Your Questions Answered
Rosemary Mott and Abacus Guardians' families understand that coming to the UK can be daunting for a young student as well as exciting and stimulating. Even the smallest details can give rise to anxiety and listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions put to us by overseas students and parents. We hope that the answers we give will help to relieve any worries you or your child may have.
What supervision will my child receive?
The guardian family will treat your child as their own in terms of the care and discipline given. Your child will always be invited to eat and socialise with them and take part in family outings and treats.
What should I do about pocket money?
The school normally issues guidelines regarding pocket money. We suggest a bank account is opened for your child with cash card facilities on your first visit to the UK which Abacus Guardians could arrange for you.
For half term holidays and exeats (leave out weekends), the guardians will normally pay for most incidental expenses and then claim the amounts back, so your child will only need pocket money for any small treats or presents he or she wishes to buy. We encourage a sensible approach to spending and appreciate guidelines from parents as to how much they are happy for their children to spend each term.
Who will collect my child from school or airport?
Students arriving in the UK for the first time may feel extremely tired after the flight and nervous about starting this new stage of their lives in a new country. Rosemary Mott fully understands their concerns and, if requested, a member of her staff will meet students at the airport to welcome and reassure them.
Alternatively a fully qualified CRB checked driver working with Abacus Guardians will be available to drive students to and from the school of your choice. Schools also run a coach service to and from the airport.
What happens if my child is ill whilst with the guardian family?
Minor ailments will be treated at home. Students will be registered with the local National Health Service Doctor who will be called should this be necessary.
In emergency situations, Rosemary Mott or the guardians will accompany your child to hospital and contact you immediately as well as informing the school.
Initially UK National Health Service treatment will be given free of charge but overseas students' parents are requested to take out health insurance for their children, details of which should be given upon registration with Abacus Guardians.
How will my child make friends with British children?
Easily! Happily children from all over the world are similar, despite wide differences in cultural backgrounds. However, we ease the path by informing the Guardians about your child's interests and preferences. Equally, we give you details about the guardian's family so that your child knows something about them. In our experience, a common love of pop music and computer games helps enormously!
Will my child like the food?
Coming from a non-western background, the food may seem strange at first. However, our guardian families will offer a good variety of well-balanced wholesome meals. Britain is multi-cultural and has assimilated foods from all over the world into the national diet, so in our experience, children from overseas adapt quickly to the British menu.
My child is not used to pets? Are they safe?
Pets play a big part in British family life. If you are unsure about your child's reaction to them, please tell us before we select a guardian and we will try to place him or her in a household without animals. However, if your child is happy with pets, the guardians will explain the basic rules of treatment and hygiene.
What if my child wishes to learn to ride / scuba dive / ski?
Abacus Guardians will be happy to organise any activity taking place outside school jurisdiction which will be referred to you before your child is allowed to take part. It is essential that parents arrange appropriate insurance cover for any such activities in advance.
Does Abacus Guardians follow my child's academic progress?
Academic progress is always monitored by Rosemary Mott who will attend parents' meetings and receive copies of school reports which are provided on a regular basis. School staff are always encouraged to contact Rosemary Mott who will contact parents accordingly should students be experiencing any problems.
It is extremely important that students hold a good disciplinary record. Schools and guardians do not tolerate, smoking, drugs and alcohol. Rosemary Mott and her guardian families will monitor your child's behaviour with the school and liaise with parents should the school feel the need to impose strong penalties.
In the unfortunate event of your child being suspended or excluded, Rosemary Mott will look after your child while parents make any further necessary decisions.
Do I have a choice of host family?
Rosemary Mott will suggest a suitable host family for your child but this arrangement could be changed should your child not feel at ease in that environment.
The host family will offer the student their own room, but as friendships are made with host family's children, rooms might also be shared.
How do I terminate my contract?
Abacus Guardians will require a full term's notice in writing for termination of our contract.
What will happen in emergency situations?
Abacus Guardians can be contacted 24 hours per day in an emergency situation and parents, guardians and schools will be notified of all necessary contact details. We ask you to please ensure that your child is covered by a suitable insurance policy during their stay in the UK at school or with the guardian family.
Abacus' Safeguarding Policy is available to parents on request.
The Department for Education (DFE) has published an up-dated version of its statutory guidance on safeguarding, Keeping Children Safe in Education, which came into force on 5th September 2016, replacing previous versions which in turn removed previous guidance, Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education 2006. This policy has been adopted in accordance with the principles established by the Children's Acts of 89 and 2004, Education Act of 2002 and in line with the government publication, Keeping Children Safe in Education of September 2016.