Fully AEGIS accredited, we support international students
throughout their time at UK boarding schools.
Most UK boarding schools require their international students to have local UK support and appoint an educational guardian, regardless of whether they are studying for a term, semester or several years.
An educational guardian is an adult or a company in the UK who is appointed by a parent to be their representative while their child studies in the UK.
When you appoint Academies Families as your child’s guardian, we look after your child and offer the same level of support that we would expect for our own family. Hundreds of families have relied on our support to ensure their children thrive and make the most of their boarding school years.
To ensure your child is safe and receiving the highest quality support, most schools recommend you appoint a guardian which is accredited by AEGIS (Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students). Academic Families is fully AEGIS accredited and our local teams support students across the UK.
It’s a Tier 4 requirement to appoint a guardian for students under 16 years of age and most boarding schools require students to have a UK based guardian whatever their age. The Boarding School Association and AEGIS recommend students should have someone to support them outside of school and not a member of staff.
Nearby family and friends
Although it might seem like a good idea to have UK-based friends act as your child's guardian while he or she is studying in the UK, there are many reasons why guardianship should be given to professionals who are equipped to deal with any and every situation.
Family friends could be hours away - most schools require guardians to be less than two hours' travel from school.
Moreover, friends or business companions may not be fully prepared or able to support your child, whereas a professional guardianship agency has experienced people and procedures in place to fully support students whatever happens and whenever they might be.
Guardians commit to assuming delegated parental responsibility in case of emergencies and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your child. This means that we are there whenever your child needs help. As you might imagine, this might be difficult for your friends to do if they are working or if your child needs help in the middle of the night!
We work with schools throughout Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and we have host families throughout the UK too.
Host families offer a lot of support for international students, however, a host family isn’t enough when it comes to guardianship. For example, most hosts wouldn’t know what to do if an international student is stuck in customs. It’s also beyond a host family’s duties to attend school meetings - they are only committed to taking a student at weekends. Hosts also do not deal with issues that arise during the week or during holidays (when parents come to spend time with their children).
Academic and pastoral support
If your child needs academic or emotional support, Academic Families is well equipped to help. Our local staff is spread out across the UK so we can also easily attend school meetings on your behalf and send detailed reports afterwards.
If your child needs a place to stay for a night or two during mini school breaks, our host families are ready to welcome them with open arms. And if your child wants to stay for longer holidays, it's never a problem.
International students also need guardianship when travelling. A trusted guardian will make sure that even if travel plans don't go smoothly, your child will have help at hand no matter what time of the day or night it is.
How is a guardian different from houseparents in boarding schools?
Houseparents are often full-time teachers who also look after as many as 70 students after school, meaning your child is just 1 of 70. Whereas with Academic Families, your child is our number 1 priority.
If your child's school has horizontal boarding, then students will have a different houseparent every year, and it is unlikely they will be able to really get to know each child.
Academic Families is with your child from start to finish and we work closely with all our boarding schools ensuring our children are fully supported but also learn responsibility and independence.
Our guardians, host families and staff are dedicated to supporting students from around the world – helping them to settle into their British boarding school and enjoy their home away from home in Great Britain.
With strong roots in guardianship and education, our team will support you and your child to ensure their UK education and cultural experience is the best it can be.
“Academic Families provide a guardianship service of the highest calibre for students and their families. Their knowledgeable and experienced staff provide exemplary pastoral and academic support to help ensure that students are extremely well looked after, and achieve to the best of their ability.”
AEGIS Lead Inspector
Get in touch and we will contact you to discuss your child's needs and explain how we can help you year-round.