Equally Safe in Colleges and Universities Core Leadership Group - strategic plan: April 2022 to March 2024

A two-year strategic plan for the Equally Safe in Colleges and Universities Core Leadership Group, covering the academic years 2022/23 and 2023/24.

Draft strategic priorities: April 2022 to March 2024

The following are the areas of strategic priority between April 2022 and March 2024.

Increase student and staff awareness of GBV and preventative actions

Support colleges and universities to tackle the root causes of gender-based violence.

Support colleges and universities to put in place arrangements for college and university students and staff to access appropriate training on GBV and sexual harassment and referral/support routes so that staff (including non-academic staff and post-graduate researchers (PGRs) and students understand the causes and impact of GBV and how to respond to it.

Support approaches to supporting vulnerable students, recognising that GBV manifests itself differently in different communities, and for staff impacted by GBV.

Support work with the night-time economy and Police Scotland to further reinforce safety at venues.

Support the consideration and implementation of the forthcoming UUK Guidance on staff/student relationships.

Investigative actions and support for leaders

Act in an advisory capacity on the completion of guidelines on student misconduct for universities.

Facilitate the development of training packages to support staff, using the guidelines and building on existing practices.

Support leaders and governors in the sector as they put in place measures to tackle GBV.

Enhance disclosure and data sharing

Support the development of visible and accessible structures for disclosure of GBV (within campuses but also in halls of residence and purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA)), including robust whistleblowing mechanisms, building on existing actions, and considering approaches to developing national data sets to further inform action.

Facilitate consideration of appropriate data sharing arrangements and develop clarity on the protocols for information sharing between organisations, including Police Scotland (bearing in mind the choice of survivors to disclose), when incidents of GBV (or other forms of harassment or abuse) have been identified.

Identify what works and share good practice

Support the evaluation of the effectiveness, not only of the Equally Safe in Higher Education toolkit, but also other areas of investment to ensure that lessons from evaluation inform future policy and project development. This should be informed by the principles set out in the Equally Safe Quality Standards and Performance Framework.

Support the development and sharing of best practice across the sector in relation to safeguarding, awareness raising, student and staff learning (including eLearning), measures to keep students safe, and risk assessment.

Further support the effective coordination of platforms (including online, conferences and events) to share these initiatives. 

Ensure effective referral pathways for survivors and support packages in place

Facilitate effective service coordination at the local level between institutions, student associations and statutory (including NHS Sexual Health and Mental Health service and Police Scotland) and voluntary services to develop innovative, inclusive models of service delivery so that effective referral pathways, including those to specialist services, are in place.

Enhance school, college and university collaboration

Identify opportunities to build collaboration between and across schools, colleges and universities to tackle gender-based violence utilising the skills of young people.

Enhance collaboration between and across student associations, accommodation providers, and other organisations working on gender-based violence.

Tackling all forms of abuse

Develop approaches to tackling all forms of abuse, including, online harassment and other forms of digital/social GBV. This should build on UUK’s existing work, published in 2019, in this area and ongoing work by UK and Scottish governments, the third sector and Police Scotland in this area.

Support for the implementation of the plan

Consider mechanisms, support structures, and resources to enable the Core Leadership Group to take forward its strategic objectives.

Equally Safe in Colleges and Universities Core Leadership Group

17 December 2021


Equally Safe in Colleges and Universities Core Leadership Group

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