We want to thank our wonderful network of host families for being there for us and for our students during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our hosts have shown how much they truly care about our students by coming forward and being there for them whenever they need them.
With the exeat, half term and dare we mention Christmas fast approaching, we are so pleased that our host families continue to be here for us and our students. Not all schools have been able to stay open for the short holidays and our host families, with very few exceptions, have all agreed to take on extra responsibilities and host during the pandemic. All host families have signed up for the Bright World Covid-19 Safe Plan that we have put together for them. This shows just how committed they are to working with Bright World and hosting our students.
We were astounded by the support we received at Easter 2020 when, at one point, we thought all our students would need to stay in the UK. Then we experienced the flexibility of our host families when nearly all students cancelled their stays and went home as schools closed.
We were so impressed with the host families who took students in long-term, as truly a part of the family when some were unable to get home at all and were stranded in the UK for the summer term and holidays. These host families had to undergo extra, rigorous checks by the UK Child Services Private Fostering department. They took it all in their stride and so for these families - Bright World salutes you.
Now, as the new term commences, and the exeat and half term are almost upon us, again we are seeing just how flexible, helpful and kind our host families are.
When students stay with a Bright World host family, schools can rest assured that government guidance is being followed by the host family and social distancing, wearing of masks in shops and on public transport will be expected of students. Host families will also be encouraging students to wash their hands regularly and remain in the house as much as possible during their short stay.
For students in host families, it is very important that everyone is clear about what would happen if they fall ill with Covid-19 symptoms while they are there. ALL Bright World host families hosting during these times have agreed to follow Public Health England advice in this instance. This is a huge commitment and undertaking for them. Let's not forget that if a student or any other member of the household presents with symptoms, the entire host family would need to isolate for 14 days. Having so many of our host families agreeing to this shows that they are doing this because they genuinely care about our students and do treat them as members of their family.
Bright World can arrange private tests for our students, should they present with symptoms while they are with a host family. We are working with a very efficient testing specialist. Tests are sent to the host family and supervised online by a nurse. The tests are then posted off and results are returned the next day. This negates the need to rely on NHS testing at this time, which is not widely available across the UK, nor do the results come back quickly in all cases.
As travel restrictions are likely to be in place for most countries for the Christmas holidays, we are compiling a list of all our host families who can host during this busy time. We are delighted that many are able to host and we are contacting our guardianship parents next week to see if they want to book their place. We can promise a warm welcome and a lovely Bright World family Christmas.