UK Guardianship for
International Students

Fully accredited by both AEGIS and the British Boarding School Association (BSA), we support international students throughout their time at UK boarding schools.


Most UK boarding schools require international students
to have an appointed guardian


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.

How is a guardian different from friends who live nearby?

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) or BSA (Boarding School Association). Academic Families is accredited by both - AEGIS gold standard and BSA - and our local teams support students across the UK.

Many parents of Child Student visa holders rely on their accredited guardian to support their child throughout their time in the UK and most boarding schools require students to have a UK-based guardian whatever their age.

Both the Boarding School Association and AEGIS recommend students should have someone (not a school staff member) to support them outside of school.


Entrusting professionals instead of nearby family and friends

Academic Families doing airport drop off

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!


How are host families different from guardians?

We work with schools throughout Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and we have host families throughout the UK too.

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.

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).

Host Family out hill walking

Guardians also offer 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.

Travel assistance from trusted guardianship providers

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.

Why do I need a guardian?

Reduce risk

We provide peace of mind and manage travel-related risks (e.g. airport transfers). Plus, our taxi drivers and host families are all security checked.

Don't take chances

We ensure each student’s wellbeing from the moment they land in the UK to the time they leave.

Always here for you

From the plane door to the boarding school door and everywhere in between – we’re here when you can’t be.

Not just for kids

If your child enters university in the UK before they turn 18, you'll need a guardian too.

Types of guardianship we provide

Full Support
Emergency Unit

How does Academic Families help?

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.

Before you arrive

We get to know you via video chat, and we provide parent and child handbooks.

When you arrive

Meet and greet.
Welcome pack.
Shopping support.

In an emergency

We offer 24/7 support and we do everything we can to help.

Airport assistance

UK transfers and
Unaccompanied minor service.
Plane door to taxi door escort.

At school

Termly visits.
Academic support.
Attending meetings.

Extra support

Communication in your language, birthday surprises, and help with banking.

Fully accredited

by the Association for the Education & Guardianship of International Students.

Why should you choose Academic Families?

“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.”

Jacqueline Scotney
AEGIS Lead Inspector

AEGIS logo

Free consultation

Get in touch and we will contact you to discuss your child's needs and explain how we can help you year-round.

Enquire now!

© 2024 Academic Families | Academic Families is a Safer Recruiter