Children visiting the Department
Brief and appropriate visits to foyers, common rooms and offices (but not laboratories and workshops) by children who are closely supervised by a responsible adult, can be made without formality. Approval for all other visits by children will be considered on the basis of
- the reason for the visit(s)
- a risk assessment
- an assurance that there will be adequate supervision of the child, which should normally be undertaken by the child’s parent/carer.
- an assurance that the presence of the child will not be to the detriment of: a) the work of a supervising member of staff b) the work and general environment of other staff and students in the Department
Note that approval may be sought in one application for a set of regular or irregular visits of a similar type over an indefinite period of time. However, the Head of Department has the right to remove approval if it becomes apparent that the level of risk has changed or that there are adverse effects on the work of the Department.
Guidelines for visits
1. There are no public spaces in the Department: all University property has restricted access of varying levels. The Department has a duty to prevent unauthorized visits and can be held liable for any injury incurred on the premises. A higher duty of care is owed to children, as they are less responsible, knowledgeable and experienced than adults. It follows that any member of staff involved in bringing children into the Department assumes a responsibility towards the Department and the University.
2. The Department has many hazardous areas adjacent to the main corridors. Although these areas have been risk-assessed, these assessments have been carried out for adults and not for children. Anyone who proposes to bring children into the Department needs to be aware of the hazards in and close to the areas that will be visited. Floor plans are available showing the areas containing high hazards on the Departmental safety web pages
3. The adult supervising the child must be aware of the fire evacuation routes and procedures. Any child who is able to comprehend this information should also be made aware of evacuation procedures. A document showing evacuation routes is available on the Departmental safety web pages.
4. Supervision must be constant. If for some reason the child becomes separated from the adult concerned, the Departmental Superintendent, his deputy or if outside normal working hours University security, must be informed as soon as possible
5. Staff members must not be placed in a position of having unsupervised access to children unless they have undertaken an Enhanced Disclosure to the Criminal Records Bureau.
6. The Department is not a suitable environment for extended childcare; only in emergencies and exceptional circumstances should childcare be considered a reason for children to be on the premises. The University has systems in place to assist staff with childcare.
7. If the visit is for the purpose of work experience, the Departmental Superintendent must be informed and the University procedure for work experience placements must be followed.