The UK is renowned across the world for its education provision and in particular its boarding schools hosting tens of thousands of young people from all continents across the globe. That has not changed and boarding schools across the United Kingdom are beginning to welcome back their boarders into quarantine at school so that they are ready and prepared for the beginning of September when schools return.
There have been specific flights organised by schools, agents, consultants and families to ensure that boarders from across the globe are able to return to the safety of their boarding schools in time for the new term.
Covid 19 Pandemic Restrictions in the UK
Arriving in August is due to the pandemic restrictions placed on many countries’ citizens arriving into the UK airports but there is a real positive to this. Schools accepting pupils ahead of the new term are in an excellent position to give the high quality pastoral care that each needs to settle them into a routine before the local pupils arrive. It gives the individual a chance to make friends, find their feet and their local shops and, more importantly, discover their new school and how to get to different classrooms.
As an ex Housemistress of an HMC School in the West of England, I always wanted this opportunity with my boarders so that I could get to know them and find out about their needs, their cultures, their religions in order that I might support them in the best way possible. Sadly, this did not happen and on the day before the term started all the boarders arrived on the same day, from 6 a.m. through to 1 a.m. the following day and happy chaos reigned with everyone working hard to ensure that each and everyone was settled and ready for Day 1 of the new academic year.
Are you a school leader concerned about whether your school is Covid Compliant?
Read our article ‘Is your School Covid Compliant’?
Benefits of Returning to UK Boarding Schools
For those of you in this position and returning to the UK early, make the most of it. Get to know those looking after you, share thoughts with new friends and perhaps, if allowed, culinary skills. Find your way around your school grounds – this can take a while in some of the larger schools with many acres of grounds. Above all, find the positive in this strange world we are living in at present – where masks are normal, social distancing is a “must” and the washing of hands is the highest priority. Your schools will be doing all they can to support and care for you and the more your communicate with those around you – the more you will find the care you need from everyone. Boarding schools are friendly, kind environments where everyone is there for you. I was a boarder and then a Housemistress …… I know how much boarding school can benefit everyone who has this opportunity
Karen PicklesKaren is one of the Directors of Berkeley Guardians our Guardianship Partner
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