Why do I need a guardian?
Most independent schools will only offer an international student a place if they have a UK-based guardian. The guardian will act as your representative and support your child while they are in the UK.
Beyond the school requirement, there are plenty of reasons why international students need a guardian. We have put together ten, below.
- Guardians arrange host families
Students stay with host families during holidays and leave-out or exeat weekends, when they can’t go home.
The experienced team at Academic Families will find a host family to best suit your child and will provide a home away from home. Students benefit by spending time with a local family, learning about and experiencing another cultural environment, and joining in family life.
- Travel arrangements
Your guardianship company will arrange all your child’s transportation within the UK.
This will include taxis to and from the airport, with a taxi company whose drivers have gone through complete police checks.
- Point of contact
Guardians are the vital point of contact for the school for matters concerning the student’s non-school time in the UK. For example, during holidays, leave weekends and emergencies where the student is unable to return home.
- Monitor students’ progress
Guardians take an interest in a student’s work and progress, monitoring both their academic and social development. Guardians will have regular contact with the student throughout the year. Host families often notice if the child is not happy and tell the guardians who then liaise with the school.
- Parents’ meetings
Guardians can attend parent meetings and send a report back to parents.
Guardians can set up bank accounts, buy phone cards and help with uniform shopping, prior to the student arriving in the UK.
- Exam advice
A guardian can give help and advice regarding examination choices and university selection, including assistance with the completion of application forms. Some guardians, like Academic Families, also offer extra academic support, such as one-on-one tutors.
- 24/7 availability
A guardian will be available to both students and parents 24 hours a day, in case of emergency.
- Summer camps and language schools
Guardian companies can arrange for international students to attend summer programmes and language schools during the holidays.
- Emergency host family
If a student is suspended from school for a few days, or even weeks, guardianship companies will arrange for an emergency host family. In addition, they will attend meetings with the school to see how the school and student can move forward.
Guest post by Academic Families