On arrival all students have an Induction with us. As part of this, they are assisted in registering with the police, registering with a doctor, opening a bank account, taking local public transport (or getting a bicycle), and getting familiar with Oxford. We spend two days getting to know the students, and they also get to know each other and their Senior Tutor during this time. Once courses start, a student’s Senior Tutor becomes his or her key member of staff. The Senior Tutor maintains academic and welfare oversight of a student and is supportive whilst being practical and balanced. Furthermore, the Senior Tutor is a student’s parents’ point of contact whilst their son or daughter is studying at the College.
Health and emergency care
Prior to arrival at the College we will ask you to complete a health questionnaire. This will provide the Oxford Tutorial College Welfare team with all the relevant information they need to ensure you are well looked after. Many members of staff are First Aid trained. The College requires students to register with a local doctor on arrival in Oxford, and we have access to an excellent team of local health practitioners. Similar arrangements should be made to register with a dentist and an optician if necessary.
Prior to joining the College, a student will also be asked to complete an Emergency Care consent form. This applies to medical and dental emergencies. Doing this allows us to provide for the student in any situations where emergency medical care may be needed.
Medical treatment on the NHS is generally free to students, but there are fairly complex requirements for a free service, especially for students on short visas. We recommend strongly that you take out medical insurance before leaving home to cover hospital stays or return home in the event of accident or illness. This can normally be covered by extending an existing policy.
Students under the age of 16 must have a guardian. A guardian may be a relative or a family friend; some international students may choose to use professional guardianship companies. We strongly recommend that all students have a guardian, so that there is someone in the UK who can act on parents’ behalf in the event of an emergency.
Dealing with problems
In cases where a difficulty has arisen with a domestic or personal situation, a student’s Senior Tutor should be a student’s or parents’ first point of support. Senior Tutors are an integral part of the College’s Welfare Team that includes the Student Services Director and the Accommodation and Welfare Officer. Our ‘open door’ policy aims to ensure that students feel they can approach any member of staff when there are issues causing them concern.
Where the support needed is of a more sensitive and personal nature, a student may prefer to speak to the one of the Safeguarding Team who will be pleased to offer whatever help they can. An appointment may be arranged at any time, and, in a situation demanding immediate support and advice, is given priority. In certain circumstances, we may enlist the help of an independent counsellor; such meetings are entirely confidential.
Often the first sign that a student needs additional welfare support is missed classes. If a student is not present in any class, we take prompt and appropriate action to ensure that they are safe and well. If we cannot speak to them, we will telephone the student’s parents or guardian. Once contact has been made with a student or parent or guardian, appropriate actions are then taken to support the student.
If you would like to know more about our support services, we are happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us on +44(0)1865 793333 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.