What does a Guardianship Organisation do?
What will an Educational Guardian provide for my child?
A guardian acts on behalf of the parents, attending meetings with school staff and relaying comments to the parents. They help students adapt to their new life and school regulations, taking an active part in the student’s school life. A guardian can give help and advice over examination choices and university selection, including assistance with the completion of application forms. They keep regular contact with the student during term time and assist with any problems that may arise. A guardian will organise suitable home stay accommodation with native speaking host families for exeat, half term breaks, or longer (holiday) periods. Guardians arrange flight reservations and tickets when asked and arrange collection and/or transport from school, host family or airport at the beginning and end of all holiday periods. A guardian will be available to both students and parents 24 hours a day in case of emergency.
Do I have to provide a Guardian for my child?
It is recommended that all students coming to the UK to study have a Guardian who can take care of their welfare and help them to settle in to school life. Many UK boarding schools even make it a condition of their admissions that international students have a UK based Guardian.
What about students under the age of 16?
If a student is under the age of 16, not living in a boarding school with full time accommodation during term time, and is living with a host family full time throughout the academic year, that family must be registered with Social Services as a Foster Family. Students attending short term courses, such as summer school courses, that live with a host family for less than 28 consecutive days (4 weeks), do not need to be with a family registered as a Foster Family
Is there an inspection body that check Guardianship services?
AEGIS (The Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students) accredits UK Guardianship organisations via rigorous and robust inspection methods to ensure that international students studying at UK boarding schools get the highest quality guardianship whilst they are in the UK. Established over 20 years, AEGIS works to improve the standards of Guardianship in the UK and has recently appointed a Chief Inspector who leads ISI- and OFSTED-trained inspectors in the scrutiny of Guardianship Organisation against an extensive and comprehensive guidance framework. You should always use a Guardianship that is accredited by AEGIS.
Why should I use a big Guardianship Organisation?
There are lots of reasons to use a large and well established organisation and these include:
- A wide choice of carefully selected families, taking care to match your child to the right family but also having enough families on their books to enable your child to change if needed.
- A professional undertaking, with a clear understanding of what is required as well as policies in place to ensure that happens.
- Full professional indemnity insurance to cover all their responsibilities, as required by schools.
- Twenty-four-hour support – someone always at hand to provide support in any emergency.
- A good reputation, client reviews and experience of working with international students.
- An ability to adapt to your needs and offer flexibility through a number of options.
- Reliable communication with all parties concerned.
- Adaptability – not all families or children are the same and being able to be flexible is key.
- Clear financial costings, no surprises added on.
- A range of additional services such as visa assistance, airport transfers, parent accommodation when visiting…
- Meeting all the legal requirements of a Guardianship organisation and maintaining AEGIS accreditation.