#ForThe100 campaign calls for statutory legal duty of care for UK students in Higher Education

Happy young university students studying with books in library. Group of multiracial people in college library.

#ForThe100 is a movement launched in support of families of students who died by suicide at university. Its goal is to combat what it sees as the lack of statutory obligation for higher education providers to care about their students.  

From now until 19th March 2023, the campaign is calling for students and everyone who cares about students, to sign a petition to Parliament and the Government requesting statutory legislation to make universities accountable for how they treat their students.

It is estimated that around 100 university students are lost to suicide every year across the UK. The #ForThe100 campaign believes the focus should be shifted away from  student-blaming, and towards university management. It claims that safer systems and practices are needed. These would be supported by a statutory requirement to exercise reasonable care and skill when teaching students and providing support services. 

Healthy debate

Upon receiving over 10,000 signatures, HM Government responded: 

“Higher Education providers do have a general duty of care to deliver educational  and pastoral services to the standard of an ordinarily competent institution and, in  carrying out these services, they are expected to act reasonably to protect the  health, safety and welfare of their students. This can be summed up as providers  owing a duty of care to not cause harm to their students through the university’s  own actions.” 

#ForThe100 believe that this dodges the question. The duty of care which they are calling for is similar to that prevailing under employment law. They want universities to have a statutory duty of care to protect their students from reasonably foreseeable harm, caused either by direct injury, or by failing to act. In work, or in  education, 18-21 year olds are vulnerable enough to warrant this duty”.

This campaign needs 100,000 signatures by 19th March 2023 for the petition to be considered for debate in Parliament. To find out more about the campaign and to  sign the petition, visit: http://forthe100.org.uk/ 

What do you think? Many universities have stepped up their pastoral support. Are they doing enough? Or should they be doing more? Share your thoughts on social media.

Now read:

Three Ways Employers Can Help To Prevent Suicide

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