How do you choose the best guardian for your child at UK boarding school?
UK boarding schools require international students under the age of 18 to have a local guardian to support them during their time at boarding school. Choosing the right guardian for your child whilst they are living abroad is crucial – you want to make the best choice in supporting your child. To help you decide, we’ve put together a quick list of criteria below.
To ensure your child is safe and receiving the highest quality support, most British boarding schools recommend you appoint an AEGIS or BSA accredited guardian. Choosing a guardianship organisation that is accredited by AEGIS (Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students) or BSA (Boarding Schools’ Association) will give you peace of mind that safeguarding procedures and standards are being met.
Academic Families receives double accreditation from the BSA and we are fully AEGIS accredited to their highest Gold standard. In addition, our team are trained MHFA (Mental Health First Aiders) so we are qualified to support students with any wellbeing and mental health concerns.
You never know what’s around the corner, so it’s important to have a guardian who’s available whenever you need, in case of emergencies. Simple put: you need someone who can be there for your child when you can’t be. This is where a professional guardian wins over a friend or family. Professional guardians have the time and resources to support you no matter what, along with experience in tackling every situation… which can’t be guaranteed with a friend or family member!
We have local staff across the UK and we’re on hand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We can quickly fix any kind of problem – from health emergencies to getting stuck in the airport, or even simply running out of cash while in town or on a school trip.
Every term at boarding school, your child will have a half-term break and usually some exeat weekends too. You might be asking yourself, “What is an exeat weekend?” This is a much-used boarding school phrase and refers to weekends that occur a few times every term when the boarding house is closed and all students leave the school. When you’re looking for a guardian, it’s important to find someone who can help you make arrangements for your child during these school breaks.
What happens during these breaks? You have a few choices, such as:
While your child is in the UK, you need to know that they will be able to travel safely between the school, a host family, and the airport. Professional guardians can organise all your child’s travel arrangements to ensure your child gets wherever they need to be, reliably and efficiently.
Rather than risk a driver from a mobile app such as Uber or Lyft, we can organise transfers to and from your child’s school with security-screened taxi drivers. And we will make sure that even if travel plans don’t go smoothly (such as flight disruptions or cancellations), your child will have help at whatever time of the day or night.
The guardian you choose for your child should be someone you can trust to support your child and ensure they are safe, happy and successful at school. You need to know that you can rely on your child’s guardian to be there for them.
Our team has personal and professional experience with boarding schools. Many of our staff attended boarding schools themselves when they were young or have worked in them. We have all lived overseas and many of us are mothers, so we understand the importance of choosing the right guardian for your child. We offer the same level of support that we would expect for our own family.
The best guardians go above and beyond to make sure that your child is not only safe, but also successful at school. When choosing a guardian, look for someone who will support your child to make the most of their British education and achieve their best.
Academic Families is also here to make sure your child settles well into boarding school life and adjusts academically. From attending parent meetings to acquiring tutors, as your appointed guardian we can take care of everything and anything your child needs.
In addition, we can offer advice and enrolment assistance for a number of short courses throughout the UK to give your child a bit of extra help before or during their boarding school experience. For example, language classes, exam preparations, private tutoring, extra sports training, learning a new skill, etc.
Now that you know what to look for when appointing a professional guardian for your child, your next steps are easy! To register your interest in our Guardianship services, please tell us more about your child. If you have any questions, our highly experienced team would be pleased to answer them for you.
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