Finding A Guardian

(13 Posts)
Lovelandhope Thu 20-Dec-12 07:02:10

Hi I would like to seek your kind advice on Guardianship arrangements

We are from overseas, and my DS will be attending a boarding school in Croydon next September. We need to find a Guardian.

There are a number of Guardianship services companies, are they reliable ? Is it OK to put my kid to stay with a stranger / family, during term breaks ?

We have a coupon of friends in UK, but do not want to burden them with obligations to take care of DS / do pick-ups.

Would appreciate your comments.

happygardening Thu 20-Dec-12 08:25:42

"Is it OK to put my kid to stay with a stranger / family, during term breaks ? your school to recommend one they will know who is good."
Many parents i your position do but although hopefully once he's got to know others he will go home with them. At the risk of repeating myself ad infinitum DS has full boarded for nearly nine years if you are looking for full boarding then IMO your DC needs to be at a school where the overwhelming majority full board this applies even more if you are not in the UK.

peteneras Fri 21-Dec-12 03:41:32

"Is it OK to put my kid to stay with a stranger / family, during term breaks ?"

Most definitely NOT! Certainly not to complete strangers.

Talk to the school. My son's old boarding school had parents (whose son(s) were also in the school) who would be willing to offer guardianship for a small fee. We were asked by the school if we were willing to offer this service ourselves but I had to say no at that time because of other commitments.

happygardening Fri 21-Dec-12 09:34:10

OP there are plenty of children in boarding schools in the UK whose parents are abroad who have guardians. In fact all the schools my children have ever attended and at the two I work with it is compulsory. IME of working with these guardians they take their role very seriously and genuinely care about the children.
These Guardians have the legal authority to act on your behalf for example they along with your DC's housemaster will sign a consent form if your child requires an operation (although if the push came to the shove the surgeon himself would do this in a very urgent situation). This is why it cannot be any person/parent but someone who you have nominated as you legal representative. Im not saying another parent at your DC's school or a relative can't do it but you would have to complete the relevant paperwork.
peteneras is very knowledgable about boarding schools but his DS has left his boarding school a few years ago. Boarding schools rightly or wrongly are now exceedingly heavily regulated and he might not be aware of the current norm/requirements.

LIZS Fri 21-Dec-12 09:38:21

I've seen ads in local paper specifically for Whitgift overseas boarders. Surely the school has suggestions and may even have a panel of prospective guardians .

peteneras Fri 21-Dec-12 12:02:31

Boarding schools may be ’exceedingly heavily regulated’ today, happygardening but tell me what’s the difference between today’s norm/requirements as compared to (say) 5 or even 10 years ago.

I’m sure there are plenty of children in UK boarding schools whose parents are abroad and have local guardians appointed by their parents to be guardians. That’s as natural as eating your breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. But what are the (legal) requirements/regulations governing the nomination of a guardian to a foreign or indeed a local boarding school kid? Absolutely nothing, as far as I’m concerned.

Which brings us back to what the OP is asking. Clearly, OP is rightfully concerned about handing over her precious son to a complete stranger to be his guardian. Given today’s infamous Operation Yewtree by the police which is still ongoing, as a parent I’d be freaked out of my skin when considering the possibility of handing my DS to a complete stranger thousands of miles away. I’m sure most, if not all guardians of boarding school kids are a million miles away from the Yewtree casting net but one cannot be too sure; the same way trusting parents were allowing their kids to be up close and cosy with a family name TV personality in the 70’s and 80’s etc.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 21-Dec-12 18:03:03

peteneras
please delete that post.
NOT what OP needs to read at this time of year. Nor constructive.

OP
not my domain, but I'd assume the school will have a network because for every new starter there is a leaver ...

LIZS Fri 21-Dec-12 18:11:28

Problem with this particular school is that boarding is new from next year so they are effectively starting from scratch. However I'm sure they are already recruiting potential guardians and may well have staff families nominated otherwise. Having said that will you have the opportunity to meet them before sending ds as they will be the ones to host him at exeats, have local PR and look after him if ill?

TalkinPeace2 Fri 21-Dec-12 18:17:12

sorry, did not pick up that it was Whitgift - ooh then I can comment as DH used to play rugby against them!
Boarding may be new to Whitgift but it is NOT to their neighbouring / competitor schools : the networks will be in place ; Whitgift just need to tap into them.

peteneras Fri 21-Dec-12 19:38:11

Please read again what OP is asking before you tell me what to say or not to say. I could paint a rosy and beautiful picture of how wonderful it is to have your kid stay with a complete stranger but it would be dishonest of me to do so.

OP asked for specific advice and I've given my opinion and some precautionary advice. Of course, nobody has to agree with any of it.

As a matter of interest, would you be entirely happy and be "OK to put my kid to stay with a stranger / family, during term breaks ?"

LIZS Fri 21-Dec-12 20:22:41

No I wouldn't but op has apparently decided to accept places without even having visited the schools in question first.

peteneras Fri 21-Dec-12 20:56:51

My question wasn't directed at you LIZS, but you're right, nobody in their right mind would be happy to let their kid(s) stay with a stranger. I was merely stating the obvious and I'm sure OP is well aware of the situation given the circumstances.

Looking on the bright side and this is directed at OP, there's probably nothing to fear if a guardian is found with the collaboration of the school. Let's face it, boarding schools in the UK have been placing (foreign) kids with local guardians for as long as I care to remember. This has been a proud tradition of British boarding schools and their ethos and reputation are well regarded worldwide which is why I assume OP is sending his/her kid here. Rest be assured the school will be just as concerned as the parent(s) (if not more so) that the health and safety of the kids in their watch will be of paramount importance to them.

Personally I wouldn't touch the private guardianship agencies.

Lovelandhope Sat 22-Dec-12 04:06:22

Thank you all for the very kind advice.

We have accepted the school offer, paid an initial registration fee, and will visit the school in the next couple of months. If we want to change our mind, we can give one term,s notice.

So far based on the info collected, plus first-hand school visits info by a few other parents, and comparing these to other schools we have visited, we think we will be very happy with the school.

Yes we wlll talk to the school to see what they would recommend too. Really apprecate the comments / suggestions from moms, persepctives.

Schools in our own place here are very well `acadmemic` and qualification focussed. I would like my DS to have betterand broader exposures all fronts.

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