Parents and family members

Guidance for staff who receive a request from family members to share personal data

Key principle

Parents and family members of students and staff have no general legal right to be given information about those individuals.

Do not share information or discuss issues with parents or familiy members of students. 

Sharing by request

If a student has asked you to share information with their parent or family member, you can do so, provided you ensure you have specific, freely given and informed consent from the student.

Guidance on seeking consent

General information

You can share general information about University policies and procedures with a parent, where this sort of information would be shared without hesitation in response to a freedom of information request. For example if a parent wants to know about their son's options for suspending his studies, you can send the parent a link to the relevant University procedure. However do not discuss anything specific about the son's circumstances.

Passing on a message

If a family member is unable to contact a student, you can offer to pass on a message, and explain it is the student's decision whether to respond. You should not confirm or deny someone is a student when doing so.

Passing a message guidance and model text

Emergency contacts

If there is an emergency, for example a student is rushed to hospital, you can contact their listed emergency contacts to let them know about the situation. However do not share additional information about the student that is not relevant to the emergency.

Exceptional circumstances

If there are exceptional circumstances, where you think it may be appropriate to share information, you should refer the enquiry to the relevant senior decision maker.

Decision makers