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Safer Solent

Delivering safeguarding for all learners and students

At Solent University we are committed to delivering an excellent safeguarding and support provision to all students and learners. Our services will provide a person-centred approach to all of those impacted by a safeguarding concern or at risk of harm. We will listen to the voice of the child or adult and work to build a culture which recognises that safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility. As a service we are committed to the continuous development of staff and learning from cases.

For more information on our services please email

Safeguarding adults

Safeguarding adults means protecting a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about working alongside the adult to prevent abuse or neglect particularly vulnerable adults with care and support needs or where an adult is a risk of harm or vulnerable to harm due to a set of circumstances, for example the adult has been a victim of a sexual offence or domestic abuse.

Solent University has a duty of care to deliver its education and pastoral services to a high standard and in carrying out its services and functions to act reasonably to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its learners.

Safeguarding children

Safeguarding children is protecting them from abuse or harm, we can do this by identifying it and acting upon or reporting concerns. Whilst Solent University primarily provides Education for those learners over age 18, we do have a duty to ensure we work effectively to safeguard children including those who access our Apprenticeship and QAHE provision.

How to make safeguarding referrals at Solent

Always call 999 if there is an immediate risk of harm. In an emergency you must report your concern immediately to the relevant statutory agency ie, police or ambulance.

The Solent University safeguarding manager, Student Success Team and principal safeguarding officers in each department are in place to support you with any safeguarding concerns that may be raised to your attention. They will guide and provide support to enable the relevant actions to be taken. This may be to provide support for the learner, or put in place mitigation of potential risk. This may also include onward referral to a specialist or statutory agency.

If you have a non-urgent safeguarding concern for a student or learner you must complete the safeguarding referral form and email it (completed to its fullest extent) to We will let you know that we have received the referral but, in most circumstances, will be limited as to what else we can tell you due to GDPR.

Attached to the form are some guidance notes - please read these before completion. If you have any further queries or need to discuss a case prior to submission of a form, please call the safeguarding manager, the deputy dead of student success (wellbeing), or the Student Hub who will be happy to guide you.

A safeguarding form must be completed on all occasions where further safeguarding actions or enquiries need to take place.

Out of hours support

For safeguarding concerns that occur or are disclosed outside of hours but are not an emergency, you can submit the safeguarding referral form, and this will be reviewed within two working days.

If you have more significant concerns, you can make a referral for adults direct to Adult Social Care (this will depend on where the student resides). For learners living within the city of Southampton, these can be sent to Telephone: 023 8083 3003.

If your concern relates to a child please contact the Children's Resource Service at Southampton City Council, or the authority area where the child resides.

If either of these actions are undertaken, you must notify the Solent University safeguarding manager within one working day by emailing

Safeguarding policy

The Solent safeguarding policy is overseen by the Student Success Team and reflects Solent University’s strategic vision and mission to be inclusive, support social justice, deliver an outstanding student experience, and be a workplace of choice for staff.

The safeguarding policy, procedures and structure reflect the principles of UK legislation, guidance and best practice (with the aim of being mindful of a duty of care and seeking to ensure every child, an adult with care and support needs, and student at risk achieves their full potential).

Key principles of the policy

  • The welfare of the child or vulnerable adult is the paramount consideration.
  • Confidentiality will be maintained, except where there is a potential risk to the health and welfare of an under-18, adult with care or support needs, student at risk, or where there is identification of risk to self or others.
  • All children and adults with care and support needs, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial or ethnic origin, religious belief or sexual orientation, have a right to protection from harm or abuse.
  • In safeguarding students and learners, the University recognises harm or abuse may take different forms (eg, physical, emotional, neglect, sexual).
  • In implementing this policy, the University considers promotion of the fundamental British values including; democracy, rule of law, respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and individual liberty (as defined by the UK Government).

The scope of the policy

  • This policy, along with its associated guidance and procedures, applies to all activities involving children, adults with care or support needs, and students at risk. The policy applies to all University staff, students and contractors who may come into contact with children, adults with care or support needs, or students at risk as part of their work.

Download the safeguarding policy

The Safeguarding Committee

The University Safeguarding Committee provides governance, accountability, and oversight for all Safeguarding matters within the University. This committee reports into the Equality and Wellbeing Committee. It is chaired by the deputy head of student success (wellbeing) and is comprised of core student success staff and principal safeguarding officers representing all departments across the University. The committee is further supported by the Southampton Safeguarding Adults Board who provide a member to act as an expert ‘critical friend.’

More information about the University's safeguarding committee and structure

The role of the principal safeguarding officers

  • Be a safeguarding ‘champion’ for their respective department.
  • Promote and cascade safeguarding information and messages on behalf of the safeguarding manager.
  • Act as an initial point of contact within the department for safeguarding related matters and know how to support staff on how to manage a situation and provide guidance on next steps.
  • Support the proactive application of our statutory Prevent duties and our ‘due regard’ to the prevention of terror related activity.
  • Actively promote British Values in line with Prevent among our student body.
  • Attend safeguarding training and other related continuous professional practice training as required.
  • Quality assure policy and procedure and act as a ‘critical friend’ in terms of process and how safeguarding provision evolves within the University.
  • Attend three safeguarding committees each academic year.

Other relevant policies

The safeguarding policy intersects with a range of other essential policies and processes. These include the Prevent policy, the criminal conviction procedure for students, and the student death, serious injury or illness procedure.  For a full list of related policies please see the appendix of the safeguarding policy.

Partnership working and collaboration

Solent University proactively works alongside the Solent Students' Union and local statutory and third sector partner agencies to deliver holistic and essential support services to our students and learners.

The University has positive links with the relevant statutory partnership boards including the Safeguarding Children Partnership, the Safeguarding Adult Board, the Prevent Board (and the regional Counter Terrorism Local Partnership) and where required the Safe City Partnership (Community Safety Partnership) via the Violence Reduction Unit team.

This partnership working also applies at an operational level to tackle safeguarding issues linked to Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and violence and vulnerability within the night-time economy. We regularly liaise with our counterparts on a range of operational matters from managing risk to supporting students and learners to access statutory support.

This effective partnership working enables the University to represent and advocate for the safeguarding needs of all our students and learners at a strategic and operational level.

Safeguarding projects and initiatives

  • Development of a Safeguarding Action Plan
  • Student Hub (x2) trained sexual violence liaison officers
  • Delivery of Stand by Me (hate crime/incidents) training.
  • Supporting the Students' Unions of Solent and University of Southampton to develop the ‘Southampton Says Enough’ scheme to tackle sexual violence in Southampton.
  • Work with and support Southampton City Council to implement the Lit Routes Scheme
  • Development of a sexual misconduct, harassment and violence action plan – looking at ways in which the University can challenge, respond and support students and learners with these issues.
  • Delivery of the annual consent learning module to all learners and students.
  • Working with Yellowdoor to deliver 'How to be an active bystander' sessions to over 250 students, tackling sexual misconduct and harassment.

Substance use and harm minimisation statement and student guidance

Harm minimisation statement

Solent University has a duty of care to provide safe learning and working environments for all its students, staff, and visitors. We have in place the relevant policies and processes to enable this alongside provision of pastoral support for general student queries, wellbeing needs, therapy and mental health and safeguarding.

Solent University acknowledges that during their time at university some students will use drugs and alcohol, for some this will also likely include illegal substances.

Whilst we do not condone the use of illegal substances, the University recognises and research highlights, that a ‘zero-tolerance’ stance towards illegal drug usage can potentially be more harmful, creating barriers to accessing support services or prohibiting students from reaching out when they need support to address drug and alcohol related harm or addiction.

Alcohol addiction and use of illegal substances can increase the risk to students including their, academic attendance and attainment, relationships, their mental and physical health and potentially their physical safety. Therefore, it is essential that students feel able to come forward to seek help should they need it.

Therefore, our primary aim would be to minimise the harm caused by drug and alcohol use, through advice, guidance, education, and support. We shall deliver this by operating a harm minimisation approach.

Harm minimisation refers to policies and practices that try to reduce the harm that people experience or do to others through their use of drugs. It focuses on ‘safer’ drug use combined with guidance on how to reduce the associated risks.

The adoption of a harm minimisation approach does not mean anti-social or criminal behaviour is acceptable, any misconduct or criminal behaviour would be addressed through Solent University existing processes including the Criminal Conviction and Disclosure Procedure and the Student Disciplinary Process.

Furthermore, the University has courses which are subject to Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies such as Social Work and Nursing, where there is a duty for students within this profession to uphold the required levels of conduct and professional practice. Equally, our sport and health courses are governed by UK Anti-Doping regulations and specified courses have accreditation from UKAD. In addition, our Warsash Maritime School has cadets and officers who under the terms of their employment must uphold the industry requirements regarding drug and alcohol use and the Cadet Code of Conduct.

Where we assess that an individual is at risk of harm or a risk to others, we will also consider whether we have a duty to notify the relevant statutory agency for example the Police, this would be dependent on the circumstances of the case. For further information relating to this please see our guidance relating to confidentiality within our Safeguarding Policy.

Support for students who disclose harmful substance use

Students disclosing concern regarding their own substance use to members of staff (including academic staff) will be offered help and support. In the first instance they can attend or be signposted to the Student Hub. Furthermore, any third-party reporting regarding a student at risk due to drug or alcohol related harm will also be taken seriously and the relevant actions taken to safeguard and support them.

The Student Hub has a wealth of information regarding the organisations available locally who provide drug and alcohol support services (ie, CGL or No Limits) and they can also provide information and guidance to help the student address any areas of their life that may have been impacted by the drug use.

Students disclosing harmful substance use will, as part of that conversation, be made aware of Solent University’s Therapy and Mental Health team and the routes through which they can access their support.

At Solent students can seek support from the Student Hub, 8.30am – 5:00pm Monday to Friday (closing 4.30 pm Fridays) or by calling 02382 015200.

Information regarding the Therapy and Mental Health Team can be found at Students can also access the Student Assistance Programme which is a confidential resource designed to support students available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.

Information relating to safeguarding is available at

R;pple browser extension

We have installed the R;pple browser extension onto all our University devices. R;pple recognises if a person searches for harmful keywords or phrases related to the topic of self-harm or suicide, and provides signposting to 24/7 free mental health support. No data or personally identifiable information is captured. The content of the messaging and resources have been provided by mental health clinicians, professionals, NHS representatives, lived experience panels and the public. 

As part of our commitment to being a suicide-safer university, we want to support all our students and staff to manage their wellbeing and mental health challenges.

Staff - A really easy and meaningful way for you to help is to take the free suicide prevention training offered by Zero Suicide Alliance. This training only takes 20 minutes and could make a real difference.

Students - You can complete this course offered by Zero Suicide Alliance.

For all our students and learners who wish to seek more information and guidance regarding crime prevention and safeguarding, please visit our SOL pages.