Dear Colleagues,

Following the recent letter sent by the BSA to the Prime Minister, supported by ISC associations, the DfE yesterday confidentially confirmed to BSA and ISC that from today (March 4, 2021) boarders at schools in England from ‘red list’ countries can quarantine in boarding houses rather than government hotels.  

As yet this only applies to England and is subject to following strict guidance published at 4am today entitled Quarantine arrangements for boarding school students from red list countries.

BSA and ISC would like to thank DfE colleagues for their hard work and support in collating this document. We are still working with the devolved governments alongside SCIS and WISC on related local policy.

Child Student and Student visa = right to reside

The Home Office has confirmed that a student visa confers right to reside status for pupils returning to the UK from red list countries. This means such pupils are allowed to return to the UK and are now subject to the new arrangements set out in the guidance above.

Red list boarding arrangements guidance 

Members are urged to read the Quarantine arrangements for boarding school students from red list countries guidance thoroughly and we would like to draw your attention to some key points:

  • Pupils under the age of 18 (as at September 1, 2020) and travelling unaccompanied can quarantine in boarding under strict conditions if the school has received a letter from the Secretary of State. Letters are expected to be sent at the end of this week.
  • “The Department for Education intends to commission additional inspections of a sample of boarding schools while this guidance applies to check compliance”, failure of compliance  “will be considered in line with the Department for Education’s Policy Statement” and may affect sponsorship.
  • Pupils must have a negative test result during the 3 days before they travel, they must book the travel test package to be tested on days 2 and 8 of quarantine and complete the passenger locator form.
  • Pupils will be required to carry a copy of the letter from the Department for Education to the school confirming that boarding school students are covered by an exception and a letter from their school to the boarding school student meeting the requirements set out in the letter from the Department for Education to the school.
  • Schools must adhere to the strict travel and quarantine guidelines as set out in the guidance.
  • Staff working with boarding school students who are in quarantine after arriving from red list countries will be supplied with Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test kits to self swab and test themselves once per day at home. 
  • Maintain appropriate risk assessments. 

The DfE has advised that it will not be possible at this late stage to change the red list quarantine arrangements for schools and that schools which feel they cannot meet the requirements of the scheme will not be able to quarantine boarders from red list countries.

Please contact the BSA team if you require any further information.

Best wishes, The BSA Team
T. +44 (0)207 798 1580