FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who takes the guardianship responsibility for my son/daughter?
Whether in school or staying with a host family, UK Guardians Principal, Helen Herridge remains the guardian of your child at all times whilst he/she is in the UK. She is assisted by her team of Care Coordinators and Guardian Angels that keep in close contact and visit each child. During term time, the school has responsibility for day-to-day care, as well as for the academic and social development of your child. Host families take over responsibility for day-to-day care whilst your child is staying with them at times when the school is closed.
Does our child stay with you at Half Term and at weekends?
No, we have specially selected families with whom your child will stay. Your child may also need to stay with a family at the beginning or end of school terms. The cost of host family stays is paid from your personal Student’s Expenses fund.
Can my child stay with relatives or friends instead of a Host Family?
This is possible, but we must be notified well in advance. In addition, in the interests of your child’s safety, we have a strict policy on stays outside of our families, which is dependent on your child’s age. Full details can be found in the Overseas Parents Handbook.
Can my child’s school friends also stay with his host family?
Sometimes students ask for friends to stay at their Host Family for a Half Term or weekend break. Arrangements must be made through the UK Guardians office.
How do you choose your Host Families?
Host Families come to us either by recommendation or through their own application. Prospective families are required to give details of the family members, their work, their interests, their pets and other information to determine their suitability for hosting students. We then arrange a home visit to meet the family and inspect the facilities available to the student. The visit also helps us to establish if the family is caring and warm, which is extremely important for the welfare of your child. We make detailed notes which enable us to match your child to a suitable family. All of our families are police checked (using the DBS or Disclosure and Barring Service) and provide references.
How often will you meet my child?
Either the Principle or a UK Guardians representative will meet with your child on the day or within a few days of arrival in the UK and thereafter at least once each term. If circumstances require it, additional visits are arranged. We keep in regular contact with our students as well as with both the school and the host families, and are available to parents, students, schools and host families 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
How will our child get from airport to school and from school to/from the host family?
We arrange your child’s travel within the UK. Airport transfers are either by school bus or by a UK Guardians driver – in both cases, the drivers involved are known to us and police checked through the DBS. Travel to/from host families is either by a UK Guardians driver or by the host themselves. The cost is paid from your Student Expenses Deposit.
What if our child is sick?
We will be informed that your child is sick by the school if they feel it is serious enough, if it is felt necessary a member of staff familiar to your child will visit them immediately, if they require a visit to the hospital or are staying in hospital, we will be with them as much as possible we will support them and keep you well informed of the situation.
What is our Student’s Expenses Deposit?
This fund of GBP1500 is the amount that you lodge with UK Guardians when you first register. The fund remains your money and is used to pay for your child’s travel and host family stays, as well as for additional expenses such as pocket money, uniform items, books and so on. When the balance of the fund drops below GBP400 we will write to you, asking for a payment to restore the fund to GBP1500. Any amount remaining when your child leaves us is returned to you.
What happens if my child is suspended or permanently excluded from school?
A student can be suspended from school for some days or even weeks if he/she is guilty of one of a number of serious offences, including bullying, smoking, drinking alcohol, taking or selling illegal drugs or constant breaking of school rules. We will arrange an emergency Host Family for the period of the suspension and discuss the matter in depth with the school, keeping you informed of developments. If excluded, we will assist in the process of finding an alternative school or arrange for your child to return home to you.
What happens in an emergency?
You and your child are given the UK Guardians 24-hour emergency contact details when they first arrive in the UK. The school is also informed of our contact details. In most cases, the situation can be resolved by one or more telephone calls, however, in the case of a suspension or a medical emergency we will liaise with you and with the school until the matter is resolved.
What happens if I want to stop the guardianship contract with UK Guardians?
You can terminate at any time by giving us ONE FULL TERM’S notice in writing. We will refund any advanced payment of fees and the credit balance on the Student Expenses Deposit, but please note a term’s fees will be charged in lieu of notice apart from Year 13 leavers.