HE Under 18 Policy and Process
1. Policy statement
- 1.1. The British Academy of Jewellery (BAJ) is committed to equal opportunities and all applications are considered on their individual merits.
- 1.2. Occasionally the Academy admits students who are under the age of 18 years. In most cases, this will be a very temporary situation, as the student will be approaching their eighteenth birthday at the time they register with the Academy. These students and their parents/guardians should understand that the Academy predominantly admits students who are over the age of 18 years and that they will be entering an adult environment. The Academy treats all its students as independent, mature individuals and students who are under the age of 18 years will be treated in the same way.
- 1.3. The usual personal and academic support arrangements will apply to students who are under 18 years old. This normally includes the allocation of a personal tutor and a comprehensive range of specialist student services.
- 1.4. However, the Academy acknowledges that anyone under the age of 18 living in England is legally a child and recognises that students under the age of 18 may therefore have additional needs in relation to their wellbeing and require additional support.
- 1.5. This policy should be read in conjunction with the Academy’s Safeguarding Policy baj.ac.uk/policies-procedures/.
- 1.6. The British Academy of Jewellery is not acting in loco parentis.
- 2.1. The Academy cannot assume full parental responsibility for a student under the age of 18. In applying to the British Academy of Jewellery, and accepting an offer, applicants and their parents/guardians are accepting that the Academy is an adult environment. Our students are expected to behave like adults and to assume adult levels of responsibility.
- 2.2. In the case of students joining the Academy before their 18th birthday, the Academy does have an enhanced duty of care as such students are regarded as minors under English law. There are both legal and practical consequences. The following guidance seeks to ensure that the respective responsibilities of the Academy and parent or guardian in relation to the applicant are clear.
- 2.3. The Academy does not normally admit students under 16 years old.
- 2.4. For some programmes, it is a requirement of the relevant professional body that students are aged 18 or above when they enrol. For BMBS Medicine and MSc Nursing, we will not admit students under 17 years old, and all students must be 18 years old by the end of January within the first year of the programme. For BSc Diagnostic Radiography, students will need to be 18 by the start of the third term.
- 2.5. It is a condition of admission to the Academy that the parent or guardian of any student who is under the age of 18 years, on registration, confirms, by providing a signed copy of the Acknowledgement Form, their acceptance of the arrangements set out in this Policy.
- 3.1. Where an applicant will be under the age of 18 on 1 September for the year they are joining, the Academy will require the applicant’s parent or guardian to sign the Parent/Guardian Acknowledgement Form, annexed in Appendix A, for students under the age of 18, where they are accepting an offer from the Academy.
- 3.2. Completing this acknowledgement form confirms the parent/guardian has read and understood the nature of the obligations which the Academy owes to its students under the age of 18 and the extent of the services available to them.
- 3.3. No applicant under the age of 18 will be eligible to be registered at the Academy until the Parent/Guardian Acknowledgement Form has been signed and returned.
- 3.4. Where a student is an international student and their parents remain overseas, the Academy requires the details of a guardian who is based in the UK.
- 3.5. The Academy will only be able to register a student once they have provided details of their UK-based guardian. If, however, they do not have a contact in the UK who is willing and able to act as a guardian then there are agencies who will, for a fee, make arrangements for them. The Association of Educational Guardians for International Students (AEGIS) inspects and provides accreditation to guardianship organisations in the UK in line with current UK legislation.
- 3.6. Notwithstanding the need for a parent/guardian, the Academy will correspond with students, and not with parents or guardians, unless the Academy receives express written permission from the student or there is a medical, criminal or similar emergency.
- 3.7. Why is a UK guardian necessary?
People under the age of 18 are classified as children under English law. This means that their parents or legal guardians must make decisions on their behalf and hold legal responsibility for their protection and safety while their child is in the UK. The Academy must therefore be able to contact a UK-based guardian who has been nominated by parents/legal guardians who can act on their behalf and be the liaison between the Academy and the parents if an emergency situation arises or there are serious concerns for the health or wellbeing of the person under 18.
- 3.8. Any adult can be a guardian. Whoever is taking on the role of guardian should ensure that:
- They will be available for contact throughout the period that the child is under 18.
- They understand that they will be contacted in case of emergency situations where they will be expected to liaise directly with the parents/legal guardians and may be expected to attend the Academy or other location where the incident has occurred where this is necessary.
- That they may need to arrange for alternative accommodation at short notice should the Academy be closed due to an emergency or in the unlikely event that the student is suspended from the Academy due to breaches in regulations etc.
- That they would need to take responsibility for any travel activities that the child arranges while in the country.
4. Parent /Guardian Acknowledgement Form
Set out below is an explanation of the elements covered in the Acknowledgement Form.
- 4.1. Parental responsibilities: As noted above, the Academy is not able to take on parental responsibility for students under the age of 18. Students who are under the age of 18 will be required to provide proof of a UK-based parent or guardian who is willing to be contacted in an emergency. Students who do not have a suitable relative in the UK will be required to register with and pay for a professional guardianship service. Students will be required to demonstrate that their guardianship contract covers the entire period until they turn 18.
- 4.2. Contracts: As a student who is under the age of 18 cannot enter into legal contracts, The Academy requires a student’s parents/guardians to honour all obligations under any contracts that the student enters into the Academy prior to his or her eighteenth birthday (e.g. Payment of tuition and accommodation fees due to the Academy). A person under the age of 18 does not have full legal capacity to enter into contracts, to give valid consent or to hold office in student clubs and societies.
- 4.3. Student accommodation: Parents and guardians should recognise that residential accommodation offered by the Academy is generally intended for the use of adults and no special arrangements are put in place for students who are under the age of 18. The Terms and Conditions of Residence contain specific clauses in relation to how the Academy will form a contract with a student aged under 18 this includes when there is a right to terminate if the Agreement is in place before a student reaches 18.
- 4.4. Academic course content: Academic programmes are designed and validated to be delivered to students over the age of 18 years. Therefore, they may contain teaching materials that are 18-rated. If students and their parents/guardians are concerned about the content of the programme they wish to enrol on they are advised to discuss the content of the programme with the Programme Leader. As part of the admission process, the relevant departmental Admissions Tutor will be consulted to ensure that they and the Head of Department are satisfied that the content of any academic programme would be appropriate for students under the age of 18. This includes field trips and placements, where these activities would occur at a time when the student would be under 18 years old.
- 4.5. Field trips: Courses may involve compulsory or optional field trips, excursions or other periods of study away from the Academy campus. The Academy is not able to take any additional responsibility for a student who is under the age of 18 in relation to such activities. Unless indicated otherwise, by signing the consent form the parent or guardian gives consent for the student to take part in these activities on that basis. Risk assessments are carried out before all field trips and provision is made for the inclusion of under-18s where possible. Participation in some activities may be limited.
- 4.6. Evening lectures: Like most colleges we operate extended teaching hours, so lectures and contact time with tutors could extend past 18:30. The Academy cannot undertake to supervise any student travelling home either later into the evening or early morning.
- 4.7. Sale of alcohol and other restricted goods and services: It is illegal for alcohol and other restricted goods or services to be sold to, or bought by, students who are under the age of 18. The Academy will take reasonable steps to ensure that the law is not broken in relation to licensed premises under the Academy’s control but cannot undertake to supervise any individual student.
- 4.8. Holding office: Students who are under the age of 18 are encouraged to join the Academy or Student Council but are not able to hold office until after their 18th birthday (this is because Officers can carry legal responsibilities). Their participation in certain activities may be limited.
- 4.9. Relationships with staff: The Academy believes the professional relationship between a student and a member of staff is an important part of the student’s educational development. To ensure that students maximise their learning experience, it is vital that trust and confidence exist between staff and students.
The Academy discourages consensual relationships between staff and students (irrespective of the student’s age) in the learning environment and in all areas of support, guidance and administration, and regards it as unprofessional for a member of staff to actively seek to initiate such a relationship or to pursue such a relationship without regard to the full range of issues or problems that may ensue.
Under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2003, it is a criminal offence for any person in a position of trust (which includes members of Academy staff) to engage in sexual activity with someone who is under 18 years old.
- 4.10 Placements: Where a student who is under 18 is required to undertake a placement as part of the programme of study, appropriate arrangements will be made with the workplace to safeguard the student and to ensure compliance with relevant legislation, (such as Health and Safety and Working Time Regulations).
- 4.11. Provision of IT services: The Academy offers unregulated internet services for all its students. These services are provided on an unsupervised basis. Students are expected to act in an adult and responsible manner when using these facilities and are required to abide by the Academy’s Regulations Relating to the Use of Information Technology Facilities.
- 4.12. Non-academic activities: Non-academic activities – a student is responsible for informing the organisers of non-academic activities in which they wish to participate that they are under the age of 18 years. In such cases, the organiser will undertake a risk assessment and discuss with the student any particular concerns that arise, which may result in the student not being permitted to participate, or only with the express consent of the parent/guardian. The organiser will make any necessary special arrangements if required.
- 4.13. Data protection: Although those under 18 are regarded as children under the law, they still have the right under the Data Protection Act for information about them not to be disclosed without their consent. This means that the Academy is not able to give information to parents regarding the student’s progress, results or most other personal circumstances. However, if the student fails to pay any sums agreed on contracts, then it may be necessary to disclose this to any guarantor and possibly to a debt collection agency.
- 4.14. Notification: The relevant academic department, professional services and college personnel will be notified, prior to registration, of any student who will be under the age of 18 on entry to the Academy. Teaching and other staff will not routinely be made aware of a student’s age. A departmental risk assessment will be undertaken to ensure that appropriate safeguarding is in place for the individual student on their course. Once the student reaches the age of 18 this policy will no longer apply. At this point, the student will become liable and responsible with regard to all matters.
5. Roles and responsibilities
- 5.1. The Admissions Team is responsible for ensuring that any applicant under 18 for the year they are joining receives a Parent/Guardian Acknowledgement Form and that it is signed by the parent or guardian where they are accepting an offer.
- 5.2. In the event that the form is not signed a further reminder will be sent. A student will not be able to register without the completed form.
- 5.3. The Admissions Team will liaise with the relevant Hub team to inform the relevant academic and professional services colleagues, prior to registration, of any student who will be under the age of 18 on entry to the Academy.
- 5.4. The relevant Head of Operations (or their delegate) will be responsible for ensuring a departmental risk assessment is undertaken to ensure that appropriate safeguarding is in place for the individual student on their course, including any field trips. Once the student reaches the age of 18 this policy will no longer apply.
- 5.5. Academy Heads are responsible for informing Admissions, prior to 1st September each year, if there are any programmes which can no longer accept under 18s and for providing a rationale for this.
Originator: Quality Manager: Higher Education
Approved: SMT September 2023
Review Date: August 2024