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Legal Considerations

Most schools insist that all overseas students under the age of 18 must have a guardian in this country to assume responsibility for them while they are studying in the UK. Indeed, some insist that a nominated UK guardian is provided for all overseas students for their duration of stay at the school.

There are a number of legal procedures that must be considered and adhered to, where necessary. These include:

  • Data Protection Act (1998) to ensure that data relating to students above the age of 12 is not released to any third party without their consent.
  • Children Act (1989) contains information about the responsibilities of the natural parents (whether married or divorced), despite the fact that they have delegated the responsibility to Guardians while their child is studying away from home.
  • Human Rights Act (1998) covering a wide variety of issues such as discrimination, respect for others, cruelty, resolution of complaints and religion.
  • Legal rights of a student including privacy and confidentiality. Rights are dependent on the age of the student, however, and may be over-ridden in some circumstances.
  • Child Protection Laws covering such issues as:
    • Sexual Offences Act (2000) especially with relation to the abuse of a position of trust.
    • Children Act (1989) as relevant to the care provided both in the school or college and within homes during the holidays.
    • Special Needs and Disability Act (2001) stating that no discrimination is allowed against students for reason of their disability.
    • Education Regulations (2000) regarding Employment which prohibits certain people from working with children if they are deemed unsuitable to do so.

OPDS maintains vigilance on all the above matters and attempts, as far as possible, to ensure that compliance with all issues is achieved at all times.


OPDS is a wholly accredited member of Aegis, the Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students.  As such, we offer the highest levels of care including well documented procedures and detailed record keeping.


40c Waddington Avenue
Old Coulsdon, Surrey CR5 1QF UK
Tel: 00 44 20 8660 8869



28G Tower C, Oriental Kenzo Plaza
No. 48 Dongzhimen Wai Street
Dong Cheng District
Beijing 100027, China
Tel: 00 86 10 8454 9302/03