarding and is responsible for ensuring that suitable safeguarding policies and procedures are in place.

Lead Safeguarding Officers

The Lead Safeguarding Officers (LSOs) have overall responsibility for the strategic and operational implementation of the policy and guidelines.The LSOs have a 'facilitative' rather than investigative role as it is the responsibility for the Local Authority and/or the Police to investigate any potential risks.

Details of the Lead Safeguarding Officers are:

This information is correct as at January 2024.

Designated Safeguarding Officers

In addition to the Lead Safeguarding Officers, there are a number of Designated Safeguarding Officers (DSOs) who are responsible for providing support and liaising with the relevant Lead Safeguarding Officer. 

Details of the Designated Safeguarding Officers are:

This information is correct as at January 2024.

If staff have any concerns in relation to the Safeguarding of either children or adults at risk these can be reported either by contacting the relevant Lead or Designated Safeguarding Officer.

If students have any concerns in relation to the Safeguarding of either children or adults at risk these can be reported by contacting Student Services:

Please note the details of any safeguarding referrals are strictly confidential and access is restricted. In the case of external referrals, relevant information will be shared with the Local Authority and/or Police.

If you are a Student on an Education Course and you are on placement, contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead in your setting. If your concern does not relate to placement, please submit this form. The Safeguarding Lead from the School of Education will respond within 48 hours.

If there is a safeguarding concern about the Safeguarding Lead in the School of Education, please contact the Chief Operating Officer at You will receive a response within 48 hours.

LSOs and DSOs only

Please report any safeguarding concerns raised via the reporting form.

Introduced under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, the Prevent Duty requires universities to take appropriate steps to prevent people being drawn into terrorism. As part of its role safeguarding and supporting students and staff, the University, like other educational institutions, has a statutory responsibility to adhere to the government's Prevent Duty.

The Prevent Duty guidance for higher education institutions in England and Wales was updated in 2019. It is monitored by the Office for Students (OfS), which has provided a framework (PDF) that all registered higher education providers in England are expected to satisfy. See our full Prevent Policy.

If you have any questions or comments in relation to the University’s Prevent or Safeguarding duty please contact either a member of the Prevent Working Group or a Lead Safeguarding Officer.

Alternatively, contact if you have any concerns in relation to Prevent or call ext. 4268.

The University must be able to demonstrate that its policies and procedures fulfil the requirements of the Prevent Duty. Measures in place to do this include:

  • Processes to assess speakers invited on to campus or to participate in online forums
  • Ensuring those expressing extremist views do not go unchallenged
  • Ensuring there is no gender segregation at university-approved events
  • Coordinating and making available training for staff
  • Making sure students and staff are aware of the different types of support available to them

The Director of Student Operations, Simon Williams, is the institution's Prevent lead. He is supported by Heather Tonkin (EA to the DOSO and secretary of the Prevent working group) and members of the Prevent working group, drawn from members across the University.

Chaired by the Director of Student Operations, the working group reviews all activity in relation to the Act and monitors implementation of statutory guidance relating to it. The group is responsible to the Chair of the Board of Governors, as the University's Accountable Officer.

The Prevent Working Group was established in 2015 to coordinate work across the University and ensure that the University is meeting its Prevent obligations. The group meets regularly throughout the academic year and also links in with external bodies where relevant, including the local Prevent Co-ordinator, who attends a meeting once a year to give a regional and national update on Prevent. 

The Prevent Group is chaired by the Director of Student Operations and includes the following members;

  • Director of Student Operations
  • EA to the Director of Student Operations (Secretary and note taker)
  • Security Operations Manager
  • University Secretary and Head of Legal Governance
  • CEO of the Students’ Union
  • Head of Student Services
  • Dean of the School of Education

The University has a statutory responsibility and is committed to upholding freedom of speech and at the same time, it has a responsibility to all staff, students and members of the public, including any speakers, to ensure there are processes and procedures in place to safeguard them.

We are proud to be an inclusive University community, where people from all backgrounds can come together to share their views and experiences and in which ideas can be heard and tested.

We encourage our students to show they can challenge and interrogate different viewpoints in a thoughtful, tolerant and courteous way.

Any member of staff can refer an event to the University Secretary/Senior Leadership Team if they think it may pose a risk, to do this the below referral form should be completed and submitted to the University Secretary.

We expect all speakers who attend events across any of our campuses, or being held online, to conform to the University and SMSU policies.

Both the University and St Marys Students Union reserve the right to deny access to a speaker, or to stop a talk, if an individual or organisation refuses to comply with these requirements or breaches the policy in any way.

The University’s IT Policy applies to the use of all IT systems at St Mary’s used for electronic communication and content creation, as well as network security.

For further guidance and advice please contact the IT department – The Hub Online.

Staff and students should note that if they wish to access material which may relate to terrorism as part of their teaching or learning or research, they should obtain the relevant approval for the research through the Ethics Sub-Committee.

Further information can be found on the Ethics Guidelines and Forms pages on our website or contact the Research Officer for further information.