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Working with Children (16-18)


You must satisfy yourself that there is a real need to involve children in the research and be able to justify this to the Committee. You should ensure that you have familiarised yourself with the relevant legal position when it is intended to conduct research with children.

For Staff

Those applicants who intend to work with children in schools must obtain written approval from the Headteacher of the school, from the Local Education Authority or any other person who is in loco parentis. The method of informing and, where appropriate, obtaining consent from parents to their child’s participation must be clearly explained and agreed with the Headteacher of the school and must follow best practice in this regard. The responsibility for checking and complying with such legal requirements is yours.

For Students

Those applicants who intend to work with children in schools must obtain written approval from the Headteacher of the school, from the Local Education Authority or any other person who is in loco parentis. The method of informing and, where appropriate, obtaining consent from parents to their child’s participation must be clearly explained and agreed with the Headteacher of the school and must follow best practice in this regard. The responsibility for checking and complying with such legal requirements is yours.

Where consent is given by parents it is still important to try and obtain real consent from the child; assuming the child is old enough to understand this principle. For older children, they would normally be expected to give their signed agreement to take part in the same way as adults. Even where children are younger, where the child is capable of understanding, the researcher should explain to the child that what they are doing is entirely voluntary and that they can refuse to take part if they wish.

Working with potentially vulnerable adults

You must satisfy yourself that there is a real need to involve potentially vulnerable adults, for example those with severe learning disabilities, and be able to justify this to the Committee. You should ensure that you have familiarised yourself with the relevant legal position, where it is intended to conduct research with adults who may not be able to give a legally valid consent to take part in research.