Care of students under 18

Important information

Information for parents/guardians of international students under 18

Greater Brighton Metropolitan College welcomes students from all over the world. Our courses are primarily aimed at adults aged over 18 but we do welcome students aged 16 and 17. This document describes how we care for students aged under 18.

Parental consent
Before arrival at the MET we require the parents/guardian and student aged under 18 to sign a parental consent form to confirm that they understand the rules that we have in place for the welfare of under 18s and the level of supervision that we provide for them.

The College will inform the parents/guardian of any breaks in the rules and the consequences.
The form will include the student’s parent/guardian contact details in case of emergency.

Travelling from the airport to the accommodation
The MET works with a trusted local taxi company to provide airport transfers. We strongly advise parents/guardians of students under 18s to book our airport transfer service on arrival.

We usually require all students under 18 to book homestay accommodation through the college. Alternative arrangements where the student will have adult supervision, such as staying with a family friend, can be accepted provided we have written confirmation of the arrangements from the parents at the time of the enrolment.

The MET carefully recruits homestay hosts who meet British Council requirements. All homestays are inspected at least every 2 years by our Accommodation Coordinator. The MET will only place students under 18 in a homestay where the main carer has provided an Enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) certificate, which confirms suitability to work with children at their home address. The DBS also covers checks for anyone associated with that address. All homestays are required to provide two references of suitability to work with under 18s.

Students will be placed in a single room. Twin room accommodation is possible for students travelling with a friend of the same sex and similar age. The student is treated as part of the household and eat with their hosts in the evening. There will always be a responsible adult at home overnight.

The MET has strict curfew rules for students under 18. All homestay hosts are aware of the rules and will contact the emergency number if the student is not home on time. Our curfew times are 23.00 Sunday to Thursday and midnight on Friday & Saturday. The student must provide written permission from their parents if they wish to be absent from the homestay overnight.

Homestays provide breakfast and dinner every day. Lunch is not provided but we have a refectory and coffee cart, where students can buy snacks, drinks and lunch for a small price (around £2 for sandwiches and £4 for a full hot lunch). There are also lots of affordable shops and places to eat near the College. At weekends, students are expected to make arrangements for their own lunch. Parents should ensure that their child has sufficient money for lunch.

Students will usually need to use public transport to get to and from College. They will travel between homestay and school unsupervised. Their host will show them how to reach The MET on their first day. Parents should ensure that their child has enough money for public transport. A weekly student bus ticket for Brighton & Hove network is £13.75

The MET does not provide 24-hour supervision.
After class students are very welcome to join the school’s social activities, relax in the common areas, or use the Learning Resource Centre. Students will not be supervised during their free time but the College will give advice on how to stay safe during these times.

At the College
Students under the age of 18 will study in classes with adults and are expected to attend every lesson and must be on time.
Students under 18 cannot take holidays or days off without parental consent. If  students are absent from College we will try to contact them. If there is no response, the International Student Officer will check with the homestay and follow up until we are sure that the student is safe.

Social activities
The College provides a variety of optional social activities. These are a good way for students to socialise, experience Brighton and practise their English. Not all social activities are suitable for students under 18, but we do aim to offer a variety of activities that all students can join.

A social activity calendar is published every month and can be found on our Facebook page. All activities not suitable for students under 18 will be clearly marked. All social activities organised by the MET are supervised.
During term-time the MET offers a free sports programme that all students can join, with most activities taking place on campus.

For activities where the meeting point is not at the college, students will need to make their own way to the event unsupervised. After all activities, students will make their own way home unsupervised. For evening activities we strongly advise all students under 18 to travel back to their homestay with a friend or by taxi. Some social activities take place at the weekend but at all other times students will be unsupervised. The College suggests local events and activities for students to enjoy at the weekend.

The MET also recommends 2 local companies (Discovery Tours and UKStudy Tours) which organise full day weekend excursions for international students. These companies have carried out their own risk assessments and say they follow best practice in particular with regard to students aged 16 and 17. However, these students are treated as adults. Excursions organised by these companies are guided but there will normally be some time (2-3 hours) where the students will be unsupervised, for example to go shopping. These trips are not run exclusively for the MET and students can expect people of all ages from other local schools to attend.

Internet access
The MET provides all our students with free access to the internet and WiFi so that they can stay in contact with friends and family. Our servers are set to block content that is not suitable for under 18.

Care and support
The MET is committed to providing a safe, supportive environment for all students, and particularly for under 18s. All students receive a full induction on their first day, where key members of staff are introduced. The induction includes a tour of the building, information about the course, the college and Brighton and health and safety information.

All students are issued with a 24-hour contact number that they can call for any out-of-hours emergencies. Students under 18s will be reminded of the curfew times and general code of conduct agreed in the parental consent form. They will be given specific guidance on staying safe in the College and in Brighton and they will be made aware of who they can talk to if they need help.

All staff and students are required to wear college IDs, which are issued on the first day of school. Students are expected to wear ID badges visibly and we have security staff on campus who will check IDs on entry to the college.

The College has a safeguarding policy. All members of staff have received appropriate safeguarding and child protection training and know the procedures that should be followed if there is cause for concern. All homestay hosts receive relevant information and guidance on safeguarding young people and who to report concerns to.

All homestay providers who host students under 18 are required to provide a valid Enhanced DBS.

The International Department point of contact for under 18s is Anne Marie Queija, International Course & Welfare Officer.