Lady Margaret Hall has joined a growing list of institutions of further and higher education who have committed not to use legally binding Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) in response to students and staff who come forward to report sexual harassment, bullying and misconduct.
The pledge, launched earlier this year by Michelle Donelan, Minister for Higher and Further Education, is backed by MPs and campaign groups including #cantbuymysilence.
Professor Christine Gerrard, Principal (Interim) of Lady Margaret Hall, said:
“We are committed to ensuring that Lady Margaret Hall offers a safe, supportive environment in which everyone can thrive, and we take our duty of care towards our students and staff very seriously. The overwhelming majority of our students do have a positive experience but in the small number of cases where incidents of harassment or violence sadly occur, it is important that victims feel confident and supported to speak out and report unacceptable behaviour.
“The support of our Governing Body for this pledge is part of an ongoing process of reform to strengthen our safeguarding and welfare provision. This includes a root and branch review of our non-academic misconduct procedures, led by a working party of student representatives and independent specialists, and in consultation with the anti-sexual violence group It Happens Here. We are also reviewing our reporting procedures for sexual harassment and sexual violence to help address under-reporting, and improving our general welfare provision for students.
“I hope that LMH’s signing of this pledge will demonstrate our commitment to tackling the problem of sexual violence and misconduct, and increase the confidence of our students in the help and support that is available to them.”