FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: We are considering sending our son back to the UK to his boarding school and we are worried about the lack of face masks being used by the UK – what is the regulation?
A: At the moment, the UK has been advised to wear face masks on public transport and in shops or enclosed spaces. Many people are wearing masks because they feel safer when out, but this has been a personal decision. There has been no advice with regards to school settings at the moment but if things change we will update this information.
Q: Will host families be able to be used immediately?
A: We have some host families who are keen to host young people coming to the UK to study in the autumn, but the government guidelines have suggested that by the time schools open the host families will be able to offer their homes to you.
Q: Will schools be open and accepting boarders back in September?
A: The Government is working on all schools being opened fully for September and each school. Should be informing their pupils of their plans for quarantine if and when necessary.
Q: How can we be reassured about cleanliness and strong hygiene measures in the boarding houses or in the host family homes?
A: Whether your child is staying in a school (as a boarder) or in a host family (as a day pupil) – all these institutions and homes will be deep cleaned and there will be hygiene rules to follow to ensure that there are fewer opportunities to encourage any germs. The Government has (and will continue to do so) issued guidelines which will need to be followed and everyone will be taking these recommendations very seriously.
Q: Will we have to quarantine our children when we arrive in the UK? Who will be responsible for this and how will this be achieved?
A: The UK Government has announced that a 14 day quarantine will be required by the majority of incoming passengers to the UK from countries outside of Europe, although there are measures place for some countries to be linked to “air bridges” to avoid the need for quarantine. Some schools will organise their own quarantine measures in their boarding house – perhaps by opening 14 days earlier for their overseas boarders but each school will give you their information once they have decided the best way for them to proceed.
1. How will I be sure that you will take care of my child?
We take the care of every child very seriously and have high standards of care to ensure your child receives the best. Additionally, we keep in regular contact with you, as parents, but also with your child and his/her school to check on pastoral, educational and welfare needs
2. How do you help a child who is homesick?
We always ensure the children in our care have a Berkeley Guardian phone number that they are able to use 24/7. Furthermore, we keep a close watch on all our pupils and if their school raised any concerns, we would immediately offer the support they need. We work proactively and in collaboration with the school to ensure that everything possible is being done.
3. Do all children require a guardian when studying in the UK?
Most well established schools in the UK require all children under the age of 18 to have a guardian.
4. Can parents contact Berkeley Guardians if they have any concerns?
Absolutely, you will be given the contact number for your child’s guardian and you are welcome to contact them at any point. We use WhatsApp, WeChat, emails and other online platforms. Appointments can also be made if necessary.
5. Do we have to use the homestay?
The homestay is offered to young people when the schools are closed at half terms, full holidays (eg Christmas, Easter and Summer) and may be used for occasional weekends etc. There is no obligation to use this if your child is returning home for each school break, but if your child is remaining in the UK, they must be based in a registered homestay that has been inspected, the hosts DRB checked (police checked) or be staying with relatives that has been agreed between you, the school and the guardian agency. The Home Office requires us to know the whereabouts of your son/daughter at all times.
6. Can you host children with severe allergies?
Yes. All of our guardians are suitably trained to be able to support a child with severe allergies. There are also appropriately trained homestay providers that we would allocate to your child.
7. Are children allowed out at night?
Depending on the child’s age, having regard to our safe guarding policy on age restrictions, curfew times and parental consent your child may or may not be allowed out at night.
8. Do you have someone who is always contactable for my child should they be ill or frightened or homesick?
Yes – as soon as your child arrives in the UK (and on documentation prior to arrival) we will give you the contact details of the Designated Safeguarding Lead who is available 24/7 by phone or email or Whatsapp. Should for some unknown reason the DSL not be available – your child will also have the contact details for the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead. There will always be someone to contact. The young people in our care are never alone.
9. What do you mean by DBS when you say that your staff are checked?
A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check was once known as the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check. This is so important when working with young people in an education setting or within the links of guardianship and schools. It allows us to make safer recruitment decisions. There are 3 tiers of DBS checks available but as an employer who deals with U18s in the main, we always require an Enhanced Check (top level).
10. How do you ensure that you make safe employment decisions?
Berkeley Guardians follows the Safer Recruitment Practice in order to safeguard our young people to the best of our ability and this means that:
- We take 2 references for all our employees and follow these up with a phone call.
- We interview all our candidates and ensure we ask relevant questions, including safe-guarding checks
- We ask for an Enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Check – see above
- Those staff responsible for employing new staff and/or host families have taken the Safer Recruitment Training
11. How will my son or daughter know how to recognise the person collecting him from the airport?
Our Berkeley Guardian representative will have a lanyard on with a photo and a letter of Accreditation on them to show. They will also hold a Berkeley Guardians note board your son’s name on it. Before your son leaves home – we will have emailed details and a photo for ID for recognition so you are aware who is collecting.
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