Below are the questions most frequently asked by students and parents about guardianship. To navigate through the questions, please select the relevant tab. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please send it to info@englishguardian.com and we will respond as soon as possible.
Why do I need a guardian?

Most UK boarding schools require students with families overseas to have an officially appointed guardian resident in the UK. Having a guardian allows both the child’s parents and school to rest easy knowing that there is someone available to support the child if required. We appreciate that having a guardian is another expense in addition to school fees, and that’s why our guardianship packages cater to a range of requirements and budgets.

Is there a way to avoid having a guardian?

Aside from being required by most schools, having a guardian is an essential precaution for overseas students, providing them with security and support at times of emergency and stress. However, guardianship isn’t only for emergencies, and having a helping hand nearby can help your child to achieve more and to get the most out of their experience at school in the UK.

Can my friend or a family member be a guardian?

Your adult friend or a family member can be a guardian if they are resident in the UK resident with ILR or citizenship status, do not live in student or shared accommodation and are over 25 years -old. However, most UK boarding schools do not recommend this approach. While a friend or relative will certainly care deeply for your child, they may not always have sufficient knowledge of the British educational system to know how the schools work and how best to communicate with them. Schools normally recommend choosing an AEGIS-accredited company to act as a guardian for your child.

Who will be my child’s guardian?

As soon as you register your child with us you will be allocated an experienced staff member to be your child’s guardian, and he or she will be your main contact for any questions related to your child. You will be provided with your guardian’s full details including their home address and a mobile number. If at any point you feel that this person does not meet your requirements you can contact the company manager to discuss the situation and to arrange another guardian if needed. This is one of the significant advantages of working with a guardianship company, rather than with a private guardian.

What are the differences between the guardianship packages you offer? How do I know what services I need before my child starts school?

Our packages are designed to meet all of your child’s needs, no matter how basic or complex they are, but we are also happy to design a package specifically for your family. Our packages include combinations of services from the four main areas of support we provide:

  • Emergency Support (available 24/7 on all our packages)
  • Pastoral Care
  • Academic Support
  • Homestay Accommodation and Transport

Our main packages are:

  • School Care Premium Guardianship
  • School Care Guardianship
  • School Care Limited Guardianship

Please visit this page to see what package is right for you or contact us direct to discuss your requirements.

Will I be able to book additional services that are not part of my package?

Yes, you will be able to book additional services if needed, such as additional school visits, holiday accommodation, tuition services, help with choosing your next school or university, visa support and transport and accommodation arrangements for yourself when visiting your child. Your guardian will help you to arrange anything you might need.

Will guardian meet my child at the airport?

We will always make sure that arrival arrangements are in place and your child is met by either one of our representatives, drivers, or a school staff member. You will know exactly who is meeting your child, and where we will be waiting for them. Your guardian will make sure that your child is safely taken to the school, and any help that is required on the first day is provided.

How will guardian help my child to settle?

We know that first day at school is often very emotional and significant for both children and parents, and so the way child is supported on that first day can have a substantial impact on his or her well-being. It’s for this reason that we always make sure children are met at the airport, are safely taken to the school, shown around and provided with help settling into their school routine and being introduced to their new friends. School house staff will be on hand to provide help and support, but since they have hundreds of  other new children to deal with we make sure that any questions are answered in advance. Over the course of the first week we stay in contact with the school on a daily basis to make sure that everything is going well and that the child is settling in without difficulty.

What will the guardian be doing for my child while they are at school?

With ten years of experience of working with UK schools and universities, English Guardian is perfectly placed to ensure your child’s needs are fully supported and his progress closely monitored. Your child’s guardian will be in touch with the school on the regular basis to make sure that any questions your child may have are answered, and that the school is happy with the progress he or she is making. Your guardian will provide academic and pastoral  as well as answering school questions, filling in school forms, providing and organising travel arrangements and attending to anything else that may be required.

How often will I hear back from the guardian and how will they contact me?

Your guardian will be in touch regularly to discuss holiday and weekend arrangements, to report on academic progress and get your permission on activities organised by the school. Your guardian will also be in touch in case of emergencies so it is essential that he or she has your correct email address and a mobile phone number, which includes temporary contacts, in case you are away. It is your responsibility to provide us with correct contact details at all times.

Will guardian help my child with the homework, exam preparation and other academic related issues?

The academic aspect of guardianship offers regular contact between the guardian, student, parents and school tutor, providing academic updates and relaying any concerns that your child’s teachers might have back to you. Your guardian will also ensure that the student is putting enough effort into class work and delivering homework on time and according to requirements, while also ensuring that he or she is provided with additional subject help, as well as support with homework, revision and exam preparation. Depending on the package you choose we also are able to attend Parents’ evenings and prepare detailed reports for you, as well as provide regular (normally every half-term) school reports while simultaneously communicating any questions that you or your child have back to the school. Additional services include organising additional tuition with highly experiences tutors either by Skype, or face-to-face, and advice on further school/university choices, as well as support in preparing university applications.

Who will be driving my child when they need to go to the airport and other places outside school?

All of your child’s transport (airport transfers, transport to host family, school pick-ups, etc.) will be organised in advance. We always aim to provide the most cost-effective travel solution using all of the options available, including school transport (if available) and our own network of drivers.  Our drivers are experienced, reliable and DBS-checked to ensure your child’s safety; different categories of vehicle are available on request, including VIP transport. The guardian will be available for parents and the student while the student is with the driver.

How can I be sure that my child is safe while travelling?

All of our drivers are carefully selected and DBS-checked to make sure that your child is safe while travelling. We have used the same drivers for many years, and they are experienced in providing transport to children under the age of 18. You can contact your guardian at any time to check the location of your child’s vehicle. English Guardian is fully accredited by AEGIS (The Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students) which means that our services have been inspected by the regulator and we can guarantee high standards of care. Your child is safe with us!

How do you organise travel for unaccompanied minors?

We are able to organise airport transfer for unaccompanied minors in accordance with airline requirements, and the driver’s details (including ID number) will be provided in advance for pick-ups. The driver will help the child with to check in and will stay at the airport until the flight departs.

Will you help if the flight is delayed, or if my child misses it?

With many years of experience arranging travel for our students we are familiar with flight delays, cancellations and missed flights. We will ensure that the situation is resolved in the most efficient way. Homestay accommodation for the child, as well as flight transfers, will be provided if necessary.

Will you arrange transport for me if I come to visit my child?

We are happy to help with your travel arrangements when you come to the UK to visit your child. This includes providing drivers, translators, and accommodation as well as arranging your visit to the school at the most suitable time and informing the school of these arrangements.

Why does my child need to stay with a host family?

Sometimes boarding students need to stay overnight outside school. Common reasons for this are:

  • The school boarding houses are closed for the weekend (some schools close their boarding houses up to 6 weekends a year)
  • School holidays are either too short for the student to go home, or their parents are not available to look after them
  • The student needs to stay in the UK to study for exams
  • The student is unwell and it is not safe for them to stay in school
  • The student is suspended or expelled due to breaking school rules

In some cases it may also be beneficial for the student to stay outside school for a short period of time for psychological reasons and when a home environment is necessary.

How do you select host families?

We follow a strict procedure when registering host families with us. We interview each family to make sure they meet the highest standards and are able to offer our students comfortable and safe living conditions. All our host families are:

  • Respectful and sensitive to the child’s needs
  • Interested in other cultures
  • Enjoy having children at home
  • Have spare room that is private, clean and comfortable
  • Have plenty of space for a child to study
  • Have WiFi for student’s use
  • Are happy to do the student’s laundry

How do I know that my child is safe?

We thoroughly check all the references and documents provided by prospective host families, and all adult family members undergo a DBS check. We make sure that all host family members are aware of our Child Protection Policy and offer ongoing support 24/7 in case of any concerns. English Guardian is fully accredited by AEGIS (The Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students) which means that our services have been inspected by the regulator and we can guarantee high standards of care. Your child is safe with us!

How far is the host family from the school?

Over the years we have built a network of reliable host families who work with us on a regular basis. We select a family for your child based on a wide range of factors and requirements, and aim to place your child not further than an hour’s drive away from where they need to be (school, airport, etc), unless you have a specific request, such as to host your child with a family that speaks your native language.

Does host family speak my language?

We have a wide network of host families, and many of them speak languages other than English. All of them, however, do speak English and most use English as their first language at home.

What if my child doesn’t like the host family they are staying with?

We carefully select a family for your child based on your requirements, family location, your child’s profile and the hosts’ personalities. In most cases our students are very happy with the families they live with, provide positive feedback and return to the families on an ongoing basis. However, your guardian is available at all times during your child’s stay should you be unhappy with anything and wish to discuss arrangements, or request another family.

Will my child be comfortable at the host family's home?

All of our host families provide a comfortable and welcoming home for international students. We regularly visit and re-check families to make sure that the conditions at home are safe and comfortable. However, if there are any concerns your guardian will be available for you any time while your child is staying with the host family.

Will the family give my child enough food?

Our standard host family arrangements includes three nutritious meals a day. When preparing food our hosts consider your child’s preferences, likes, dislikes, allergies and religious obligations. Some children like snacking between meals, and if this is something you approve of the host family will accompany the student to buy snacks from local shops.

What will my child do while staying with their host family?

As a standard arrangement our host families provide a place to stay and meals, not entertainment. However, it is very common that families are happy for their guests to join them going into town, to the park, walking dogs, shopping, etc. They see students as part of their family and so guests are welcome to play games, watch TV, cook together, receive help with their homework, etc. However, if you require additional entertainment for your child, such as trips to London, Oxford, Cambridge, Legoland, Chessington World of Adventures, Windsor and other places of interest please inform your guardian in advance and they will organise it as an additional service.

How can I contact the host family if I have questions?

The guardian will be available for parents and the student while the student is with the host family for any questions related to the stay.

What support do you provide if my child breaks school rules and is suspended or expelled?

Emergency host accommodation will be arranged if your child needs to leave the school for a short, or longer period of time. We will work closely with the school, the student and yourself to help to solve the conflict.

How do I contact my guardian in case of emergency?

As soon as you register your child with English Guardian you will be given emergency mobile numbers that you are able to use both inside and outside of working hours.

What support do you provide in case of medical emergency?

We understand that medical emergencies can be very stressful both for your child and for you. Likewise we know how cultural differences can affect the way your child is used to receiving medical treatment. We work closely with the school boarding house and medical centre staff to ensure that your child receives the best care, and require the medical staff to provide you with reports detailing what treatment your child has received. Your child will be registered with the National Health Service (NHS) and will be able to access all medical services that are available for UK residents. However, private medical support can also be arranged on request.

What do I do if I am concerned about my child’s safety?

The UK Department of Education and Social Service advises private schools to recommend AEGIS-accredited organisations to overseas families to ensure the security and safety of their children. English Guardian is proud to be fully accredited by AEGIS (The Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students) which means that our services have been inspected by the regulator and we can guarantee high standards of care. We have a rigorous Child Protection policy in place and offer training and support to our staff members and host families. Please contact our Child Protection Officer if you have any concerns.

What do I do if I am not happy with my guardianship services?

We are proud to have hundreds of families using our guardianship services and others who, their children having left school, remain our close friends, inviting us to their weddings and other significant family events. However, if at some point you feel that your guardian does not meet your requirements you can contact the company manager to discuss the situation and appoint another guardian if required.