Disclosure is making current legal restrictions, conditions or arrangements related to criminal convictions known to The Open University when you register or during your time studying with us.
When you accept The Open University ‘Conditions of Registration’ you agree to make us aware immediately of any restriction or arrangement imposed by a court or by an authorised body where conditions may prevent you from fully engaging with your course and the wider University community.
For further guidance on disclosure please refer to:
Further information can also be found on the Unlock webpages - Unlock is an independant charity for people with criminal records. Plus, follow this link to Unlock’s Is It Spent? Poster which will help you work out when your convictions are spent.
The Open University’s mission is to promote educational opportunity and social justice by providing high-quality university education to all who wish to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential. In achieving our mission we are committed to widening participation and our enduring value of inclusivity.
Disclosure of a criminal conviction is not a requirement to study at The Open University. However, students who are currently, or become, subject to an order, restriction or arrangement imposed by a court or by an authorised body must make us aware immediately of any conditions as they may prevent them from fully engaging with their course and the wider University community.
This disclosure helps us support students in complying with any conditions while studying with The Open University and fulfils our safeguarding obligations, also includes those subject to Sex Offender Registration and Sexual Harm Prevention Orders.
In circumstances where legal restrictions and conditions make a student’s first choice of course impractical, The Open University will undertake to make reasonable adjustments and suggest alternative programmes of study where available. Our curriculum can be found in our Guide for Learners in Secure Environments.
Relevant convictions are defined as:
I. Offences listed in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (in the United Kingdom; or equivalent Act for outside of the United Kingdom);
II. Any kind of violence including (but not limited to) threatening behaviour, offences concerning the intention to harm, or offences which resulted in actual bodily harm;
III. Offences listed in the Terrorism Act 2006 (in the United Kingdom; or equivalent Act for outside of the United Kingdom);
IV. The unlawful supply of controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking;
V. Offences involving weapons, firearms, crossbows and knives;
VI. Offences involving arson;
VIII. Offences of human trafficking, slavery and forced labour.
We also consider relevant convictions to be those offences related to any person under 18 considered a child under English law- see Children Act 2004.
The Open University provides services to give specialist advice and support to students entering our student community from many different walks of life. Our Students in Secure Environments (SiSE) Team supports students in prison, in secure hospitals and those with legal restrictions, conditions or arrangements related to criminal convictions. Students coming to The Open University with a spent or unspent conviction may find it useful to connect with these services and gain additional support as part of their study with us.
Students coming to The Open University with current legal restrictions, conditions or arrangements or who become subject to an order, restriction or arrangement imposed by a court or by an authorised body while studying with us should contact the SiSE Team.
Any disclosure to utilise a service (e.g. careers advice) is dealt with confidentially, and you will only be asked for the information relevant to the service you require.
If appropriate, a referral will be made to our specialist support team who will be able to provide further guidance and support if your disclosure impacts on your study.
We take your privacy seriously. The Student Privacy Notice document outlines how we will use your data.