Students under 18

Policy for students under the age of 18 years (Senior Academy)

For Junior Academy details, please see www.ram.ac.uk/study/junior-academy

Introduction

Very few students under the age of 18 years study at the Academy. In most cases this will be for a temporary period in their first year of undergraduate study during which time they normally celebrate their 18th birthday. All students, irrespective of age, are treated equally and provided with the same support facilities, both academic and pastoral.

However, where it is felt that special arrangements need to be put in place for students under 18, the Academy will ensure that these are provided. The Academy has a duty of care to protect all students from abuse and will take particular care with those under 18 years of age. In all cases such abuse will be reported to the appropriate authorities both within and outside the Academy.

UK law considers that everyone under the age of 18 is a child, and the Academy therefore requires the permission of the student’s parent or legal guardian for them to attend a study programme here.

In loco parentis, and UK guardians

The Academy cannot act in loco parentis for students under 18 and therefore parents must agree to remain responsible for their children until they reach the age of 18. This must be done by signing the Agreement document and returning it to the Registry. Where a student is assigned to a guardian (this is strongly recommended for international students), the Academy must also see the guardian’s own agreement with the parents, in which the guardian asserts that they will act on the parents’ behalf until the child’s 18th birthday.

Signing the Agreement means that parents and/or guardians, on behalf of the children for whom they are signing, are agreeing to all terms and conditions, legal requirements, and regulatory requirements between the student and the institution. Once the student reaches the age of 18, these accepted terms will automatically be regarded as agreed by the student.

Communications

Notwithstanding the comments in the above paragraph, the Academy’s policy is to deal exclusively with the student because the contract for providing education is made with the student. This will obtain in the case of students under 18 unless there are compelling reasons to do otherwise. The Academy cannot give to parents or any other third-party information relating to the student’s progress here (academic or social) without the student’s written consent to disclose this information. The only exceptions are for official or legal purposes as covered by the Data Protection Act.

In the event of an emergency, it is important that the Academy Registry is given contact details for the student's ‘next of kin’ (parent or guardian). In the case of a medical emergency for which the parent or guardian cannot be contacted, signing of the Agreement gives the Academy permission to arrange treatment as seems appropriate.

Housing

Students under 18 will not receive priority over other students for housing opportunities available through the Academy’s Estates department. However, we will look sympathetically at their request when advising on accommodation requirements. Obtaining accommodation is ultimately the responsibility of the student.

Performing outside the Academy

Where students under 18 are required to perform outside the Academy, whether as part of a programme of study or due to an opportunity as part of an ‘external’ engagement, the Academy will not take on extra or unusual responsibilities on the student’s behalf.

Legal compliance

All students are subject to UK Law and the Academy’s Regulations. In the case of students under 18 who are not legally entitled to certain things available to students of 18 years and above (for instance, purchasing alcohol) the Academy will invoke its Regulations where a student is clearly in breach of them.

The Academy cannot sponsor a student visa application until parental consent has been received for the student to make the visa application, and until confirmation has been received that the student will be accompanied or met on arrival when they come to the UK, or that consent is given for the student to travel independently.

Personal Relationships

It is illegal for anyone in a position of trust to engage in sexual activity with anyone under the age of 18 years (Sexual Offences [Amendment] Act 2000).

Criminal Records Bureau

All staff members who have regular one-to-one contact with students under 18 need to undergo a DBS  (Disclosure and Barring  Service - previously CRB) check. Students may come into contact with staff or contractors who have not been CRB/DBS  checked.