We are required by law to ensure that every child whose parents live overseas has an appointed Guardian who lives within reasonable distance of Epsom College.
During term time, we are legally responsible for each student’s welfare, and we undertake delegated parental responsibilities. However, there are times (such as the beginning and end of term, half-term breaks, or when a child is suspended or excluded by the School) when we must be able to hand over these parental responsibilities to another adult. And, in the case of children whose parents live overseas, that adult must be a properly-appointed guardian.
Who can be a Guardian?
Guardians can be a family member, a relative or a family friend aged 25 or over. They cannot be a full-time student, and must be resident in the UK.
If you are not able to find someone who meets those criteria, guardians can be provided by a reputable guardian organisation.
Epsom College 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 the requirements of the Government’s Social Services Department.
What does a Guardian do?
An appointed guardian will:
- Be a 24-hour point of contact for parents, the pupil, Epsom College and host family.
- Act with delegated parental authority in the case of an emergency or crisis.
- Provide both pastoral and educational support.
- Liaise with Epsom College and parents over holiday arrangements.
- Make appropriate arrangements for medical care.
- Inform Epsom College, in writing, about all the details of travel arrangements made prior to a child leaving the School for a weekend or a longer holiday period. We must know the exact details of pupil’s accommodation and methods of transportation.
Guardians should also respect the rights, religion and customs of a child, and adhere to what is commonly regarded as best practice in the guardianship and hosting of international students. This includes having in place a proper agreement with the student’s parents as to what the guardian’s responsibilities are.
What if my child doesn't have a Guardian?
If a student does not have a guardian when required to do so by the School, or the appointed guardian is considered by the school to be unsatisfactory, the school will invite parents to find a new guardian. Should parents fail to do so, they will be required to use an AEGIS-accredited organisation recommended by the School.
Housemasters/Housemistresses and Matrons are happy to help with arranging airport transfers at the start and end of terms and for Exeat weekends to guardians or host families. However, while we use regulated taxi companies, these public companies do not form part of the guardianship service for pupils.
The driver will meet pupils in the Arrivals Hall at the airport upon arrival but we are not able to provide the name or contact details of the individual driver in advance.
If a more personal service is required, we ask that those arrangements are made through the guardian, rather than the School.
When booking flights for international boarders we request that pupils don’t depart/arrive at unreasonable hours in order to prevent disruption to others.
This means that pupils should not leave/arrive at their Boarding House before 6am, or later than 11pm. A very early morning or late evening flight may therefore require a pupil to stay overnight with their guardian.