Yes, our boarding provision is fully open. New boarders are welcome, and regardless of when they start at Highfield, they are given a friendly and thorough induction to the school and boarding school life. Our boarding children receive the highest levels of pastoral support and guidance as well as the support and friendship of a peer mentor to help them through their first weeks and months at Highfield.
The safety of the children remains our paramount concern and we continue to follow all the government advised protective measures against Covid-19, while providing a first-rate boarding education for every child, whether from the UK or overseas.
The following information provides details about our approach which we review and update as the guidance on Covid-19 evolves and according to the advice we receive from the Government Public Health England (PHE) and the Boarding Schools Association (BSA).
LAST UPDATED: 26th November 2021
Different travel rules apply depending on where you are travelling from, and whether you qualify as fully vaccinated in the UK.
Please check the up to date information on the government website. This page tells you what you must do before you travel to England and after you arrive.
As with all our planning over the course of the pandemic, the safety of the children remains our absolute priority and paramount concern, and we continue to work hard to ensure that our school community is as safe an environment as possible. Our objective is to ensure that the school remains open and runs smoothly, offering the children an education that is as rich, inspiring, and effective as possible, no matter what the necessary limitations.
Face coverings are discretionary and are no longer required to be worn by teachers, or pupils in Year 7 and 8, either in classrooms or communal areas, but they are recommended in enclosed and crowded spaces where pupils and teachers mix with people they do not normally meet.
Guidance also clearly states that they should be worn on designated school transport. Consequently, we recommend that pupils and colleagues wear face coverings whenever travelling on any minibus or coach.
All catering staff will wear face coverings in the Dining Room, as will the Nurses in the Health Centre.
As part of our efforts to quickly identify any asymptomatic COVID cases in school, children boarding in years 7 and 8 are requested to take a lateral flow test twice weekly.
Further to the change in regulations in the UK, close contacts will no longer be required to isolate if they have been double vaccinated or are under 18 years of age.
If a child becomes unwell with possible COVID-19 symptoms:
- International (or long distance) boarders who develop possible Covid-19 symptoms will be isolated in their appropriate designated isolation area, supervised by one of the nursing team, who will conduct a PCR test.
- Day children or local boarders will be collected from school as soon as possible, and parents will be asked to arrange a PCR test.
If a boarder tests negative: local children will recuperate at home and international (or long distance) boarders will be cared for at school, until their illness improves and they can return to normal school life.
If a boarder tests positive: they will continue to isolate for 10 days and close contacts from the 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms will be identified, and their parents will be advised to arrange a PCR test for them. Close contacts will not be required to isolate whilst awaiting the result.
Following the result of the PCR test, close contacts will either remain in isolation and be cared for at school, or be looked after by either their guardian or parents, if this is practical, until they have recovered and can return to lessons.
Although current guidance does not require it, we will maintain an internal Track and Trace process so that we are able to move quickly in the event of a positive pupil case.
Highfield has a Health Centre which is situated within the main boarding areas of the school building and is comprised of a nurses’ office and a resting room with beds and comfortable chairs. There is also a separate bathroom. Most importantly the Health Centre has a cosy, homely feel where children can recuperate and feel cared for.
The Health Centre is managed by our two qualified and experienced paediatric nurses. Both are passionate about the health and well-being of the boarders and all the children at Highfield and Brookham. They are on duty from 8.00am until 8.00pm, Monday to Friday and until 5.30 pm on Saturdays. They work closely with all staff, but especially the boarding team, to ensure that boarders receive excellent medical and pastoral care at all times.
The coronavirus pandemic presents us with extraordinary circumstances and an unprecedented level of uncertainty, which especially affects our families overseas. We completely understand the challenges for international parents trying to make plans. That's why we introduced our ‘Covid-19 Guarantee’.
- If, after paying your deposit, your child is unable to start at the school for a Covid-19 related reason, we will return your deposit, or allow you to defer your place (subject to availability). You will not be liable for the term’s fees.
- If attendance at the school is still subject to Covid-19 restrictions when they are due to start, and we are only able to offer your child remote teaching, you will be given the option to defer your place until they are able to attend in person.
Read more about our ‘Covid-19 Guarantee’.
The new streamlined process makes visa applications simpler and easier for all international students who wish to study at UK independent schools.
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens are able to study in the UK for less than six months without having to apply for a visa. For longer periods, you will need to apply for a 'Child Student Visa' under the new points-based immigration system.
To find out more about what visa you may need, please visit our Visa Information page.
Please also note that from 1st October 2021, a passport will be required to travel to the UK as EU Identity Cards will no longer be valid.
Register with Confidence - Covid-19 Guarantee
Our Covid-19 Guarantee means that if you are a family based overseas, you can register your child for a place at Highfield and Brookham, safe in the knowledge that you will not lose out financially if the Coronavirus Pandemic interrupts your plans. Read More...