Welcome to this week’s edition of the BSA member newsletter.
This week, I spent time with prep boarding colleagues at the IAPS Annual Conference in Bournemouth and hosted two prep boarding sessions. It was fantastic to meet everyone face to face again, thank you to conference chair William Goldsmith, Chris King and the team at IAPS for such fantastic hospitality.
Grateful thanks to the huge number of schools who took time out of a very busy term to complete our urgent boarding numbers survey. The aim was to provide essential information to Government departments in England to inform policy decisions and having such sizeable engagement was extremely helpful.
Responses represented over 41,000 boarders, approximately two-thirds of the total boarders in the UK.
Some of the key questions related to Hong Kong-based boarders. The survey told us that approximately half of the Hong Kong-based boarders who are under 18 and currently in the UK have not been fully (double) vaccinated. This means that between 2,000 and 3,000 boarders are currently unable to get home, as they cannot routinely be double-vaccinated in the UK, and cannot enter Hong Kong unless they are. Up to 500 of those have not been home since before the pandemic. These have been very useful messages to transmit to colleagues in DfE and DHSC, and we have also shared the information with Hong Kong Government sources. We are grateful to them all for looking to find a suitable solution, and are writing formally to the relevant Ministers to help expedite this.
Suitable data was also collected for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and will be shared with school, association and Government colleagues there.