(infographic from Cambridge Guardian Angels an AEGIS approved guardianship)
Why do you need a Guardian?
Guardians act on behalf of the parents, helping the student adapt to their new life. A guardian keeps in regular contact with the student during term time and assists with any problems that may arise. Suitable homestay accommodation is arranged by the guardian during holidays. A guardian will be available to both students and parents 24 hours a day in case of emergency
More information on our site about VISA’S and immigration can be found here.
Government information can be found here
The legal position
Guidelines for Sponsors-For children under 18 coming to the UK to study, the Sponsor is the school, where the child is going to study.
(3.26 of Tier 4 of the Points Based System: Guidance for Sponsors)
“Sponsors who recruit a child under the age of 18 must ensure suitable arrangements are in place for them in the UK. This must include arrangements for their: a) travel; b) reception when they arrive in the UK; and c) care while in the UK.”
What to do before you appoint a Guardian?
There are varying Guardianship models operating in the UK, which can make an accurate comparison of fees and services hard to achieve. A few providers will provide an ‘all in’ price, but most will charge for ‘extra’ services on the basis that different families have different needs. However, if an ‘all in price’ is not provided, we do suggest that you establish what services incur additional cost(s).
Therefore, before signing a Guardianship contract ask for a breakdown of potential extra charges and find out when they are applicable.
Extra charges can include:
– Visits to schools
– Parents evening attendances-which can be charged per child, not per visit.
– Any ‘out of hours’ activities not listed as fully inclusive in the contract
– Transfer and transport fares, usually charged ‘per car’ not ‘per child’.
– Additional ‘tutor’ costs
Host family costs might additionally include:
– Host family ‘retainer’-to cover costs relating to providing emergency hosting or for overall ‘responsibility’ of the child.
– Charge per night-(host family nightly fees currently range from £40-£65 per night, as a guide)
– Use of WiFi/heating and lighting might be charged if occupancy time exceeds what is expected.
– Provision of lunch/snacks-often considered an ‘extra’ and usually charged at between £5-£15 per day.
Agree a contract
Parents and agents should ask for a legally prepared contract which includes a complete list of all services included in the price, this should be signed by both parties.
Accredited Guardianship schemes
Guardians that are accredited by either of the recognised schemes below will usually highlight their membership within the information they send you, as membership shows their processes and procedures have been independently vetted.
AEGIS is the Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students.
AEGIS brings together schools/colleges and Guardianship Organisations to ensure and promote the welfare of international students, aged 18 or under, studying at UK schools/colleges. AEGIS provides a forum for best practice for schools/colleges and Guardianship Organisations through regular workshops and conferences. AEGIS is a registered charity.
To become a fully accredited member of AEGIS, a Guardianship Organisation must first undergo a thorough and rigorous inspection process. Accreditation will only be granted once AEGIS inspectors are satisfied that the Guardianship Organisation meets all of the AEGIS inspection criteria and standards. A condition of AEGIS membership is that once fully accredited, a Guardianship Organisation will be re-inspected every four years.
The Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) champions boarding and promotes boarding excellence. It is the world’s largest association of boarding schools and represents more than 600 independent and state boarding schools, over 500 of which are based in the UK, offering them training and networking opportunities. The BSA Certified Guardian Scheme is a training and certification programme for educational guardians which gives parents and schools the assurance of professional quality in the guardian they choose for their child.
BSA certified guardians have been trained in, and checked for, the highest standards in safeguarding of children, safer recruitment and training of staff and host families, and careful liaison with parents and schools. BSA certification is rigorous, independent and high quality, backed up by the training for which the BSA is so well known. It lasts for three years, after which the certified guardian must be re-assessed.