When will UK schools reopen and where do international students fit into a phased return?

when will international students return back to school?

Chairs in a classroom

On 18th March, Boris Johnson told schools in England, Scotland, Wales and Northen Ireland to prepare to shut their gates, asking only the vulnerable and children of key workers to attend until further notice.

But with recent speculation over a phased return said to involve year groups and with talk of restrictions for overseas visitors; when and how can international children return back to school?

coronavirus continues to delay family reunions

Illustration of a world map showing a flight path

Coronavirus has been on the minds of international students and those of us who work in international education since the beginning of the year. As students from South Asia prepared to travel home for the much-anticipated Chinese New Year, they were asked to consider changing their Spring half term holiday plans to avoid a 2 week quarantine period upon their return to their boarding house.

Students from high risk countries were asked to delay family reunions further at Easter and to stay in the UK with their uk guardian, or at school.

The primary goal, of all restrictions was, of course to minimise any interruptions to their studies, whilst also protecting them from the virus in their home country.

As Easter drew closer, so did the imminent announcement of school closures and with this the swift switch in student plans saw most overseas students desperate to leave the UK and get back to their parents prior to a looming UK lockdown

what does a phased return mean for overseas boarders?

Cartoon of a socially distanced queue

Primary schools will open 'at the earliest' on 1st June for the youngest pupils in Reception, year 1 and year 6. Secondary pupils taking exams next year will, according to the UK Government; 'get at least some time with their teachers before the holidays'. The UK Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson is hopeful that a phased return of students, with different year groups will help to maintain social distancing practices.

Boris Johnson has however been clear that getting primary aged children back to school will be an overriding priority. But as the government makes plans for British students, as guardians we are keen to know how overseas students fit in.

Bright Sounds Ep 4: Do parents still want their children to come to the UK? An agent's perspective.

Bright sounds logo

Joining us on the Bright Sounds podcast, Su Hayter from UKEAS Worldwide described the eagerness of parents who wanted to know more about the timeline for schools reopening. Bright World is guardian to a number of students from this global education agency, who come from all over the world to study at UK Boarding Schools.

Su Hayter at UKEAS Worldwide

Parents are very happy and accepting of the situation but really do now need to know if their child is coming back in September or not. In a lot of our overseas markets, particurlarly in Asia, schools will be opening in September if not before and so the parents are wanting to make that decision as to whether to keep them in their home country.
Su Hayter, UKEAS Worldwide

how can guardians help get children back to school?



The Bright World Guardianships team continue to play a key role in caring for overseas students, whilst schools are closed and we are ready to work closely with schools to facilitate the return of international students, whenever that may be.

Bright World believes that guardians can be really instrumental in helping schools keep students safe and in getting them back to school. We are currently in talks with AEGIS, other guardianship companies and schools to create a united front and work out together how our host family network, our transportation services and our general support can assist in the transition back to boarding. We will be keeping overseas parents posted on developments as we know that they are keen for their children to continue their education in the UK and may need Bright World's help with a soft landing back in a host family or at our residential centre, CMC before returning to school. 


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