Confidentiality, disclosure and data protection

The University takes issues relating to confidentiality, disclosure and data protection seriously. Staff should be aware of their responsibility to respect the right of others to confidentiality.


It takes courage for students to talk to us about their private and personal lives. We have a duty to keep information confidential unless there's a reason to share it: in most situations we need to ask permission to do so. The Student Privacy Notice lists reasons why we may share personal information about students with colleagues at the University who have a business reason to know, and, in some circumstances, with external organisations.

Our commitment to students is that:

  • Any information given to us will be stored securely.
  • We may share information with other staff within the university, where required for operational purposes.
  • Some staff within our more specialist teams receive regular clinical supervision; if a staff member discusses a student in the context of their work, they will do so without revealing the student's identity.
  • We will normally ask for consent before sharing any information about a student with third parties such as their GP, other mental health workers,and agencies and professionals outside the University.
  • We may disclose student information without consent to third parties such as a medical professional or the police service where we have genuine concerns relating to the safety of a student or others, as permitted within Data Protection Law. 
  • We always ask that the people we share student information with demonstrate due respect for confidentiality. 
  • Unless otherwise agreed with the student, a disabled student’s sensitive information can be released within the University only for the assessment and provision of services as described in the student contract. 

Family members

We do not normally discuss students with their parents or guardians, partners or other family members. We may occasionally provide family members with general information relating to the types of support we offer but we will not share information about a student unless we have permission to do so. The decision to share would always be made in consultation with the student involved.

Legal grounds for breaking confidentiality

If a student discloses information which you believe may have implications for safeguarding, national security, prevention or detection of a crime or the prosecution of an offender you should seek advice from the University legal adviser, Adrian Slater, before acting on the information.