Henry Pike appointed Pippa’s Guardians Summer School Director


Earlier this year Pippa’s Guardians announced the launch of our first Summer school, which takes place this July in Malvern. We are delighted and excited to announce that Henry Pike has joined the team at Pippa’s Guardians as our new Summer School Director. Henry is a very experienced teacher, having worked for the last six years teaching Economics and Business at A level at two very prestigious Somerset Schools - Downside School, near Bath and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bristol – two leading independent boarding schools where he was awarded outstanding teacher status. Henry has also been Director of Cricket and has coached rugby and football, at both of these schools and also as part of intensive sports coaching summer schools which he helped to set up and expand in Taunton. Henry lives with his partner Evie in Bath and is passionate about developing Pippa’s Guardians Summer School programme.

Henry Pike


Henry said: “At Pippa’s Guardians, with years of experience working with International Students, we are uniquely placed to run an excellent Summer School which can really impact positively on students who are coming to the UK to study – we know and understand the difficulties they can experience starting at school and the Summer School will equip them with the tools to make their new educational life a success – while having a really fun and engaging time.”

Pippa’s Summer School runs from July 16th to July 29th at The Elms School in Malvern and offers pupils aged 9 to 14 a fully immersive two week learning experience through a wide range of inspiring, creative and cultural activities while at the same time providing a perfect introduction to studying in the UK.

All the details of the Summer School can be found on our website page here: http://www.pippasguardians.co.uk/summer-school/


Pippa's Guardians Parent Survey 2016

Experienced, professional, cooperative, caring, reliable and supportive are all words used by our parents to describe Pippa’s Guardians in response to our Parent Survey in 2016.

Each year we carry out the survey to ensure that our very high standards of guardianship are being maintained across the whole of our company – we are delighted to say that the feedback was overwhelmingly excellent again - 99% of our parents who were surveyed said they were happy or extremely happy with our services and our communication was lauded by parents as 100% effective.

But statistics and percentages cannot do justice to the wonderful comments and praise we have received from our parents. In the survey, parents were asked how they came to choose Pippa’s Guardians – 85% of parents said it was on the recommendation of other parents, friends, schools or educational agents.

Ben Hughes, Pippa’s Guardians managing director, said: “I am very proud of the extremely positive praise we have received following this year’s survey – our role is to create a strong working relationship between our parents, their child, the school and the host family – making sure your child is safe, supported and encouraged. The Pippa’s difference lies in our values. We go the extra mile because we care – not just because it’s our job.”

The full results of the survey are available on our website at pippasguardians.co.uk/parent-survey-results-2016.


The team at Pippa's Guardians described as experienced, professional, cooperative, caring, reliable and supportive.


Pippa's Guardians in Asia this Spring

Recently Pippa’s Guardians Managing Director Ben Hughes spent nearly three weeks touring Asia – meeting existing and prospective parents in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Taipei, Singapore, Bejing and Shanghai.

This extensive trip gave Ben the opportunity to personally meet many of our current students’ parents and to speak to prospective parents who are currently planning to send their sons and daughters to boarding school in the UK in September. It also gave Ben opportunity to visit some of the agencies we work directly with including Britannia Studylink and British Education who share the same values and approach to caring for our students.

Building on a particularly strong year for enrolments at Pippa’s Guardians, Ben said:” I am thrilled to say that we were extremely well received by both parents and agents alike – it was a delight to meet so many parents who were extremely complimentary about Pippa’s Guardians and in particular our Area Managers, who are our direct link with parents and students, and the exceptional work they do to care for our students.

Probably the most enjoyable part was meeting nervous families and confidently reassuring them that we are here to take very good care of their children while they study in the UK. It really does bring it home how much we are relied upon by overseas families and what an honour and a privilege it is to do our work and provide this invaluable service. For new families, I explained how we would look after their child and I could see the relief in their faces – it was extremely satisfying.”

Ben was host at two Pippa’s Guardians receptions, which took place in Bejing and Shanghai, where the meeting took place on the top floor of the Hilton – both were extremely well attended.

Ben added: “Pleasingly we already have many new registrations for the new academic year. I am immensely proud of the way in which we look after our students and we are genuinely the market leader for Guardianship services in the UK.”



New Area Manager for Berkshire

With the start of the new year, we have a new appointment at Pippa’s Guardians and are delighted to welcome Debbie Bellenger as our new Berkshire Area Manager.

Debbie lives in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire and has been working for the last 14 years as an Admissions Registrar in both day and boarding independent schools, including the prestigious Wycombe Abbey. Wycombe Abbey, with whom Pippa’s Guardians has a long-standing professional working relationship, has a rich international mix of pupils with a strong reputation in the Far East, including pupils from Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Japan.

Debbie’s background working with international families from all over the world, means she has an excellent understanding of the needs and concerns of boarders and their families and just how vital it is for families to have a friendly, welcoming and caring individual to whom they can come for help and advice when needed.

Debbie said: .  “During my time at Wycombe I met with many overseas families, mainly from Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Russian but also some from Europe and Eastern Europe.  I enjoyed the cultural diversity, and working with families to ensure a smooth transition for their children coming to study overseas.  As the first point of contact most families had with the school, I was usually the person they would come to with their questions about boarding school life and what they could expect, and I was always keen to support both the student and their families in demystifying the British boarding school education system for them.”

“I knew of Pippa’s Guardians from my time at Wycombe Abbey, as they were responsible for a number of girls there, and when I saw the role of Area Manager advertised, I was keen to apply, as I thought that my experience as a Registrar would suit me well for the role. I am really looking forward to meeting my new students and their families.”

Ben Hughes, Pippa’s Guardians MD, said: “We are excited to welcome Debbie and looking forward to working with her – she brings a wealth of experience working with international students and their families and is a fantastic asset to our Pippa’s team of Area Managers.”

Debbie and her partner Ciaran, a Maths and Psychology teacher, have three daughters and a son, who are all now grown up, and four grandchildren. They also have a Border Terrier called Tiggy!

Launch of Pippa’s Guardians’ Summer School 2017

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our first Summer School which takes place this July in the beautiful setting of The Elms School in Malvern, Worcestershire.

Pippa’s Summer School offers pupils aged 9 to 14 a fully immersive two week learning experience through a wide range of inspiring, creative and cultural activities while at the same time providing a perfect introduction to studying in the UK.

MD Ben Hughes explains: “With over 20 years of experience working with overseas families, we are uniquely placed to offer this wonderful experience for your child. Our Summer School will help familiarize students with boarding school life, assist them with their English language skills and immerse them in British culture and history.”

Pippa’s Summer School runs from July 16th to 29th at The Elms School in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Pippa’s Guardians has forged a close relationship with The Elms over many years of caring for international students at this warm and inviting school. As well as being very near to our head office in Malvern, the children of our managing Director Ben Hughes attend this school and Ben’s wife, Louise, teaches there. Students will get a wonderful insight into life at a British boarding school while studying here and also the chance to widen their horizons while making friends with students from all over the world.

The school has wonderful facilities, which are all utilized by Pippa’s Summer School, including an indoor heated swimming pool, extensive sporting facilities and a theatre as well as extensive grounds. Uniquely, this lovely school has its own farm, complete with a prize-winning herd of Hereford cattle, traditional English Gloucester Old Spot pigs, free range chickens and a whole host of horses and ponies – horse riding activities will be included in the summer school for those students who would like to take part.

Under the direction of our own team of teachers and Pippa’s Guardian’s support staff, pupils taking part in the Summer School will take advantage of a personalized programme of learning, designed to boost their English language skills and encourage their confidence in speaking, reading and writing in English. As well as English lessons, your son or daughter can take part in our extensive range of sporting and artistic activities. These football, swimming, tennis, hockey and rounders, as well as music, singing, dancing, drama, art and crafts. There is something to appeal to all pupils and the chance to try new things!

At the same time, pupils will stay with our wonderful network of host families, who will introduce them to British family life, food and customs – a truly unique experience for your son or daughter and one where they will make, we are sure, many happy memories. This is a great introduction to another feature of boarding school life – as nearly all of the students we look after at Pippa’s Guardians stay with our host families, who are all welcoming and caring families, fully vetted in accordance to the highest safeguarding standards of AEGIS, our governing body.

While here in the UK, pupils will also get the opportunity to take part in some wonderful historical and cultural visits, including trips to Oxford University, Cheltenham College and Warwick Castle. There is even a visit to the extremely popular Warner Brother’s Harry Potter Studios Tour! At the end of the Summer School pupils will come together to recognize their achievements and celebrate their new friendships.

For more details on how to book a place on our Pippa’s Summer School, please contact Ben at [hide_email email="ben@pippasguardians.co.uk"] or WeChatID ben_hughes

All the details of the Summer School can be found on our website page here: http://www.pippasguardians.co.uk/summer-school/

Pippa’s Guardians Autumn Term News

Our new Host Family Handbook
Our new Host Family Handbook

This term has been very busy at Pippa’s Guardians. Over the summer we held our company annual conference, when all our Area Managers and our Office Team get together in Malvern. This is always a stimulating and interesting two-day event, where as a company we share best practice and continue to strive for excellence in all aspects of Guardianship. We launched our new Host Family Handbook – an in-depth guide for all our wonderful host families, including sections on what to expect when hosting our students and student safety. At the same time, we also launched our new ICE card scheme – this is designed to ensure our older students always have contact details for their host families and Pippa’s Guardians, in the unlikely event they lose their phone or need help while they are out independently.

During the school holidays, we also launched the first of our brand-new Integration Seminars, designed especially for Pippa’s Guardians students to help equip them for success at their UK boarding schools. The course, which will run again in the Summer of 2017, is designed to provide a strong foundation of information and skills for international student’s pre-entry to UK boarding schools. This is paramount for students to maximize their skills and to thrive both academically and personally. Its aim is to bridge the integration gap between international students and school, addressing the nature of expectations, education in the UK and the importance of social as well as academic prowess. Students who take the course, gain a better understanding of the British education system, which helps to place them in a strong position to become fully integrated members of the school community, to settle happily into all aspects of life as a UK Boarder and to get the most out of their studies.

The Beale family meet Jonathan and his family
The Beale family meet Jonathan and his family

At the start of the Autumn Term, we welcomed back our existing students and also our new students, who join the Pippa’s Guardians family from all over the world. Many of our students and their families also get to meet their host families at the same time and this is one of the most rewarding parts of our work. It is lovely to see the warmth of welcome our host families give to our International students and a joy to see this relationship grow over the course of the year as our students visit in the holidays.

Alfie and his host family daughters, Winifred and Nellie.
Alfie and his host family's daughters, Winifred and Nellie.

At Pippa’s Guardians, we also welcomed our New Area Manager for Kent – Nicky Lee-Browne. Nicky, who graduated from Cambridge University, has a background in publishing, working as an editor and author of children’s non-fiction books. She more recently worked for Rydal Penrhos School in North Wales, were she worked as a Registrar. She has extensive experience of life in boarding schools as her husband was a head teacher at Rydal, and before that taught at Rugby, King’s Canterbury and Clifton College. She has also worked as a tutor and has a good understanding of the needs and priorities of boarders and their parents. Nicky’s husband is now Principal of Kent College Dubai and they have two teenage children who attend Kent College in Canterbury.

Nicky Lee-Barber looking after our students in Kent
Nicky Lee-Browne looking after our students in Kent