Working with schools to safeguard the students under our care during the Covid-19 pandemic

Bright World Guardianships is working with our partner schools to ensure that students are safe and well-cared for during this difficult time. We are committed to working hard to ensure the safe arrival to school of our students after holiday times and throughout the academic year.

We follow guidance from the UKHSE and the Department for Education. Schools no longer test students if they present with symptoms.

Guidance states that children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend. If a student takes a Lateral Flow Test that is positive, they should stay at home and avoid contact with people for 3 days if they are under 18 and 5 days if they are 18 or over.


If a Bright World student presents with Covid-19 symptoms

Whilst at school during term time

Our students are from overseas and, as such, they do not have a ‘family home’ as referenced in the guidance. For boarding school students their school is their home. This means that ideally they should remain in school at home and follow the guidance until they feel better.

General Policy on Isolation
Bright World does not generally include isolation during a pandemic as part of its offering and suite of services and this is made clear in our Terms and Conditions. We use host families for our accommodation who generally do not have the facilities to safely isolate students nor do they have medical facilities or qualifications. We find that in the vast majority of cases, boarding schools are following government guidance and are able to isolate students in the boarding house.

Exceptional Circumstances
If a school has a situation whereby they cannot provide facilities to isolate a student and offer them care then Bright World will try and help, This could include moving students ‘mid isolation’ if the period coincides with the end of term and the school is closing. If they ask for our help, we will endeavour to assist in finding a host family for the isolation period. This host family would need to be willing to take in a contagious student and have been subject to a full Risk Assessment by Bright World. We have limited host families who have passed our risk assessment so distance from the school cannot be guaranteed. It may mean a long journey for the student which again may not be appropriate if they are not feeling well.

Please note that although Bright World will, in these circumstances, try and help, we cannot guarantee that we will have a risk-assessed host family available for the isolation period. We have a limited number of isolation spaces available and availability fluctuates at different times of year (ie when our host families are all booked for half terms). In these cases the student would need to remain in school or travel to a family friend.

Bright World’s isolation policy when removing students from school to host family.

If a school needs us to remove a student from school into a Bright World host family, the following isolation policy should be followed.

  • on arrival at the host family, or as soon as we can get a Lateral Flow Test delivered, the student will take a Lateral Flow test and if it is negative they do not need to isolate.
  • If they test positive on arrival, then they should isolate for a minimum of 3 days if they are 17 or under and 5 days if they are 18 or over. They can then return to school provided the school are following guidance and are happy with this.
  • if students wish to remain in the host family for longer than the 3 or 5 days, or if they wish to leave isolation and transfer to another host family, then Bright World and the host families will require them to yield a negative result on a Lateral Flow test before they can leave isolation at the household or move to another host family.

Any variation to this policy is at the discretion of the host family.

Bright World’s risk assessment

If we agree to remove a student then Bright World will commence their removal and isolation process. It is important that this process is followed. There is no insurance available for Guardianship Organisations against loss or damage caused to students, drivers, Local Coordinators and host families by Covid-19. It is therefore vital that Bright World conducts its own risk assessment if removing a student into a host family who is contagious. The process is as follows:

1. Establish that the ‘exceptional circumstances’ threshold has been reached in discussion with the school. We need this information in writing.
2. Seek and obtain parental permission for the removal of their child into a host family. We need this in writing.
3. Ensure that the parent understands the costs associated with the removal and tops up their expenses fund if insufficient funds are held.
3. Send and receive a satisfactory Covid-19 Removal Questionnaire and Risk Assessment from the school.
4. Source a Covid-19 risk assessed Bright World host family for the duration of the isolation period. This family may be further away from the school due to lack of availability of risk-assessed host families.
5. Arrange transport to the host family either via the school or using a Bright World taxi company.

Bright World Isolation Policy for students being removed from school and placed into a host family

If a school needs a student to be removed to a Bright World host family due to having Covid symptoms or if they have tested positive on a Lateral Flow or PCR Test, then Bright World insists on the following isolation guidance being followed:

Students who are under 18 should isolate at the host family, following Bright World isolation guidance, for at least 3 days and until symptoms have disappeared or they have tested negative on a Lateral Flow test. For students who are 18 or over, the minimum isolation is 5 days.

If a student tests positive whilst in a Bright World host family

If a child presents with symptoms while in a host family then the host family will take full care of the student and will arrange for appropriate medical assistance. they will follow the Bright World Coronavirus Contingency Plan for Host Families

In summary, if a Bright World student develops symptoms after being placed in a host family, Bright World will instigate the proper isolation procedures and will continue to take care of and accommodate the student until they are well or are admitted to a medical facility.

-Students who are feeling worried or need extra support can contact their Bright World Buddy. Any student who does not know how to contact their Buddy can call the Bright World Office (01273 835745) or Out of Hours Line (01273 836060).

Accommodation during holiday times and should schools close

We understand and support the decision of schools to advise students possibly not to travel home during the holidays because of the need to quarantine on their return. In response to this, Bright World is supporting schools by providing host family and residential accommodation for students during the school year, including Half Term, Exeats, Easter and Christmas.

In the event of a school closure:

Bright World’s policy is that, in the event of a prolonged school closure, healthy students must ultimately aim to either:

a) return home
b) be looked after by their parents
c) be looked after by another responsible adult (family friend/relative 25 years+)

Bright World will facilitate the school closure and the student’s forward planning by providing host family accommodation for healthy students, while they make their alternative arrangements. Should alternative arrangements not be possible then Bright World will continue to care for the student provided sufficient funds are provided to pay for host family or residential accommodation.

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