According to UK law, a foreign student under the age of 16 must have a guardian, who would be held responsible for all official parental duties and would present themselves as the child’s authorised representative. In the academic establishment, the guardian must act in favour of the student’s welfare and it is crucial that he or she is able to cooperate effectively with the administration of this establishment. In addition, the guardian’s responsibilities include; ensuring that the student is on top of his or her studies, writing reports about the student’s academic progress, organising transportation (which includes dropping-off and collecting the student), providing adequate assistance with questions regarding health and well-being, and helping to adapt to the new linguistic and cultural environments.

Correctly picking a guardian will allow the student to feel confident whilst being away from home and will help them to avoid misunderstandings when interacting with the outside world in a new atmosphere.

The guardian must be a sociable individual, in order to successfully join the intricate chain that links the student, the parents and the school administration. Moreover, they must have the ability to insist on the final and correct decisions when the student is showing signs of unreasonable mood swings – something that is quite normal amongst adolescents. Ideally, the guardian should possess at least some fundamental teaching skills and abilities.

The student usually feels more “at home” when the guardian speaks their mother tongue, but this is not necessarily a limiting factor, seeing as many children feel comfortable when interacting with English natives. Thus, the final decision can be drawn from a number of options and remains fully in the hands of the parents (even more so if they are fluent in English).

The Mercury Education team can assist you in making the right decision. Please call us or send us your questions regarding the choice of a suitable guardian via the online feedback form.

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