Guardianship & Hosting Services
Why does my child need an education guardian in the UK?
International students who come to the UK to study should have a UK-based education guardian appointed by their parents to represent their child and act on the parents’ behalf in the event of an emergency. Please note this is not the same as a legal guardian.
Most good schools will now insist that an education guardian is in place and require evidence to prove this, and it is a key recommendation in applying for a Tier 4 Visa. Some families choose a family friend who is based in the UK, but many families now choose a professional Guardianship Agency such as Gabbitas Education to provide this care and support for their child.
What services does a Guardianship Agency provide?
Your Guardianship Agency will first of all find out what level of service you require. For a child that attends a UK boarding school, you may choose a basic service whereby your education guardian only provides an emergency service and a minimal level of support.
Alternatively, you may wish to choose a more comprehensive service that includes a home for your child to stay during the shorter school holidays and exeat weekends, plus other services such as attendance at school meetings and transportation arrangements.
For international students over the age of 16 who do not wish to board at school, some good Guardianship Agencies like Gabbitas Education can provide a local Host family for your child to live with throughout the academic year.
How do I choose a Guardianship Agency?
A good Guardianship Agency such as Gabbitas Education will have a deep understanding of the British education system, an excellent track record of looking after international students and close links with your child’s school and the family who will look after the needs of you child.
They will be committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expect all staff and families to share this commitment.
What happens if we don’t appoint a UK-based Guardian?
Most good UK schools will insist that you have an education guardian appointed to look after your child in the event of an emergency. Failing to appoint an education guardian could leave your child in a vulnerable position should there be a difficult situation that involves you or your child.
Why should we choose Gabbitas Education as our Guardianship Agency?
Gabbitas Education has been providing expert education advice since 1873. Through experience we understand how daunting leaving home, family and friends can be. Having an experienced and supportive Guardian Agency, as well as a kind and caring Guardian or Host Family, can help make your child’s move overseas a great success.
We are a founding member of AEGIS (the Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students) and our processes and procedures have been inspected by the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children).
Watch our video below to find out more.
What Guardianship Services do Gabbitas Education provide?
At Gabbitas Education, we provide three levels of education guardianship for our students: our Standby Service, our Gold Service and our Day School Hosting Service.
Our Stand-by Service offers a 24-hour emergency service and background support as required for your child.
Our Gold Service includes all Stand-by Services plus:
- a Guardian family for exeat weekends and half-terms
- the organisation of transport
- contact with the school regarding travel arrangements and academic progress
- an annual visit to the school to see how the student is progressing
- attendance at one parents’ evening on the parents behalf.
Where boarding school accommodation is not available or selected, we can arrange Day School Hosting whereby a student stays with a Host Family and enjoys the same lifestyle as any other day school student in the UK. This service is only available for students aged 16 plus.
Where do the Gabbitas Education Guardian/Host Families come from?
We have a superb collection of Guardian and Host Families, located throughout the UK, who delight in opening their homes and hearts to our students. As these families tend to stay with us for many years, their experience is invaluable.
How are the Gabbitas Education families checked and monitored?
At Gabbitas Education, the welfare and success of students coming to the UK is extremely important to us. Our practice for checking Guardian and Host Families is extremely thorough and includes:
- A visit to the family
- A detailed application form
- DBS checks for each family member over age 16
- Two references
- Revisits every three years to update our DBS records and monitor any changes.
We recruit Regional Guardianship Organisers from these Families who are trained by Gabbitas Education to visit new Guardian and Host Families to help answer questions and provide ongoing support. They explain our safeguarding procedures and what to do in the event of an emergency, as well as checking the safety aspects of the accommodation. All our Families receive our Guardian and Host Family Handbook that outlines the service standards we expect.
We have two designated Safeguarding Officers within our Guardianship team and have worked with the NSPCC to develop our policies and procedures.
How can I apply for a Guardian/Host Family?
How can I contact Gabbitas Education?
To speak to a friendly and experienced Gabbitas Education consultant about how we can help, please complete the Contact Us form within this page or:
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7734 0161