Member schools are continuing to ask if BSA has clarity on quarantine arrangements for boarders returning from Amber List countries. We have also been made aware that two schools have received statements from the Home Office and COVID advice line respectively that boarders who are Under 18 from these countries will not have to quarantine.
While the advice these schools have received may be true, BSA has not received any official answer on this for boarding schools in England from the government. We had another update call with the most senior civil servants in the independent schools and boarding team at the DfE on Friday (23/7) and were told that they in turn had received no reply to this question from the Department of Transport and other departments, but were working to get an answer, or even updated guidance. They also appreciated the frustration and urgency of the matter for BSA schools.
In light of this, and after consulting with the policy team at the ISC, I have written a letter directly to the Transport Secretary for England, Grant Shapps, copied to the Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and Andrew Lewer, Chair of the Independent Education All-Party Parliamentary Group. I have also briefed Andrew on the issue and he has offered to try to get the clear guidance the sector needs on this issue.
BSA understands the frustration of member schools about this question and will of course convey any guidance it receives as and when it arrives.