Lana and Charlotte have just returned to the office after a very exciting week of conferences.
For the very first time the BSA (Boarding Schools Association) welcomed AEGIS (Association for Education & Guardianship of International Students) to join them for their Annual Conference. Wednesday and Thursday last week saw the inaugural MAGIC conference.
"This was a ground-breaking event for all AEGIS-accredited Guardianship Organisations. We feel that our guardianship services are finally being properly recognised and the safeguarding care that we offer to students who stay in the UK during the holidays is finally being properly aligned with those of the boarding schools themselves."
Lana Foster, Managing Director, Bright World Guardianships
Bright World Guardianships has been a firm supporter of BAISIS (British Association for Independent Schools with International Students) for many years. We always enjoy the annual conference, catching up with colleagues and sitting in on fascinating seminars.
We were treated to an excellent Welcoming Key Note Speech from Robin Fletcher, the Chief Executive of the Boarding Schools Association. The Boarding Schools Association puts the welfare of international students at the heart of everything it does.
We learnt that in the mid-1980's there were more than 120,000 boarders at UK boarding schools and only around 10% were from overseas. Today, international boarders comprise around 29,000 out of a total of 79,000 boarders at state and independent schools in the UK.
This shows the increasing need of good educational guardians to take care of these brave youngsters who are here without their parents. A good guardian offers an extra level of care, available 24 hours a day and offering peace of mind to parents with excellent host family accommodation provided during holidays.
Robin Fletcher said, 'The issue of guardians for schools and their overseas students is serious and important and one which could, in all honesty, be done better... Best practice dictates that overseas students should have guardians whom they can go to during exeats and half term breaks."
He then told us that the National Minimum Standards for boarding schools are under review with new guidelines coming out in 2019/20. He suggested that more emphasis was going to be put on schools taking responsibility for ensuring good guardianship for their students.
Robin urged schools to take more notice of the AEGIS-accredited guardianship organisations that are available to parents and students and added, "At the moment, schools do not have to get involved in the area, leaving parents to find a guardian. This means, in truth, that schools who know where their boarding pupils are at any given moment during the day and night while they are physically on campus, have less control and knowledge when students go to their guardians... This is why the BSA and AEGIS, the organisation for accrediting guardians, are working in close partnership together to promote higher standards in this area.'
Charlotte and Lana left the conferences feeling very positive about the future of accredited guardianship organisations such as Bright World. We are delighted that the welfare of our international students is very much at the top of the agenda for independent schools.
The above news is joined today with additional notifications that as part of the International Education Strategy from the DfE (Department for Education) guardianship is also much more in the spotlight. They say, " We will encourage independent schools to have a better understanding of guardian arrangements, learning from those schools that do well and the important role of accreditation bodies."