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Chinese Pupils joinning Prior Park College this September

(21 Posts)
xing Wed 15-Jul-15 22:52:20

My friend's daughters are due to start Prior Park College this September from China. They are looking for host families to accommodate them in half term time, they wonder if they could stay with UK pupils during half term. Can anyone let me know if this is possible? Thanks.

TreeGoats Thu 16-Jul-15 13:28:50

I have two boys at the college (not boarders though). They tell me that as far as they know, boarders either go home or stay with their guardians during the half-term holidays. I suggest you get in touch with the college - they're very helpful and I'm sure they'd be more than willing to answer your questions. Even though it's the summer holiday at the moment there will at least be admin staff around who can help you. It's a lovely school, I'm sure your friend's children will enjoy their time there.

LIZS Thu 16-Jul-15 16:41:58

As a default staying with guardians would be the norm. Do you have family in UK or will you pay for a guardian service? If there are trips or invitations from other students all well and good.

xing Thu 16-Jul-15 20:27:25

TreeGoats and LI, Thanks for your advise. I will act as the guardian, but as live in Oxford, I wonder if it is possible that they might be invited to stay with their classmates during half term period.

summerends Thu 16-Jul-15 21:18:46

xing I am not sure if I understand. Are you saying that the distance between Bath and Oxford is too great for them to come and stay with you?
Once they are settled in and have made friends then it is possible that their friends' families will invite them to stay for a few days during the holidays. However you can't assume that and therefore as advised above perhaps the school can advise a formal (likely paying) option if you can't accommodate them as their guardian.
Poor girls, it seems a very long time to go without being with parents or even friends of the family.

xing Thu 16-Jul-15 21:32:09

summerends, of course I will look after them at the beginning. I just wonder going forward staying with friends maybe a better option (paid or free).

Gruach Fri 17-Jul-15 01:01:50

It would be completely unacceptable for them to have to worry about being invited to stay with friends for lack of a permanent base with a caring guardian.

I have no idea if any school would countenance such an ad hoc arrangement - but it wouldn't be at all comfortable for the child.

Please don't agree to be their guardian unless you're prepared to see it through till the end of their school life. (Would you enjoy having to smarm up to people in your new school in the hope of an invitation? It would completely distort your relationships with friends and with your school.)

There's nothing unusually arduous about the journey from Bath to Oxford!

Kenlee Fri 17-Jul-15 01:32:52

What we tend to do is much simpler. We fly our DD back to HK at Christmas, Easter and Summer. Then for the half term she spends with her Uncle or Grandmother. Depends on availability. If both are not available then she flies back to HK for the week. Although, she does stay at her friends for weekend sleep overs. There are also offers from her local friends to stay for the half term breaks. Which we have used. We also feel that there should be a back up plan if things fall through.

Traveling to Oxford from Bath is only a one hour journey most kids can cope. My DD often flies back to HK. It really is no problem for children anymore

summerends Fri 17-Jul-15 05:25:43

xing you may be one of these kind people who are or will often be asked to look after friends' DCs and act as guardian. However as Gruach says, please decline if it is not a commitment that you can undertake wholeheartedly longerm and fit into your life. If a DC is ill the guardian will often be asked to collect them and look after them (medical centres fill up very quickly when illnesses run through schools). Friends who are guardians have also acted in loco parentis to settle in their charges at university. Your friends' DDs will obviously become more independent and choose to stay with friends for periods of time but even at the sixth form stage you will have to be flexible just as you would with your own DC as inevitably teenagers make last minute requests to come and stay when arrangements fall through. Don't forget that parents of boarding school DCs also will want time just as a family or go away on holiday so won't necessarily want to have their DCs' friends to stay regularly for the whole of the halfterm.

NerrSnerr Fri 17-Jul-15 05:32:11

As others have said , if you think it's too much of a commitment then I would speak up now. It wouldn't be fair to expect her to find other pupils to stay with.

TheBlessedCheesemaker Fri 17-Jul-15 05:51:07

My friend has just finished being a guardian and found that her nephew often went to friends for exeat weekends, but never for the half terms - he came to her. I imagine this was because other families took their kids away on holidays or to visit relatives.

FYI, she found she got far more involved with the school than she expected - ending up going to key sports events and plays (as well as parents evenings). Not sure if this is common or just happened because she became very find of her charge.

happygardening Fri 17-Jul-15 06:59:33

kenlee Bath to Oxford is more like 1 3/4 hours and that's not taking into consideration that both can get very congested with traffic at certain times of the day especially the latter.
OP your friends DD's need a guardian in fact most schools now insist they have one, I doubt any "friends" parents would accept money to have them stay but I also doubt any "friends" parents would be happy to commit themselves to them staying on a regular basis. Looking quickly at Prior Parks website I suspect full boarders are very much in the minority as it states that here that "weekly" boarding is proving to be very attractive so they really do need a guardian preferably not to far away.

xing Fri 17-Jul-15 09:27:57

Thank everyone for your thoughts.

DarklingJane Fri 17-Jul-15 09:32:51

Just to second some of the points already made.
It is very possible that your friend's daughters will be invited to stay with friends for half term / exeats , but this will grow naturally and you can't rely on it. The housemaster / mistress may need an email from both sets of parents agreeing to it. You must have a proper guardian arrangement in place though as pps have said , whether that be you or a paid for service, as relying on invitations is not enough, and I too doubt the school would allow that. Unless the school already knows of a parent who is willing to be a paid guardian, I would doubt that would be a likely place to look but you could ask.
I suspect they would simply point you in the direction of an accredited guardian service as they would not want to or perhaps are not allowed to make these arrangements themselves.

A friend of my son's occasionally stayed with us. This happened after the friendship developed. I was very happy with it, but would not have wanted to commit to every half term/exeat and wouldn't consider doing it on a paid basis. Apart from friends being on holiday/ wanting some "family time" etc, there may be times before important exams when the friends want a quiet time to revise without distractions (I imagine, hypothetically grin ). Also if more than one girl ,friends parents may be less able/willing to put up two guests or the girls may make different friends, making it more complex. Most of DSs overseas friends went home for half term (unless it was a very short one) and stayed at friends occasionally for exeats.

So just another vote for getting a proper guardian service in place or making the commitment to do it yourself for their whole school career and accepting invitations as they naturally occur. Is there not a decent train service between Bath and Oxford?

Good luck with it though.

xing Fri 17-Jul-15 09:47:11

DarklingJane, Thanks for your kind advise.

Kenlee Fri 17-Jul-15 15:25:31

Happy ....I thought it was just a straight drive down the M4....or a fast train ride.

Although I do agree with everyone else. If you don't want to commit then don't agree to it. The reason being is that most flights arrive early morning before public transport is running. Which leaves no choice but an early morning pickup. In the case of illness you will need a place for them to stay. When they have lost or broken something they need someone close by to help them buy and deliver. Its not only just putting them up for a week. Its feeding them and being part of their lives and them becoming part of yours.

If they are in the sixth form I heard that some Chinese girls do rent a room together in a BB and stay there instead of going back to China. I'm not sure that is legal though.

happygardening Fri 17-Jul-15 16:16:06

kenlee 5 junctions down the M4 and then up the A34 definitely not an hours drive unless you own a helicopter!

Kenlee Sat 18-Jul-15 02:36:28

Happy haven't been to bath for ages...but I remember it wasn't that far..maybe I drove faster in my younger years....I need to take my DD next time I'm in England. Just to try it out.

happygardening Sat 18-Jul-15 06:50:21

Kenlee google maps predicts about 1 1/2 hours but as I said traffic can be very tedious especially in Oxford.

Ahwoo Sat 18-Jul-15 08:37:21

My friend drove his DS to Millfield earlier this week, took him 3hrs longer than what Google predicted because of roadworks.

Needmoresleep Sun 19-Jul-15 20:19:48

Not something I would do with my children, but we know students from Asia who would regularly spend half terms at residential tutorial colleges in either Oxford or Cambridge. One boy did the same during Christmas and Easter holidays, only having Christmas day off. Indeed I think the tutorial college he went to offered guardianship services. He did very very well academically. Obviously it depends of how a parent sees childhood and the priority that should be given to education relative to time spend on other things.

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