Advice for Students and Agent Partners
We know things are different in the world right now but we want to assure you that we are taking every measure possible to keep students and staff safe. If you would like to come to the UK this year to study English then rest assured we are here to make that happen for you in a safe and enjoyable way.
Update March 2021: Following the latest UK guidance our York and London schools have now reopened and our new Manchester school is opening soon. Courses are running as normal and we are happy to accept bookings for future courses.
The Be Safe Charter outlines our commitment to safety and defines the standards in place in our centres.
Everything you need to know about booking and studying with BSC during Coronavirus
A special package available to any students who have to quanrantine at the start of their course.
Take a look at the below frequently asked questions to give you peace of mind when booking a course with BSC during Coronavirus. If there’s something you would like to know and you can’t find it here, please contact us and we’ll try to help you with whatever you need.
Keeping students safe in our schools is our highest priority in these unprecedented times.
All of our centres have adopted the BSC Be Safe Charter which complies with UK government rules and guidance in order to protect the safety and well-being of our global family including our students and team.
The BSC Be Safe Charter defines our standards upon the re-opening of our Centres and the reuse of other key environments.
The key aims of this policy are to:
• Ensure a clean environment throughout the school; classrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, break out areas and receptions.
• Educate and communicate
• Reduce risk
Some of the measures we have taken to ensure staff and student safety include smaller class sizes, frequent cleaning, providing hand sanitiser stations, one-way systems and personal protective equipment.
For full information please see our Be Safe Charter
Our schools are temporarily closed in line with UK restrictions to assist the national effort in preventing COVID-19. Lessons have been moved online using the latest video conferencing software.
In these uncertain times we understand that you need maximum flexibility in case you need to change your plans. Our revised cancellation policies are designed to provide you with peace of mind so that when you book with BSC, you can book with confidence.
Cancellation Before Course Start Date
We are not charging cancellation fees on tuition in our schools prior to arrival.
• Homestay: we are not charging cancellation fees (with at least one week’s notice prior to arrival).
• Residence: we are not charging cancellation fees (with at least one week’s notice prior to arrival).
Cancellation After Course Start Date Tuition:
We are not charging cancellation fees on tuition in our schools. Instead students will have the option to either:
a) Continue their studies with BSC online using a combination of virtual learning and self-study for the same period booked or
b) Accept a voucher for any complete unused weeks to be used for the same course at the same Centre that the student was studying at (subject to availability)
Students will be credited with a voucher for any complete unused weeks (with at least one week’s notice of cancellation) for use in the same accommodation and same Centre (subject to availability).
• There are no refunds or credits should a student shorten a programme, or reduce the number of lessons.
• Any seasonal “High Season” supplements will not be charged on a new booking made with a voucher after cancelling a course.
• Payments already settled will be refunded in the form of credit vouchers until further notice. Credit vouchers are transferable to nominated close family members/friends and may only be used for study periods completed by 31 December 2021. Unless stated above, our standard Terms and Conditions will apply. These revised policies only apply to bookings made on or after 31/08/2020. Any bookings made prior to this date will be subject to our standard Terms and Conditions.
The UK has a list of countries that are exempt from quarantining upon arrival. If your country of origin is not on this exemption list, or if you travel through a country that is on this list, then you will have to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the UK.
For the current list of countries exempt from quarantine please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors
All arrivals in the UK, regardless of exemption, will need to provide their contact details 48 hours prior to arrival via the following form https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk
If you arrive from a country not on the exemption list you will have to self-isolate for 14 days. To help with this we offer the BSC SafeStay package which includes everything you need to quarantine safely:
• Private airport transfer
• Full board homestay for the 2-week isolation period
• Free online lessons for 2-week isolation period
• Access to an online social programme
• Access to myBSC online learning platform
This package can be added to all applicable bookings – you can find out more information here or contact us for details and pricing.
When isolating, students are not permitted to leave their homestay for any reason (including shopping). However, your homestay family will be able to help with anything you may need.
If you have been quarantining in the UK and your country of origin is removed from the list while you are here then you will still need to complete the rest of your quarantine period.
We have a range of accommodation on offer to our students, including homestay and residences. We will review and ensure any accommodation booked via BSC has suitable safety measures in place, prior to use by our students.
Our homestays receive training and guidance prior to hosting. This includes various safety measures including; undertaking a health & safety risk assessment and safeguarding information. Our homestays are equipped with the necessary cleaning products and procedures to follow when hosting.
Students are encouraged to book separate rooms to aid with self-isolation if necessary. We will consider options for sharing a room in a homestay upon request only.
• A high temperature (you feel hot to touch on your chest or back)
• A new, continuous cough (coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours)
• A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
In the UK, the system for receiving help with Coronavirus symptoms is a little bit different than in other parts of the world. In order to stop those with mild symptoms spreading the virus in doctor’s surgeries and hospitals, patients with mild Coronavirus are asked to stay at home.
Here’s what to do if you have mild Coronavirus symptoms:
• Avoid contact with others. Stay at home as much as possible and move into a room away from other members of your household.
• Book a Coronavirus test straight away. You can do this using the NHS website.
If your test comes back positive you should continue to stay at home for 10 days (or 14 days if you are living with others) and avoid contact with other members of your household.
If you need help managing your symptoms you should call 111. They will put you in touch with a doctor or nurse who will give you advice on your condition.
Find out more about self-isolation on the NHS website here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/when-to-self-isolate-and-what-to-do/
If you have tested positive for Coronavirus you should avoid visiting shops, even for food and groceries. Where possible, you should get groceries delivered online or ask a friend to bring them to you.
The following supermarkets do online deliveries:
The NHS also provides a voluntary service for those in need of help receiving food and medicines. You can contact them here: 0808 196 3646.
If you have severe Coronavirus systems, such as breathing difficulties, you should call an ambulance using the emergency number 999 straight away.
Coronavirus tests are free and readily available for anyone in the UK who develops Coronavirus symptoms. Here’s how to get one.
• Go to the NHS Coronavirus Test Booking website and click ‘start now.
• Follow the instructions on the screen and enter your details when asked
• Choose between drive-through or home-delivered test options
• If you choose a drive-through test, choose the timeslot that works best for you
If you need to go to hospital for severe Coronavirus symptoms, you should call an ambulance using the phone number 999.
You should take with you to hospital:
• Pyjamas and an extra set of clothes
• Any medications you usually take
• A phone charger
Once at the hospital you will be given a Coronavirus test and may possibly be taken to do an X-Ray. You will then be taken to a ward where doctors nurses will monitor your symptoms. If you are having difficulty breathing, you will be given oxygen.
If someone else from your homestay tests positive then they need to stay at home for 10 days from the day their symptoms started. Everyone else in the household needs to stay at home for 14 days from the day their household member's symptoms started. They should do this even if they have no symptoms themselves.
Your induction will take place at the school. Students will arrive through reception and have their temperature checked (staff will also have their temperature checked every morning when they arrive).
You will then be taken to a separate area to fill out your student details and check any forms.
Students will have completed their placement test online prior to arrival.
Once your form is filled out you will be taken to a classroom for your school introduction and presentation.
You will then be taken on a school tour where you will be shown the route through the school as per COVID-19 regulation as well as the fire assembly point.
After this you will begin your English classes.
While you are in our Centre(s), you must adhere to the advised social distancing measures wherever practicable and possible.
To assist with social distancing, the following measures have been introduced:
• Spaced desks;
• Limited classroom student numbers;
• Floor/furniture markings;
• Removal of non-essential items and furniture;
• Working back to back or side to side (rather than face to face) where possible;
• Signage and posters advising on limits to numbers entering specific areas such as lifts and toilets;
• Staggering timetables including start/end/break times;
• One-way flow routes with designated entrance and exit points to minimise congestion.
• Students should continue to practice social distancing in common areas, including at entrances and exits and break areas.
As part of our social-distancing measures, we may conduct meetings/discussions remotely where appropriate. When physical meetings/discussions are necessary social distancing advice should be maintained throughout and objects such as stationary should not be shared.
To encourage the minimisation of student close contact we will display posters and remind our students before the start of a joint classroom activity. We will also provide spare stationary and other safety items (hand sanitiser/face coverings) onsite to avoid sharing materials and to ensure students have the necessary items they wish to have to make themselves comfortable.
• Having additional handwashing facilities/hand sanitisers at our hygiene stations
• Cleaning work areas and equipment frequently
• Having signage and posters to provide regular reminders to maintain hygiene standards
• Ensuring areas are well ventilated
• Reducing the need to touch surfaces/items and wearing disposable gloves
• Having screens to provide a protective partition
• Using a ‘bubble’ approach with groups of students
• Increased use of online forms to avoid collecting information at the Centre
• Staff training and instruction on adhering to government guidelines
While we are taking these stringent additional measures, we ask our students, team members and visitors to play their part by:
• Washing your hands often and thoroughly for 20 seconds or more
• Be respectful to others in your surroundings
• Wearing comfortable and suitable clothing in well ventilated areas
• Avoiding unnecessary touching, especially your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth
• Coughing or sneezing into a tissue, and binning it safely, or into your arm/hand if a tissue is not available and washing thoroughly afterwards.
We will only require students to wear face coverings if advised by the UK government or other authority.
To help ensure student safety we have changed our class sizes to a maximum of 9 students with 1 teacher
We aim to provide our students with a range of both educational and enjoyable out of class experiences during their stay. Unfortunately some attractions may be closed or have safety measures which restrict visits. We will regularly review our main attractions and update our programmes accordingly.
Social activities will be suitably risk assessed with new measures introduced to prevent the risk of infection, such as:
• Social distancing
• Activity ‘bubbles’ / privately booked activities on offer
• Open air/well ventilated areas
• Restricted number of participants
• Additional cleaning and hygiene products available at all times
• Clear guidance and health checks before the activity starts
If you have any other questions then just let us know and we'll do our best to help.