Once a student has started talking to you about a personal matter they may expect you to maintain confidentiality.
It is not possible, either legally or ethically, to give absolute assurances of maintaining 100% confidentiality. However, if a student tells you something personal, in confidence, the student may reasonably expect this information to be treated in a respectful manner.
If, however, you have serious concerns regarding a student's well-being, or that of others associated with that student, it is necessary to share your concerns with someone from Student Development & Well-being at the earliest possible opportunity. At this stage you may do this without disclosing the identity of the student.
If a decision is made to break confidentiality, it is strongly advisable to discuss this with the student in the first instance, seeking their consent to share information with those who need to know. If this is not possible, or the student refuses your request to share, then it is still appropriate to share such information but limit the disclosure to only those who need to know, keeping what is shared to an absolute minimum.
If you are unsure, seek further advice from Student Development & Well-being:
T: 0151 291 3427