As students have already been informed through tutorials and the Principal’s welcome video, proactive bag searches are being introduced to each of the college campuses.
Our college campuses are safe places to study. This new initiative will further reassure all students and staff of their safety whilst on campus. They will also provide a deterrent to anyone who might consider abusing our trust and bringing banned substances or items onto campus.
Proactive searches are regularly used at concerts, festivals, sports events, and museums.
Proactive searches on the college campuses will be carried out by a small group of staff who have received training in carrying out these searches.
Trained college staff will undertake open bag searches as students arrive on campus. There will be a mixture of male and female trained staff available.
These searches will take place at random throughout the year.
A randomiser device will be used to select individual students for the bag searches. We will not search every bag on entry.
Tables will be available at each campus entrance for bags to be placed upon. Students will be asked to open their own bags and, if necessary, remove items themselves to ensure good visibility.
Search Procedures Implementation
The date of the first series of searches will be the week commencing Monday 26 September 2022.
Future searches will take place without prior notice.
You will remember that, in the welcome video, the Principal set out the college’s position on drugs and alcohol. Any students who abuse our trust by bringing banned substances or items onto the campus will be sanctioned in line with the college’s conduct policy.
You will also remember that if any student approaches college and asks for help, we will provide confidential support.
Thank you for your cooperation with this new initiative, which will make our college even safer for us all.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have prepared answers and responses to likely questions about this policy.
Q. Are colleges able to search student bags?
A. Yes, the provision for bag searches is covered within the Department for Education Guidance for Searches in Colleges protocols.
Q. Can students refuse, and if so, what happens?
A. Students can refuse a proactive search of their bag, though they will then be asked to have a detailed conversation with a senior member of staff to explore their concerns.
The proactive searches will be conducted respectfully, and, in most cases, students will open their bags themselves and a look inside is potentially all that will happen.
However, if the student was being asked for their bag to be searched based on specific concerns arising from behaviour or intelligence and they declined, then they would have to leave the college campus. We would then address this situation through conduct policy.
Q. Are visitors and staff included in the random searches?
A. The proactive search policy will be applied to all people on site as appropriate.
Q. How will students be selected for the bag searches?
A. The college will be using a randomiser device to determine which students are selected for the bag.
Q. What will happen if something illegal is found in a bag search?
A. Any students who abuse our trust by bringing banned substances or items onto the campus will be sanctioned in line with the college’s conduct policy. Students who require prescribed or bought medication are allowed to bring their medication on-site as long as the medicine is in the original packaging.