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Missing Persons Procedure

1 - Overview

A Student may be reported missing for a number of reasons. There are times when a student may disengage from their academic course and schools will follow their own procedures in relation to non-attendance. Where there is cause for concern in relation to a student’s safety and/or wellbeing, schools will notify Student Health and Wellbeing Services (SHWS) via email

Students may also be reported as missing from other third parties including, but not limited to, placement providers, parents and carers, friends.

2 - Procedure for students who are reported missing within the U.K

If a student is reported missing within the U.K. and there are concerns about their safety or wellbeing, SHWS staff will complete the following actions:

1 Gather as much information from the referrer about the student. This may include (but not exhaustive to) the following:

  • Details of the last known contact with the student, noting any factors that may have impacted on the student either prior to, or since, last known contact
  • Any concerns they have about the student’s safety or wellbeing (including historical concerns)
  • Any changes in the student’s behaviour, including usual frequency of contact
  • Check if the concerns been reported to anyone else, including the police

In any instance where an urgent response is required in relation to harm to self or others, or a threat to life, the emergency services should be contacted via dialling (9) 999 by the person with the concern.

2 Attempt to contact the student directly:

  • Prior to contact, student database records will be checked to ascertain if there are any existing teams involved, important historic records, other vital contextual information
  • SHWS staff will attempt to contact student via telephone. If staff are unable to contact student, they will leave a voicemail (if available)
  • SHWS Staff will send an e-mail to the students University and personal e-mail address with the following:
  • Read receipt on:
    • Tick the ‘high importance’ box
    • Subject ‘Urgent – please respond’
    • Specify a timeframe in which the student needs to respond, advising what next steps will be taken if no contact is made

3. Gather information from the academic school:

  • Check the last known contact with the student
  • Check if the school have any academic or wellbeing concerns
  • Check if there are any periods of absence recorded
  • Check if the student has submitted any PEC’s (Personal Extenuating Circumstances) forms or if they have any non-submissions/missed exams.

4. Request an IT check by contacting NUIT to request the students last log-on to a university computer, Canvas and e-mail, and last use of their smart card.

5. Gather information from the student’s accommodation provider if available:

  • Ask security staff to check if the student is in their accommodation
  • If the student is not there, ask staff to check the student’s room to see if their belongings are still in the room and note any pertinent information
  • Request students last known access to accommodation and canteen if in catered halls of residence
  • Where possible/appropriate, ask flat mates if they have had contact with student

6. Once all the above steps are completed, if there is still no contact from the student the following may be actioned:

  • Contact the student’s emergency contact to check if they have had contact with the student
  • Contact the police on 101 and report the student as missing

3 - Procedure for students who are reported missing outside of the U.K

If a student is reported missing outside the U.K. and there are concerns about their safety or wellbeing, SHWS staff will complete the following actions:

  • Staff will complete actions 1-4 as outlined above
  • Staff will contact the Global Opportunities team to check if they have had communication from the student and request (where applicable) that the host university be contacted to check for contact with student
  • Staff will alert the University Insurance team
  • Staff will follow procedures outlined in government publication

4 - Once a student is found

Once a student’s location is identified, SHWS staff will contact the student to ascertain safety and offer appropriate support and advice, either internal or external. Staff will feedback to the person who raised the concerns with the student’s consent, and/or academic school if appropriate.