Our policy on guardianship
In order to help us to promote and safeguard the welfare of every student at d’Overbroeck’s, the school requires parents who do not live in the United Kingdom, or who are away for an extended period of time, to appoint an education Guardian to act on their behalf. An extended period of time is deemed to be any period during term time of more than 1 week.
This applies to all students irrespective of their nationality or age, and is in accordance with the Children Act (1989), the Protection of Children Act (1999) and the Care Standards Act (2000). These legislative acts protect the rights of children and make ‘proper and appropriate care’ a requirement. During term time the school is responsible for students’ welfare, and takes on delegated parental responsibilities while they are at school. However, there are times when the school needs to be able to hand over these parental responsibilities to another adult, who must be a properly appointed Guardian, for example before the beginning and after the end of each term, during school holidays, including half-term breaks, when a student is seriously ill, when a student may be suspended or excluded by the school, etc.
Guardians must meet the following conditions
A Guardian may be appointed through a professional guardianship agency, or s/he may be a family member, relative or family friend. In all cases, our school policy is that people acting as Guardians for our students must:
- be over 25 years of age;
- reside within 2 hours of Oxford;
- not be students in full-time education;
- be UK residents and living full-time in the UK;
- be able to communicate clearly and comfortably in English, both orally and in writing.
Choosing a Guardian
Families who do not have access to a relative or family friend who meets all these conditions will be able to find a suitable guardian by using the services of a reputable guardian organisation. d’Overbroeck’s is a member of AEGIS – a national body for monitoring and regulating the welfare of international students. AEGIS provides accreditation of guardianship organisations in accordance with a strict Code of Practice and the latest child care legislation issued by the British government. We will refer parents only to guardianship organisations that have been form
The responsibilities of Guardians
An appointed Guardian must be prepared to:
- Be a 24-hour point of contact for parents, the student, the school, and the host family where
- Act with delegated parental authority in the case of an emergency or crisis;
- Provide both pastoral and educational support;
- Liaise with the school and parents over holiday arrangements for the student;
- If a student is unwell and unable to stay at the school, make appropriate arrangements for medical care for the student;
- Inform the school in writing of arrival and departure travel arrangements when a student arrives at or leaves the school for a weekend or a longer holiday period. The school must know the exact details of a student’s accommodation and method of travel, including flight numbers if applicable, in all cases when the student is going away from the school.
Guardians should also respect the rights, religion and customs of the student, and adhere to what is commonly regarded as best practice in the Guardianship and hosting of students. This includes having in place a proper agreement with the student’s parents in which the Guardian’s responsibilities are clearly set out.