When students ask to stay with friends and family during the holidays, it is very important that as guardians, Bright World, check that the proposed arrangements are safe and appropriate.
We don’t discourage students from going to stay with school friends or if they have relatives in the UK and want to spend holidays with them. These arrangements can work really well and make for a more enjoyable break and can save overseas parents money.
However, experience has taught us that not all family friends and arrangements made by students are what they seem. Sometimes the adult taking responsibility for the student doesn’t really understand the responsibilities they are taking on. In other cases, they may not be who they say they are. Furthermore, following the release of the new National Minimum Standards for Boarding, Schools have new responsibilities when it comes to all educational guardianship arrangements.
If students choose not to stay with a Bright World host family then they need to know what the rules are.
Each time someone says they are staying with a friend or family member, we have a rigorous process in place to make sure all is at it seems and all arrangements are in place.
The Permission Form requested from parents will include details of the supervising adult and the arrangements. We then need to check that the person on our permission form is going to be supervising the child, understands their responsibilities and has appropriate facilities to keep the child safe and happy during the holidays.
If we are not happy with any aspects of the verification process we will ask for an online video call with the Family Friend and the overseas parents to double check. If we are still not happy, we will not authorise the stay and will insist on a host family.
We then have an online, mobile-friendly feedback form that we send to students after they have stayed with a family friend or school friend. Just because we are not making the arrangement ourselves we still have duty of care to make sure the students have been happy.
Bright World Buddies will also ask questions about holiday times during each student's general welfare visits in order to check that their holiday times have been positive and enjoyable. Any negative feedback is followed up on with schools and parents.