Dear Colleagues,

Following our member update last night (August 11, 2021) about red list testing, a number of schools have reported that children travelling alone were unable to complete the form. DfE has supplied the following response:

We’ve made DHSC aware of the issue and they are working on a fix with CTM. They are working to remove the Adult/Child drop down so that they will only be asking for the number of test packages that they are wishing to buy. In the meantime, please advise any member/parent experiencing problems to select the Adult only package.

BSA has also queried alternative providers who claim to be approved to complete this testing and DfE said: 

On the issue of providers claiming to be government approved, it may be worth keeping a list for now which we can feed back to DHSC down the line to investigate.

Should you wish to let BSA know the names of such providers do email bsa@boarding.org.uk

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents

GOV.UK has today published the following updated advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents:

If you’re a child coming to school in the UK

Under the quarantine arrangements for boarding school students from red list countries, if you are a child under 18 coming to study at a UK boarding school you may isolate at accommodation provided or arranged by your boarding school instead of going into managed quarantine.

If you are a child under 18 travelling from a red list country to study at a UK boarding school and:

  • You are not able to isolate at accommodation provided or arranged by your school; or
  • You will be studying at a day school and staying with family or in a foster arrangement

We may consider issuing a visitor visa exceptionally to one of your parents / guardians so that they can accompany you to the UK and undergo managed quarantine together with you.

We will not normally issue a visitor visa to your parent / guardian if your school can offer accommodation for you to complete your isolation.

We will only consider issuing visit visas to both your parents / guardians if there are compelling or compassionate circumstances.

If you are a parent / guardian of a child under 18 travelling from a red list country to study at a UK boarding school you’ll need to apply for a visa in the usual way, including submitting biometrics at your chosen Visa Application Centre (VAC).

You should provide evidence to show why your child cannot isolate at school accommodation and alert the VAC staff of your reason for travel during biometric submission. You’ll be contacted by UKVI once your application has been received.

Best wishes,

The BSA Team
bsa@boarding.org.uk