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FAQs for parents, guardians and carers

We’re on hand to answer all parents’, guardians’ and carers’ questions in the build-up to our Summer Breaks. That’s why we’ve put together this list of answers to frequently asked questions.

But if there’s anything not covered that you need to know, please just ask by calling us on 01202 961196, or by emailing

Will my child be safe?

Your child’s safety is our priority, and all BU Summer Breaks carry out risk assessments for all activities. All adults, including the Student Mentors, involved in looking after Summer Break participants have been checked through the Disclosure and Barring Service (previously Criminal Records Bureau) in accordance with the law. Student Mentors are assigned between four and six students to look after and will be aware of participants’ whereabouts at all times.

BU has clear health and safety policy and procedures, and on campus security. If you wish to know more you can contact the Co-ordinator directly by calling us on 01202 961196, or by emailing

What is my involvement as a Parent/Guardian or Carer?

Your role is as much as you would like to make it. Supporting your child in choosing the academic workshops that best suits them (rather than the one all their friends are going to) and just showing a general interest in what they’re interested in are all integral parts of the BU Summer Breaks programme. We would welcome Parents/Guardians and Carers to join us at the welcome and closing lunch & presentations.

Please continue to encourage your child to participate in the BU Summer Break.

How many people take part in a BU Summer Break?

Typically around 80 students attend each Summer Break.

Will my child be going to the BU Summer Break with their school friends?

This will depend entirely on who has applied to the Summer Break. One of the aims of the Summer Break is to encourage students to mix with students from other schools and make new friends, and so gain the most out of the experience. However, where friends have applied from the same school every endeavour will be made to accommodate them.

Who are the Student Mentors?

Student Mentors are current students in higher education who attend Bournemouth University. They are interviewed, trained, and DBS checked. Some of them will receive basic First Aid training as well. Many of them have prior first hand experience of mentoring. While they all have special individual qualities, they are also picked for their ability to contribute to a team, each bringing different skills and personality. Every year they are the most vital ingredient in the summer schools and they are always rated by the young people as the best source of information about studying and being a student.

Where will my child be staying?

All participants will be given their own lockable room in Chesil House, one of our Halls of Residence at the Lansdowne Campus in single sex groups. All rooms are en-suite and students will share a kitchen and lounge.

What staff supervision is there overnight?

Universities and colleges are security conscious places, and this is especially the case where BU Summer Breaks are concerned. Student Mentors will be living in the student accommodation with Summer Break participants, so they are supervised at all times. Bournemouth University staff will also be based on campus and will be on call for the duration of the Summer Break.

What if I need to get in touch with my child during the Summer Break?

Contact details for key members of staff on the Summer Break will be made available to you. If there is anything you want to discuss about your child, particularly if this is of a confidential nature, please feel free to contact the Coordinator directly.

What happens if my child falls ill on the BU Summer Break?

If a Summer Break participant is feeling unwell then first aid trained member of staff will make an initial check and refer the pupil to a doctor or hospital, if required.

Parents/Guardians or Carers will be informed at the earliest time possible of the situation, if it proves to be something serious and a record of accidents and illnesses will be kept. If a student is too ill to continue participating in the Summer Break, then either Parents/Guardians or Carers will be asked to collect them or we will arrange with you another suitable way of transporting them home. For students with specific medical requirements please ensure that the relevant information is stated on the application form and we will contact you to confirm arrangements.

What should participants bring with them?

BU will contact the students with an information pack that will let them know what they’ll need to bring. Summer Breaks do not normally require participants to bring any specialist materials.

We especially ask that students do not bring valuables, such as computers and cameras. Bournemouth University will provide a DVD/ group photo photographs at the end of the event and will also make available some IT facilities with supervised access.

For residential places participants will need adequate clothing for four days and three nights whilst at the Summer Breaks. These can be casual and should also include items suitable for sporting activities. The cost of all activities, meals and accommodation are covered by the scheme, but participants may wish to bring a small amount of money to buy anything extra. We suggest you bring no more than £40 as spending money.

This is just a guideline and there may be other items that it would be helpful to bring…

Casual Clothes
Sports wear
Bath towel
Hand towel
Underwear & Socks
Shoes & trainers
Tissues & anti-histamines*
Any medication*
Pencil case/pens
Washing bag
no more than £40 to spend

*only if participants personally need these items

BU will provide:

Bed linen
All food & drink for the week
Drinks/snacks in your flat
Kettle in your flat
Memento of Summer Breaks

When should I arrive to collect my child when the Summer Break is over?

You will be notified before the BU Summer Break starts of the arrival and departure times. We encourage parents/carers to attend the welcome and farewell events but also welcome those students that would like to travel independently.

What if my child wants to leave the Summer Break for a while for any reason?

Normally we would expect all students to remain for the full length of the BU Summer Break unless there were exceptional circumstances. These wouldn’t include social events but may include things like a family illness, retaking an exam etc. If you know in advance about a possible good reason for your child to be away from any part of the Summer Break, please let us know with as much notice as possible so we are able to plan the timetable around this.

On the application form I provided medical details about my child. How is this information used to make sure my child’s health is safeguarded?

A member of the BU Summer Breaks team will contact you and your child to discuss any special requirements or arrangements that need to be made. This includes where specific arrangements can be put in place to ensure your child can benefit fully from the experience.

What information about my child will be shared with other organisations?

The information you have provided will be held by BU and will only be shared with other organisations for the purposes of administration, statistical research and evaluation. Personal information will not be passed on to organisations for marketing purposes. The data will be used to track participants’ journey into Higher Education by linking with data provided by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

In addition, if you ticked the box in your section of your child’s application form that told us you do not want photographs of your child used for Summer Break publicity, this wish will of course be respected.