Finding an Educational Guardian for your child

Children and young people who come to study alone in the UK from abroad are often required to have an Educational Guardian. The Guardian is there to help and support the young person when in the UK, and take on the responsibilities as you would as parents, if you were living here.  

The Education Guardian is responsible for many things, which includes:

  • Arranging host family accommodation for holidays and half terms
  • Emergency accommodation, should you child be unable to remain at the school for any reason
  • Airport transfers to/from school and transport to the host family
  • Applying for school places (if required) and supervising the academic process through application and enrolment
  • Ongoing support for your child throughout their time with Alpha Guardians
  • Attendance at Parents Evenings
  • Liaison with the school and host family/boarding house on day to day matters regarding your child
  • 24/7 emergency cover
  • Assistance with any health, financial or travel needs

These are some of the things that Alpha Guardians does, to enable each student to achieve the most from their stay


Safeguarding gives us clear guidelines and boundaries to ensure that each child is in a safe environment.  

The care and safety of your child is at the centre of everything we do and at Alpha Guardians we take the responsibility of safeguarding all of our students very seriously, ensuring that all our hosts hold a current DBS certificate (Disclosure and Barring Service) and are Police Checked as well as providing written references. They also undergo a rigorous selection process of visits, interviews and training, providing them with additional advice on becoming a host family and guidance on safeguarding and caring for the students within their care.

We have a senior designated safeguarding officer and all staff are kept up-to-date with current safeguarding policies. A summary of the safeguarding policy is given to all of our hosts and a full copy is available from Head Office

All our students, on or before arrival, are briefed on the importance of safeguarding in the environment in which they are living and studying, as well as keeping themselves safe whilst using the internet.

Private Fostering

Students under 16 who come to the UK alone from abroad for more than 28 days are considered as a private fostered child. It is a statutory duty for us at Alpha to inform the Local Authority of any child or young person who is in a private fostering arrangement, and both the local authority and Alpha will visit the child regularly to oversee their care and welfare.


Some of the most common frequently asked questions are addressed here.

What is a guardian?

A guardian is someone who is appointed by the parents to act on their behalf while their child is studying in the UK. Although there is no legal requirement for there to be a guardian in place for the child, many schools, and particularly students studying on the Child and Student Visa do require this to be in place before the child commences their studies.

What does the guardian do?

The guardian is responsible for the overall care of your child, and the role varies depending on whether they are in boarding or homestay.

While they are in residential boarding, the role is in conjunction with the school/boarding staff, as they deal with the day to day needs of your child. The guardian takes over this responsibility when not at school, such as half terms, which may include arranging transport to/from the airport, arranging homestay accommodation and information, as well as attendance at parents evenings or other events at the school.

Regular contact with the school is maintained to ascertain progress and discuss any matters arising regarding your child.

When a child is in homestay, the responsibility is held by the guardian to oversee the placement, any issues which may arise and support both the student and the host during this time. Matters relating to school, medical issues, travel and transport are also the responsibility of the guardian.

What is a homestay?

This is the term used to describe the host family accommodation.

Is the homestay/host family the guardian?

No, this responsibility remains with Alpha Guardians. This ensures consistency of care and also the reassurance that your child will always be with someone from the Head Office, who they know, and will have access to all their details, if required. Your child will remain with the same host family wherever possible

These programmes don’t suit me. Can you offer anything else?

We are happy to discuss individual requirements. Please contact us to discuss and we will be happy to try and accommodate your needs.

What is a Student Expense Account?

A Student Expense Account is required for all students attending and it can be used for items not included in the Programme Fees such as:

  • Air Tickets and Transport Costs
  • School Uniform
  • School Excursions and Extra Curricular Activities
  • Additional Academic or Music Tuition
  • Pocket Money

This money is held on your behalf on a trust basis. A financial statement will be sent to you at the end of each term detailing your child’s expenditure. No major expenditure is made without parental permission.

What is the Registration Fee?

The registration fee covers the initial work carried out prior to the students arrival, such as arrangement of transport, school documentation, liaison with parents, school and host, along with the general preparation to ensure a smooth transition to the student’s time in the UK.

Is Alpha Guardians Accredited?

We are fully accredited by AEGIS, (the Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students) and BSW (Boarding School Association), which means that our processes, policies and practices have been fully inspected and audited to ensure we are maintaining the standards set out by them. With regular updates we are required to ensure we are working to the latest standards and go through a full, thorough inspection every four years.

It is important to note that not all guardians are AEGIS or BSA accredited, and may not work to these standards.

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