Dear friends and neighbours,
You will no doubt have heard of certain changes that UWC Atlantic College has been required to make to help further ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students, who call St Donat’s their home.
The first and most noticeable change has been the obligation to appoint a security guard at UWC Atlantic College’s main (Top Lodge) entrance. There is good reason why this is necessary, and we hope the following information will clear up any confusion.
In recent years, UWC Atlantic College has started taking students of statutory school age, children below 16 years old. As a result, we are now considered to be both a school and a college. We are therefore required to comply with all legislative requirements set out in the Education Act, which includes site security to ensure the safeguarding of the children in our care.
Following two routine government inspections of UWC Atlantic College, the inspecting bodies have advised that the open public access to our site is to be stopped, as it is in any other UK school.
While all at UWC Atlantic College have the utmost consideration for our neighbours and wider community, failure to comply with the obligations relating to site security and safeguarding of our students would have serious consequences for the college.
We have put in place a two-stage approach to making the main entrance more secure. Immediate action has been taken to employ a security company to staff the main gate. Our permanent plan is to relocate Reception to the Top Lodge building at the main entrance; this includes building a small extension.
The new Reception will be manned by our Estates Staff and this should be in place by March 2017. This will allow us to ensure all visitors have a legitimate reason for entering the campus, and we will take all steps to ensure minimal impact to those who do. This includes continuing to welcome people who are visiting the church for service and attending graves of loved ones.
Going forward, all visitors to the UWC Atlantic College and to St Donat’s Arts Centre, will be asked to check in with security and Reception on arrival. Guests will then be given a visitor’s badge and a car pass, the same system you would have to comply with in any other UK school.
Finally, we have applied to close general public access via the right of way to our campus at our West entrance. This is an unavoidable step we must take, and one that we hope our neighbours will understand.
We hope you will support us to uphold our legal commitment to safeguarding the welfare of the children and young adults who are in our care, and help us to ensure a safe and effective environment for our students as they receive a transformative education.
It is our ongoing intention to improve communication between the college and the local community.