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What is my role?

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Whilst there are specific lead responsibilities identified within the University, it is vital to state that it is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard and protect children and young people.


Effective safeguarding requires key role holders to understand their responsibilities and ensure they are carried out. Individual role holders with particular responsibilities may delegate the tasks associated with these responsibilities to others, however overall responsibility remains the role holders. Full details of roles and responsibilities can be found in section three of the University Safeguarding Policy and these are summarised below.

The Vice-ChancellorThe Vice-Chancellor has overall responsibility for the effective implementation of this policy across the University but additionally has specific powers to oversee suspension of students or staff if necessary pending investigations and where a significant risk of harm to an individual at risk is considered to exist.
Lead Safeguarding Officer (Strategic)The Lead Safeguarding Officer (Strategic) will be a senior manager of the University, able to be accountable for the institution’s safeguarding policy and procedures.
Safeguarding Officer (Operational)The Safeguarding Officer (Operational) will take responsibility for organising the network of Designated Safeguarding Officers and their training. This role holder will also be responsible for coordinating the monitoring of this policy and its procedures and for drafting the annual report. Holding a senior management role is not a prerequisite for this role, nor is it essential that the role holder is a Designated Safeguarding Officer.
Senior Designated Safeguarding Officers (SDSOs)A number of senior managers of the University will be designated as Senior Designated Safeguarding Officers. These staff, who will be senior management contract holders of the University, will assist and deputise for the Lead Safeguarding Officer and undertake the training and duties of the Designated Safeguarding Officers as detailed below. In addition to this at least one of these officers will work in conjunction with the Designated Safeguarding Officers in making decisions on allegations.
Designated Safeguarding Officers (DSOs)These role holders will take responsibility at service, faculty or departmental level for ensuring that policies and procedures for staff and students within their respective areas appropriately reflect the requirements of safeguarding. They will provide expertise where appropriate on relevant professional body requirements. They will act as a point of contact for any individual who may wish to seek advice on policy and procedure, discuss a safeguarding concern or make an allegation. They will be aware of how to identify signs of abuse and making appropriate referrals and to act as Panel Members for interview panels in respect of safe recruitment of students or staff (for example to consider information provided through the DBS Disclosure Certificates or via direct disclosure). They will ensure students or trainees in the respective faculties, programmes or departments who are placed in ‘regulated’ activities receive the appropriate training through the curriculum.


Students should report any safeguarding concerns that arise to a member of staff, their Head of Department, and/or one of the Designated Safeguarding Officers.

Students who intend to or are in a position of working with children, young people or vulnerable adults are responsible for:

  1. Ensuring they understand the implications of the safeguarding policy before commencing any programme, placement, event, visit or activity.
  2. Ensuring they understand the processes for Whistleblowing and the Management of Cause for Concern in Practice.
  3. Reporting any safeguarding concerns that arise to their Head of Department and/or one of the Designated Safeguarding Officers.

Students who are in professional practice in the Faculty of Education should also familiarise themselves with the Faculty Cause for Concern Procedures. The procedure sets out the actions to be taken by a student/trainee who wishes to raise a concern in professional practice and an incident reporting form.

Students and volunteers of the University who come into contact with children, young people, or adults at risk in another organisation whilst representing the University must also familiarise themselves with the host organisation’s safeguarding procedures.

Key contacts

Lead Safeguarding Officer (Strategic)

Fay Sherrington

Director of Student Services

Safeguarding Officer (Operational)

Faye Walters

Counselling & Wellbeing Manager

Senior Designated Safeguarding Officers

Helen Smallbone (Academic Registrar) – 01695 650982
Vicky Bosward (Head of Human Resources) – 01695 584466
Fay Sherrington (Director of Student Services) – 01695 584377
Faye Walters (Counselling & Wellbeing Manager) – 01695 657213

Designated Safeguarding Officers

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Mike Hartill (Senior Lecturer in Sociology of Sport) – 01695 584763
If Mike Harthill is unavailable, please contact Mel Hood on extension 4199

Faculty of Education

Leon Fraser (Partnership Development Officer – Secondary) – 01695 584314
Kate Burrell (Faculty Head of Academic Services) – 01695 657920

Faculty of Health, Social Care, and Medicine

Steve Hothersall (Head of Social Work) – 01695 657331
James Ridley (Lecturer in Learning Disabilities) – 01695 657010

Graduate School

Chris Greenough (Researcher Development Fellow and Research Degree Coordinator) – 01695 584218

Professional Departments

Nicky Roach (Head of PR, Corporate Communications and External Relations) – 01695 657184
Sarah Knight (Head of Operations, Facilities Management) – 01695 650461
Mark Allinson (Director of IT Services) – 01695 650477
Maria Mirza (Director of Library and Learning Services) – 01695 584517
Cathy Butterworth (The Arts Centre Manager) – 01695 584468
Paul Greenwood (Head of Sports Services) – 01695 584478
Ruth Slater (Student Recruitment Operations Manager) – 01695 584435