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Reassurance for parents, students and host families
Life as an international student in the UK is exciting and full of new experiences. Oxford Guardians play a vital role in ensuring that things run smoothly, supporting students to ensure they get the best out of their time at a British school.
But of course, sometimes life does not go according to plan. Anything from a school closure to a worldwide pandemic can impact daily life, and the test of a good education guardian team is how well they help and support their international student through such disruption.
Fortunately, Oxford Guardians have proved time and again why families can trust them to react quickly and effectively to any unplanned emergencies. We are always available to deal with any problems, so international students, their families, schools and host families all have someone to turn to for help.
What happens if a student falls ill?
Students at boarding school in the UK will usually be taken care of in the first instance by their school. Most boarding schools have medically qualified staff, such as a Matron, and a sick bay or health centre where pupils can rest quietly and under supervision.
However, students who are unwell for more than a few hours will usually be asked to leave boarding school until they are better. The school will prefer the student to take time off lessons to rest and recover, and students themselves often find it more pleasant to recover in a home environment. It may also be necessary to isolate a student who has an infectious illness, such as chickenpox, which can more effectively be done outside school.
In case of illness, the school will inform Oxford Guardians and we act quickly to make suitable arrangements so that the student can go home, to a relative or to a welcoming host family until they are able to return to boarding school.
The student will remain under the care of their registered doctor, who is normally local to the school, and the host family will remain in close contact Oxford Guardians if they have any queries or concerns.
What happens if a student is suspended or their school closes?
A student may be asked to leave their school for a fixed period of time for breaking school rules. This means they must stay away from school, and may be restricted from going out alone or making visits or trips during the suspension.
A school may also need to close at short notice, for example, due to an unexpected power cut or flooding – or because of a pandemic!
In all these cases, your school will contact Oxford Guardians and we will work fast to sort everything out. When these unplanned events occur, we quickly make arrangements so that any affected international students in our care can stay with a safe and friendly host family until they can be welcomed back to school.
Where the problem is likely to take longer to solve, such as where a school is closed for repairs or there is a widespread health issue, Oxford Guardians will discuss with the student and their parents whether it is more appropriate for the student to return home. We will always treat the safety and welfare of our international students as our priority, and work to find the best solution in each case.
Oxford Guardians find a welcoming host family
Whenever your international student’s UK school tells Oxford Guardians that one of the children in our care needs to leave school for any reason, our first priority is to find a safe and welcoming home-from-home where they can stay.
We always try to return students to families they already know, so that they and the host family can quickly settle for as long as needed. All our hosts are given the option to offer short-term ‘emergency’ hosting, but this might not work for practical reasons.
If returning to a familiar host family is not possible, we have kind host families who will accept international students at short notice. The hosts are paid a special ‘Emergency Rate’ above our standard rates, and the student’s parents will be asked to cover these costs
Transport for temporary homestays
Whenever a student must leave their school, Oxford Guardians takes responsibility for making transport arrangements to get them safely to their destination. We have experience in working quickly and at short notice to solve problems. First, we find an ‘emergency host’ for the student, then make arrangements with our trusted drivers, fix travel times and make any necessary bookings.
We also liaise with the school and the student’s parents, so that everyone is clear what arrangements have been made, and to ensure that they are happy with the plans.
Full-time support for international students, parents and host families
All of our host families, including all short-notice or ‘emergency’ hosts, have the reassurance that Oxford Guardians are always on call for advice and guidance. We are a professional and caring team of education guardians, experienced in dealing with the unexpected issues that can arise for international students studying away from home in the UK.
We are always happy to chat to parents, students or host families by phone, or you can send us a message and we will get back to you. We offer all day, every day 24/7 support and ‘emergency’ care, though in case of medical or other emergencies please always call 999 to speak to Fire, Ambulance or Police.
Please get in touch if you have any questions for the friendly team here at Oxford Guardians. Call 01604 859 331 or email email@example.com.