Dear Members,

Welcome to this week’s edition of our newsletter. With almost half of January already behind us, we’re fast approaching our first online conferences of the year. We hope you can join us for the Sacpa-led ‘Abuse online – managing and preventing incidents’, which takes place next Friday (January 22). 

Looking slightly further ahead, places are still available at our two-day BSA Boarding Conference on February 2-3. You can also secure your spot at the joint BSA/BAISIS International Conference on March 11, and our BSA Annual Conference for Heads 2020-21 on May 4-5.

You can book places or find out more about these sessions, along with other events already in the diary for 2021, in the BSA Academy section below. You can also see our full 2020/21 training calendar for an up-to-date list of all our events.

Supporting international students during the COVID-19 pandemic

Following concerns from member schools about the welfare of international pupils during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve written to Baroness Berridge, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education); Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education; Andrew Lewer, Chair of the APPG for Independent Education; Lord Lexden, former ISC and ISA Chair, and Sir Steve Smith, International Education Champion, urging them to allow such children to be classed as ‘vulnerable’ where doing so would protect their rights and safeguard their mental health and well-being.

Current guidance does not class these children as vulnerable, yet they are thousands of miles from home, many have not seen their families since the summer break and are effectively now ‘locked up’ in their boarding house and unable to bubble with their vulnerable UK peers.

As a result of this letter, Andrew Lewer will be submitting a question to Parliament. We are awaiting further responses and will share any updates with you when they are available.

If you would like to use the contents of this letter to lobby your own local MP about this issue, please feel free to do so. A copy of the letter can be found here.

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