Educational guardianship has always been a requirement for overseas boarders; but during the pandemic, where flight changes are frequent and school closures are not out of the question, finding the right guardian for you is vital.
Are you finding it hard to choose an educational guardian? Here are some pointers to help guide you in making this all-important decision for you and your child.
Anyone can be a guardian technically but how do you know they are operating legally and doing all the necessary screening checks on families and drivers? If the guardianship company has accreditation it means that they have had independent inspectors checking out they processes. AEGIS - The Association for The Education & Guardianship for International Students) is the only accrediting body in the UK who do this for guardianship companies so look out for this logos.
You need your guardian to know what they are doing and have efficient systems to make sure everything goes smoothly. The last thing you want is your student stuck at an airport with no driver or no host family to go to at half term or in an emergency.
A good gauge of how efficient they are could be how quickly they respond to your initial enquiry.
It is not possible to get a Taxi Driver Licence in the UK without a DBS check but that does not mean that a driver does not have a criminal record. Does your guardian conduct DBS checks on all drivers and actually check their record? If they will not provide this information then beware.
Coronavirus has broadened the definition of the term 'safe travel' and so it is important to know that your guardian is following all the necessary government guidance. At Bright World we are pleased to assure all our parents that our team of fully screened drivers will all be closely following our Covid-19 Driver and Passenger Safety Policy.
Will you receive full details about the host family chosen for your son or daughter? Will they have been visited by a member of the guardianship company and is this inspection properly recorded. How often are families reinspected? Does your guardian take the time to ask your student how they got on at the family, allowing them plenty of time to tell them if they felt uncomfortable in any way? Is every member of the family who lives there given a DBS check and is that DBS check clear, i.e. they have no criminal record? With a Gold standard AEGIS accredited guardian like Bright World this is our minimum standard of care when it comes to host families.
A good guardian should understand the worry you will feel when sending your student abroad. They will also understand how your student might feel leaving home for the first time. Make sure the guardianship company you choose really do care and treat you, your student's family and your student with the respect you deserve.
Be suspicious of programmes that look very cheap. They may have hidden costs that come out as the year goes along, variant host family costs, extra costs for extra visits etc. Operating a high quality programme with educated, well paid staff, top notch management systems as well as ensuring safeguarding standards are maintained is an expensive business.
Your guardian should try to be as understanding as possible in the current climate. At Bright World, we want to make it as straightforward and stress-free as possible in terms of fees and cancellations for our customers. We are therefore operating our Enrol, Cancel and Defer Policy for September 2020.