Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Students and confidentiality

Information about confidentiality and relevant sources of advice and support.

As discussed in the previous page, Developing trust | The University of Edinburgh, it is important to encourage students to seek you out in times of difficulty. However, students must be made aware that conversations are not confidential, and staff must not promise confidentiality. You may need to share information with colleagues, particularly in the following situations:

  • Help with submitting extensions or special circumstances applications
  • If a student discloses a difficult situation which needs to be escalated to senior management, including threat to life
  • Student or Staff conduct issues

If you are contacted by parents, other members of staff or external agencies for information about a student your response will depend on the circumstances. You should get written confirmation from a student to share any information with their family or named emergency contact in all cases (apart from emergencies). You should also make sure you know who you are talking to by checking the contact details with the student, or the EUCLID record.

In cases where you think there is a serious risk to the students’ safety or the safety of others, confidentiality must be overridden by the need to contact the appropriate agencies, for example the GP practice, Student Counselling Service, Director of Student Wellbeing (Andy Shanks) or the police.

Student Counselling Service - contact page

Director of Student Wellbeing - Andy Shanks

Situations can arise where you may be unsure how to proceed. When this happens, please check with your area Head of Student Administration Services in your School or Deanery (or similar role); your Senior Tutor, or other colleagues regarding the situation. You can also contact the Data Protection team Data Protection | The University of Edinburgh