What unites everyone around the world today is uncertainty. Suddenly it has become totally acceptable to say that we have no idea what is going to happen next. We are all doing our best to beat the devastating effects of Covid-19 by complying with the rules of lockdown but none of us have any more control than that. As a consequence, we are not ashamed to say that we do not yet know what is going to happen in September.
What we can say is that having spent the last two weeks planning for a September return for our students, we have spoken to many schools who are all doing the same thing. We seem very united in our positive attitude to making it happen and to keeping international students as safe as possible when they do come back. Through the many conversations we have been having with schools and overseas parents, we have gleaned what is concerning parents the most and how we, as guardians, can help.
Our focus now as guardians has to be helping schools to facilitate a safe return for students this Autumn. In cooperation with our partner schools, agents and parents we have formulated our 6 point enhanced service plan for a safe return of students in September.
We are planning for safe transportation with our drivers for September and have created a policy for hygiene and safety that any driver transporting a Bright World student will adhere to. Please contact us if you would like to view a copy of our Driver Policy and Charter.
We understand from talking to schools that most will be organising their own quarantine facilities and will be allowing pupils to arrive 14 days early in August. For those schools, we will be able to assist with transport straight to school for you.
Bright World is also planning contingency for quarantine in comfortable and high quality residential centres for those students at schools who are not providing quarantine, or for those who miss the 14 days prior to school commencement due to a delayed arrival.
We are liaising with schools to ensure that they will be isolating children who present with symptoms whilst in the boarding house. This complies with UK Government advice. It is not possible or right to place a symptomatic student into a host family.
Our residential quarantine and Relax & Revise holiday programmes have their own Coronavirus Contingency Policy and plan which includes the provision of isolation facilities. They will also offer medical assistance, should students present with symptoms during their stay.
If a child presents with symptoms while in a host family, then the host family will take full care of the student and will arrange for appropriate medical assistance.
We will encourage the wearing of masks for all students on our quarantine programmes and we are giving guidance to schools on the importance of students being allowed to wear masks at school. We are pleased to report that most schools seem to be promoting the wearing of masks but if you are worried about your school not allowing this, then let us know and we will speak to them for you.
We are also making contingency plans to help ensure ALL students can remain in the UK for half term and Christmas if necessary. We will be liaising with schools and reviewing their plans for holidays and helping out where needed. Our host family network is also ready to help in the case of further school closures.
We think that if students can be readily tested, things will become so much easier. It is quite usual for students to get a temperature when they have been on the long journey from home to the UK; Usually it passes within a day or two as it is just a minor illness. In the current pandemic, we cannot be sure if students just have a common cold or Covid-19 until we test them. NHS tests can take a some time to return results and so we know that schools are also researching the possibility of testing students on arrival and if they present with any symptoms. There are private companies offering tests in the UK and we hope that by September there will be easy access to fast and inexpensive testing. Please rest assured that we will endeavour to keep our parents informed on our findings as things develop.
We want to make it as straightforward and stress-free as possible in terms of fees and cancellations for our customers for the September entry.
We are also offering our returning customers a discount on the first term's fees. This is to show our appreciation of your support during these troubled times.
We welcome contact from our current customers and any new customers joining Bright World in September. We do hope to hear from you, if not straight away, over the coming weeks so we can start working together to get your child back.
Our simple message remains that as your guardian, we are here to help you.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Bright World has been a vital extra level of support to overseas parents, students and schools. We were able to help keep all students safely in the UK for the February term and then suddenly safely into host families and onto planes home when schools closed in March 2020.
Now the focus lies strongly on getting students back into boarding for September 2020, Bright World again is liaising daily with our partner schools discussing how we can help in getting students back safely. We are, therefore, delighted to be part of a forward-thinking cooperation of schools and guardians called Safe Schools UK.
The objectives of the initiative are:
Our Managing Director, Lana Foster, is a Trustee of AEGIS, The Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students. Bright World is pleased to endorse and follow the standards set by AEGIS during the Coronavirus Crisis and while we head towards the healthy and safe return of our students in September. We are proud to have achieved GOLD standard accreditation of this important inspectorate.
View our Coronavirus contingency plan
View the programme we have planned for our students needing quarantine.
Please also get in touch with us if you are are a parent who needs assistance with guardianship or quarantine accommodation and you are not yet registered with Bright World.
Hear interesting discussions and interviews with schools, industry partners, host families and students.