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Under 18 students
Every year, a proportion of students who are under the age of 18 join the University. The University is an adult environment and treats all its students as independent, mature individuals; students who are under the age of 18 years will be treated in the same way. However, the University acknowledges that anyone under the age of 18 living in England is legally a child and that some legal restrictions apply to that cohort e.g. prohibition on the consumption of alcohol on licensed premises and the sale/supply of videos with a British Board of Film Classification of 18 years of age. The University does not normally admit students under 16 years old.
Immigration regulations require an English speaking UK Guardian to be nominated if the Parent/Guardian of a student under the age of 18 resides outside of the UK. The UK Guardian should be someone who can be contacted quickly in an emergency situation and cannot be a staff member or a registered student at Keele University. The role will cease on the student’s 18th birthday.
If you do not know someone in the UK who can act as a UK Guardian then this service can be hired from a Guardianship Organisation. Details of these organisations can be found on the following web site: www.aegisuk.net
Students who have not attained the age of 18 can have their refusal to receive medical treatment overridden by parents and hence, emergency contact details must be provided by students or parents prior to the student’s arrival at the University. However, please note that a child from the age of 16 is entitled to consent to medical treatment, and that such consent cannot be overruled by parents.
It is the University’s usual policy to deal with students and not with parents; this approach will also apply to students who are under the age of 18 years. Although those under 18 are regarded as children under UK law, they still have the legal right under GDPR (2018) for information about them not to be disclosed without their explicit consent. This means that the University is not able to give information to parents regarding the student’s progress, results or any other personal circumstance unless the student has given specific consent.
Programmes may involve compulsory or optional field trips, excursions or other periods of study away from the University. Subject to the University’s duties under health & safety law, the University is not able to take any additional responsibility for a student who is under the age of 18 years in relation to such activities.
Alcohol and Tobacco
It is illegal for alcohol or tobacco to be sold to or bought by individuals who are under the age of 18 years.
The University will take reasonable steps to seek to ensure that the law is not broken in relation to licensed premises under the University’s control but cannot undertake to supervise any individual student. Individuals are subject to random checks in relation to their age when using any licensed premises in the UK. The Students’ Union is responsible for ensuring that appropriate arrangements are in place for its own licensed premises.
Students who are under 18 years are not allowed to hold office, for example, they may not be secretary or treasurer to a sports club or other students’ association.
Relationships with staff
Under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000, it is a criminal offence for any person in a position of trust (which may include members of University staff) to engage in sexual activity with someone who is under 18 years.
As a matter of law in England, a person under the age of 18 is a child. The University will report any suspicions or allegations of abuse of children to the appropriate Social Services officer. Any such suspicions or allegations will be reported to one of the Universities Designated Safeguarding Officers (DSOs) who will enact the Universities Safeguarding of Children Procedure.
Under 18’s are ordinarily allocated on-campus accommodation. Parents should recognise that residential accommodation offered by the University is generally intended for the use of adults and that, except in exceptional circumstances (e.g. relating to health issues or disability), special arrangements cannot be made.
A person of 16 or 17 has the status to enter into necessary contracts for education and accommodation but until their 18th birthday will not be legally competent to enter into all legal contracts. In circumstances where a person must be aged 18 or over to be legally competent to enter into a contract the University requires a student’s parents to honour all obligations (under any contracts with the University) that the student enters into prior to his or her 18th birthday.