(Some of) The Most Commonly Asked Questions By Parents
Who would be the legal guardian of my son or daughter?
Unlike most other guardianship agencies, the Directors of RUYANG International Guardian Service and Educational Consultancy. Ms Claire Yang will be the legal guardian of your child whilst your child is in the United kingdom. They will get to know the student personally and will deal directly with your child’s day-to-day life, any issues or emergencies that may arise during the academic year.
Does the child stay with you at half-term and at weekends?
As we started our business as a full support model we do have students stay in our home, and all students will do so at some point. However, most students will stay with our specially selected Host Families during breaks. If we receive instructions from you, we will arrange for your child to stay with a Host Family. However, some older students prefer to stay with relatives (if they are in the UK). Sometimes students develop friendships with other students from school and ask to stay with them during half-term. We shall only allow this to occur if we have been advised 14 days in advance as to give us enough time to visit the other students family to determine the safety and well being of your child. We would need your consent for this and full details.
How do you choose your Host Families?
All of our Host Families come to us either by recommendation or through our advertising campaigns. They fill in the relevant paperwork giving details of the family members, their work, their interests, their pets and other questions to reveal if they smoke or if they are experienced at hosting students. We then arrange a home visit to check the facilities available to the student, especially the bedroom and bathroom. The visit also helps us to establish if the family is caring and warm, which is extremely important for younger students. We make detailed notes, which enables us to match the Host Family to a suitable student and vice versa. All of our Host Families have police checks and references.
What are your guardians like?
“We are the guardians for your child”. It is very common for Guardianship Companies to refer to Host Families as Guardians or guardian families. We prefer to refer to these great people as Host Parents, who are responsible for making a home-away-from-home for an international student to feel welcomed, safe and have an enjoyable memory of UK home life.
We have worked for many years with caring and reliable Host Families. Often they are people who work in education such as teachers or school matrons, who know of our excellent reputation and enjoy caring for students. Some have children of school age; others may have grown-up children. A number have lived abroad themselves and understand what it is like to arrive in a new country. Some have large houses in the country; others have more modest properties, but all enjoy the opportunity to welcome a student from overseas into their home and to give him or her their time and attention.
Could you find me a Host Family in any part of the United Kingdom?
We currently have students at boarding schools throughout all areas of the United Kingdom and are happy to look for families in whichever area the need arises.
Who are the Host Families?
They are extremely varied, ranging from young families in urban areas with a small garden and a cat to families in more rural areas with lots of pets including horses! Our Host Families come in all shapes and sizes and this enables us to match our students to the most suitable Host Family in the local area. Most of the Host Families children do not attend private schools, they attend state schools, but the half-terms dates are usually the same or similar.
Can I choose my child’s Host Family?
Unfortunately, it is not practical for parents to choose a Host Family themselves. We always assure parents that an informed choice, based on experience, has been made by the Education Guardian Service Area Co-ordinator. It is possible for parents to arrange through RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. to meet up with the family.
Will my child share a Host Family with other students?
Some students will share a Host Family with others. The number of students with any one host depends mainly on the size of the house, but is usually no more than 2.
Will my child have to share a bedroom?
On some occasions students may share a room with other students or children of the host. This is only if the room is considered to be of ample size and with a child of similar age and the same sex.
How much can I expect to pay my child’s Host Family for expenses?
You should expect to pay expenses for travel, trips out with the family, overnight stays and other items. An indication of current guardian expenses is included in our Educational Guardian Service Brochure.
What happens in an emergency?
The student is given our emergency contact details when they arrive at the start of term. The school is also informed of our contact details. The majority of the time, the situation can be resolved by a phone call. However, in the case of a suspension or a medical emergency Ms. Claire Yang would liaise with the school and the student’s family, until the matter is under control. If one of the Directors of RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. were on holiday, the other would take over so that there is always full emergency cover for your child in place.
What happens if a student is suspended?
A student could be suspended for numerous reasons including bullying, smoking, drinking alcohol, taking or selling illegal drugs or just general constant bad behaviour. We would arrange an emergency RUYANG Host Family, in most cases we would demand the child to stay with a Director for the period of the suspension, and discuss the matter in depth with the relevant tutor or the Headmaster.
What taxi companies do you use?
We do not use taxi companies as we follow stringent guidelines under the Child Protection Act. However, from time to time we may use licensed taxi drivers and this means that they are already police checked, as they are companies used by the schools. This is important as it guarantees your child is always in safe hands.
How often will you meet the student?
We try to visit the student at least once per term. Also, we offer you the option of booking us (or one of our representatives) to visit the school on Parent’s Evening or Speech Day. If there is an emergency, we may also need to visit the school to discuss the matter with the staff and the child.
How do I know my child is safe?
Whilst the child is in school they are under the care of the boarding school staff, who will do everything they can to ensure your child’s safety. However, once they leave school for exeat or half-terms, we are responsible for their well-being. Therefore, we carefully select our Host Families to ensure that your child is safe, and hopefully, happy with them during half-term and exeats. Our drivers are also chosen carefully to ensure that all drivers are licensed. We do everything that we can to avoid any harm coming to your child.
What is the deposit used for?
The Student Deposit Fund is used to pay for accommodation and activities whilst staying with with the Host Family, transfers to Host Families or to the airport. It can also be used for other items such as small amounts of pocket money, additional uniform items, books and so on. Each student is different and uses their contingency fund in a different way. We must stress though, that if the student wants to take pocket money out of this deposit we will need it to be replenished on a regular basis, or it will run out. Please do not hesitate to Contact Us if you have any further questions.
Is RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy accredited And inspected by a professional body?
Yes, RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. abides by all codes and practices set out by the Child Protection Act, CSCI, National Standards and are currently undergoing accreditation by AEGIS (the Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students). AEGIS demands the highest standards of care and good practice. A guardianship provider accredited by AEGIS offers parents the reassurance that their child is in good hands.
Can I specify the kind of Host Family I want?
We always ask students and parents whether they have any special requests. Some, for example, particularly want a Host Family with other children of the same age, while others may prefer a family with no other children. Some students ask for a Host Family with pets or horses. In some cases parents may want a family of the same religion. Although it isn’t always possible to meet every requirement, we try very hard to find the ideal Host Family.
Why do I need to deposit funds with RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd.?
RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. will hold your money in a client trust account to ensure that we have the necessary funds to cover the expenses incurred by the Host Family, and to cover any emergency. This money will only be spent on your authorisation and any funds left over when the RUYANG Guardian Service agreement comes to an end, will be returned to you.
Do I get a discount for more than one child from the same family?
Yes. Each child after the first child registered, from the same family, has a 10% discount on the RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. fee, excluding the Presidential Package.
What happens in an emergency whilst my child is with the Host Family?
Students and the Host Families are given full contact details for RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. staff, including 2 twenty-four hour emergency numbers. Often an emergency situation can be resolved by a phone call. Our staff will do everything possible to ensure your child’s welfare and will be there for your child 24 hours a day. We are also available for you, the parent, 24 hours a day to be able to pass on any emergency information from your home country. We assist with emergency travel home in the event that it is required. We liaise fully with everyone involved.
What are extra subjects?
A child may elect for extra tuition in a subject in which she or he is particularly weak or has a special interest e.g. additional foreign languages, computer studies. Schools also encourage children to develop artistic, musical and sports skills and offer tuition in a wide range of musical instruments e.g. piano, guitar, violin, flute, as well as dancing, and coaching in sports such as tennis, squash, swimming, horse-riding and judo.
Is religion compulsory?
Most schools have an affiliation to the Anglican (Church of England) or Catholic church and in most cases there is a chapel (small private church) on the school grounds, where students are expected to attend religious services two or three times per week. Children who are practicing members of another religion (e.g. Muslims, Jews, Taoists, Buddhism etc) may ask to be excused attendance at religious services, but atheists and agnostics are not exempt.
England is a secular society and regular attendance at church services does not play a major part in the lives of the majority of the population. However, schools feel that church services and religious instruction lessons distil in the children broad moral values – the difference between right and wrong, consideration for the welfare of others etc.
The school chapel often offers the largest space where the whole school can meet and assemblies are often held there. These are not religious occasions, but a chance for the Head to address all students and staff on matters of general interest and related to the smooth administration of the school.
How early should I register my child for independent schools?
You may have heard alarming stories about the length of waiting lists, particularly at some of the most popular city day schools. There is certainly fierce competition for places in central London and it is never too early to begin looking at the options.
Some schools offer regular Open Days. These can be valuable for parents with very young children as a means of gaining a few first impressions and points of comparison before registering with those which seem most suitable. However, because family circumstances may change, for example if parents move away from the area, there may be occasional vacancies arising at any time.
For schools outside the major cities and for boarding schools, the pressure for places is normally less intense, but it is a good idea to register with schools at least 1 year but ideally 2 years before your child is due to start. If you are looking for a senior school this allows you to assess your child’s progress during preparatory or primary school and consider the type of senior school which would be most suitable.
Most schools charge a non-refundable registration fee of up to £100 to discourage parents who are not seriously considering the school as an option. Schools will normally ask you to confirm your choice one way or the other, between 6 and 12 months before entry.
How can I find out more about entrance exams for senior schools?
Not all independent schools are highly selective but most use some form of entrance exam. Many day schools set their own examinations, mainly in Maths, English and possibly Verbal Reasoning; others use the Common Entrance Exam, which can be taken for entry at 11+, 12+ or 13+. The papers for 11+ entries are designed to be suitable for all students, whatever type of school they attend, but most students who take the exam for 12+ or 13+ entries are already attending independent schools.
A child who has not been attending an independent preparatory school may need additional coaching from a private tutor. It is best to appoint a tutor well in advance of the exam rather than in the last few weeks. This will help to build a child’s confidence steadily and avoid any sense of panic. For tutors across the United Kingdom you can contact RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. You can also ask the Independent Schools Examinations Board (ISEB), for past papers Common Entrance Exams. If you wish to obtain an example entrance exam paper, feel free to Contact Us.
Is corporal punishment still used in schools?
No school within the United Kingdom shall use corporal punishment, as it is now illegal in all schools.
Does involvement with drugs mean that my son will have to leave his independent school?
We are very careful to recommend only the best schools, and the use of illegal drugs in these schools is extremely rare. Being involved with drugs is a serious matter, which is always investigated thoroughly before action is taken. Proven involvement with drugs in any school will usually result in expulsion, depending on the level of involvement and the drug in question. Schools are likely to expel immediately if a child is caught selling drugs on the premises and it would be their civic duty to also inform the local police, but may take a softer line for first offences at lower levels of involvement. In recent years many schools have gone as far as introducing random drug testing, which, of course requires parental consent.
My daughter is going to boarding school in the United Kingdom next year. We have been told that she will need a guardian. Can you tell us anything about this?
If you live overseas and have a child at boarding school within the UK, the school will expect your child to have a guardian – someone who will take responsibility for her while she is in the UK and provide a home for her during weekends out of school and half-terms.
The importance of a good guardian service cannot be underestimated. You will want to know that your daughter is safe, happy and well-cared for at all times and that she has the support she needs, to help her to enjoy a happy and successful stay in the UK. A good guardian family will provide a home-from-home for her, take a genuine interest in her progress and welfare and look after her just as you would at home. In addition, you may need help with arrangements for travel and VISA’s, for the purchase of school uniform and the many practicalities associated with sending a child to a school overseas.
You may have friends or relatives in the UK, but this is not always satisfactory. Schools may sometimes be able to make arrangements for you. Alternatively there are professional guardianship organisations such as RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd., which can ensure that your entire daughter’s needs are taken care of and give you peace of mind. AEGIS (The Association of Educational Guardians for International Students) is an independent Organisation, which demands rigorous standards of care and whom has a complete accreditation system with excellent guide lines to ensure the safety of your child we are currently undertaking this program. For information about guardian Service with RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd., please Contact Us.
What Is Flexi-Boarding?
This basically means that a school accepts “part-time” boarders. Most boarding schools offer parents much more flexible arrangements these days to fit in with modern family life. Weekly boarding is widely available, and is becoming more popular with city-based parents, particularly in areas where day places may be in short supply. Flexi-boarding allows students to board for part of the week and to attend as a day pupil for the remainder of the week. This also gives students the chance to see if boarding is for them on an occasional basis.
Are sports compulsory?
Sport is an important feature for many schools, which can offer superb facilities and often achieve exceptionally high standards. Many schools do insist on participation in traditional team sports, such as football, cricket, rugby, sailing etc, but approaches vary. It is a good idea to find out how much importance a school attaches to this aspect of the curriculum. Often, physical education is not compulsory for sixth-formers. While traditional sports are important to most schools, more are recognising that team sports do not suit everyone and now offer alternative options, especially for older students, such as squash and golf.
My son is in the sixth-form. He has had careers advice but still has no idea what he wants to do. What do you recommend?
Many senior schools have well-resourced departments with knowledgeable staff and opportunities for relevant work experience at appropriate stages. However, if your son or daughter is uncertain about the next stage you should encourage him to seek further guidance. There is a great deal of concern at present over the number of students who are unhappy with their choice of university or degree courses. It is important that these decisions are taken wisely. At Ruyang, we are convinced that a student can only be truly successful if they are happy, and this requires choosing a course that is interesting to them on a personal level, that they can be proud of, and that will make a proper foundation to their future career. The reality is that they will be competing with other students who do love their course, who will be devoted to it, and will achieve high marks. Ruyang staff have a lot of experience advising students in these matters, so if you would like a second opinion, or a fresh look at suitable career and higher education options, please Contact Us.
Do independent schools still teach on Saturdays?
This is much less common now. However, some schools still have classes. A lot of schools, both boarding and day, organise games or compulsory matches on Saturdays.
Is my child being bullied?
Do you suspect that your child is being bullied? Sometimes the effects of bullying aren’t as obvious as a black eye. Other signs to look for include the sudden appearance of bruises, missing belongings, or the invention of mysterious illnesses or stomach aches to avoid going to school. Your child may be embarrassed or feel weak by admitting he’s the victim of a bully.
To make it easier for your child to talk about it, consider asking some thoughtful questions. For example, you could ask “what it’s like walking to the bus stop or home from school?”. Often a child will unexpectedly change routines to avoid a bully. Or you could ask about “what happens on the playground before or after school or during recess”. You might also try asking if there are any bullies in the neighbourhood who have threatened to hurt any kids your child knows. This might make it easier for your child to talk about bullies because he won’t necessarily have to talk about his own experiences. It might also help your child realize that he’s not alone.
If you learn that your child is the victim of a bully, your reaction is important. Remember that your child is the victim; you do not want to add to your child’s burden with an angry or blaming response. Although it’s understandable that hearing your child is being bullied would make you sad or upset, try not to let your child see that – he might interpret your sadness as disappointment in him.
Does my child have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder)?
Is your child fidgety, always on the go, or easily distracted? Maybe he has ADHD. To find out if your child’s symptoms fit the profile for ADHD, answer these questions:
Has your child exhibited the following symptoms for at least the past six months?
- Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes.
- Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
- Often does not appear to listen when spoken to directly.
- Often doesn’t follow through on instructions or fails to complete schoolwork or chores.
- Often has difficulty with organisation.
- Often avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort (such as school or homework).
- Often loses things needed for tasks or activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, etc.)
- Is often easily distracted.
- Is often forgetful in daily activities.
How many did you answer yes to?
0 – 5: Your child probably doesn’t have ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type.
6 – 9: Your child may have ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type. Keep in mind that symptomatic impairment is often present before the age of seven years and must be present in two or more settings (e.g. at school and at home).
Remember, if you suspect your son or daughter may have ADHD, you should talk to your doctor about getting a complete neuropsychological evaluation of your child. Only professionals trained in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD can determine if your child has an attention deficit disorder.
Does my child need extra english lessons?
Children from overseas may need extra tuition in English during the first year of academic study, and most schools have well-run EFL (English as a Foreign Language) departments to cope with this.
If a child has limited English she or he will be given intensive lessons (up to 15 hours per week) at an extra charge. Where possible she or he will join the English students for lessons where a high level of English is not essential e.g. maths, some sciences, art, sport. As the level of English improves the child will be more fully integrated into the normal school curriculum.
Where a child has a good command of English but needs specialized vocabulary or structures to deal with a particular subject, English lessons will be provided to deal with the specific need. These lessons will be at extra cost or free of charge depending on the number of lessons required.
All charges for extra English tuition will appear on the child’s end of term bill.
Does my child need a private tutor – tutoring?
A tutor is a private instructor who teaches a specific educational subject or skill to an individual student. Such one-on-one attention allows the tutor to improve the student’s knowledge or skills far more rapidly than in a classroom setting. Tutors are often privately hired and paid by the student or the student’s family. Many are used for remedial students or others needing special attention; many provide more advanced material for exceptionally capable and highly motivated students.
There are many different resources for finding the right tutor for your student. Of course, speaking to your student’s teacher for their suggestions will always be a good start. Asking around any community organizations or churches that you may be involved with may also turn up good results. Naturally, personal recommendations are a valuable way to locate tutors with a proven track record; ask other parents for their suggestions or experiences. RUYANG’s Education Consultancy Department have tutors covering a wide range of subjects, available for group and one-on-one tuition. For further details on how RUYANG can help your child, please Contact Us.
“Tutelage is the process of being under the guidance of a tutor”.
Is there any where else I can buy school uniforms and equipment for my child?
Most schools have a shop where all the things your child needs to make starting boarding school simple and easy. There are alternatives to purchasing from the school directly. Below is a list of suppliers who offer products and services to those in Independent Education in the United Kingdom.
- Marks And Spencer – www.marksandspencer.com
- National Schoolwear – www.n-sc.co.uk
- Aitken & Niven – www.aitken-niven.co.uk
- School Yard – www.schoolyard.co.uk
- To Be At School – www.tobeatschool.co.uk
- School Uniforms Online – www.schooluniformsonline.co.uk
- APC Clothing – www.apc-clothing.co.uk
- Clive Mark – www.clivemark.co.uk
- WHSmith – www.whsmith.co.uk