The community of Brasenose College has been warned about the dangers of intimate relationships between staff and students.

The College has sent out an email advising staff not to enter into personal relationships with any student for whom they have responsibility.

Principal John Bowers informed the College of an update to the preamble of the Academic Staff Student Relationship Policy. While the policy itself remains unchanged, the new preamble explains the principles behind the policy.

Within the policy, the College identifies the professional relationship between members of staff and students as being central to the student’s education development and wellbeing.

Conversely, a close personal or intimate relationship with a student “often involves difficulties rooted in the inequalities of power as well as problems in maintaining the boundaries of professional and personal life.”

The policy, which applies to academic staff and students of Brasenose, also requires that any personal relationship must be declared at once to the Senior Tutor.

The principal highlighted that “however brief” the relationship, “there are significant risks in any close personal or intimate relationships between individuals who occupy inherently unequal positions.”