Independent Schools Cultural Alliance - ISCA – Summer Programs in the UK

COVID-19 Policies


For 39 years we have prided ourselves on providing an exceptional experience for pupils and their families. ISCA is a family-run business with an emphasis on personal communication. Our personal support begins the moment you make your first enquiry with us and continues until your child returns safely home. We guarantee to respond to emails within 24 hours, 7 days a week.

To provide you with peace of mind, we have put together a package of measures and benefits when booking your 2022 programme with us. The situation is dynamic in the UK, meaning guidance constantly evolves and changes in line with the scientific data. The guidance outlined here has been prepared so that we could deliver our programme within current social distancing requirements.

UK rules and regulations are expected to change prior to next summer, and as they do, we will regularly update this guidance on our website. We shall carefully respond to the latest government guidance, and prioritise the wellbeing, safety and learning of all pupils. Should restrictions be further eased by the summer, we will update our measures, and inform you and your family of any changes.

COVID-19 Refund Promise

ISCA’s COVID-19 Refund Promise guarantees you will receive a full refund of all fees paid if UK government guidelines force the summer camp to be cancelled.

Safety Measures at our Campus, Charterhouse School

Charterhouse School operated as normal between September and December 2020 and throughout the Summer Term of this year. ISCA are in regular contact with Charterhouse, learning from their experience of best practice and suitable infection prevention control measures in a boarding school setting. Charterhouse’s experience, combined with ISCA following the UK government’s latest safety guidance and the BSA (Boarding Schools’ Association) COVID-SAFE Charter, makes us confident we can deliver a truly memorable summer camp experience in a safe and secure environment.

Specific policies that have been put in place include:

  • Additional hygiene and cleaning arrangements have been put in place, for example sanitisers in all boarding houses and communal areas, and regular cleaning of key touch points. Enhanced cleaning of all boarding houses and communal areas will also be in place.
  • Personal hand gel will be provided to all pupils as well as regularly scheduled handwashing throughout the day.
  • All of the public indoor spaces will be well ventilated.
  • Social distancing will be maintained, where appropriate, with a one-way system in operation in the centre of the campus.
  • Additional PPE in the form of masks and visors will be used where necessary.
  • Opportunity for all pupils and staff to raise any concerns.
  • Laundry will not be available, except in an emergency, for the 8-night programme.
  • ISCA are very clear that any bullying related to the pandemic will not be tolerated and will result in a warning, followed subsequently by removal from the programme.
Boarding House Bubbles

From the 19th July 2020, the UK government no longer recommends that it is necessary to keep pupils in consistent groups (or ‘bubbles’).

However, as part of our outbreak management plan, it may become necessary to reintroduce ‘bubbles’ for a temporary period, to reduce mixing between groups. In this instance, depending on the number of pupils registered for the trip, a number of boarding ‘bubbles’ will be established to reduce close contact between pupils. ‘Bubbles’ will be based on the layout of the boarding houses and, as a result, will be split by gender. Each ‘bubble’ will have single rooms in the same area of the boarding house and their own bathroom facilities. This then means that pupils within a boarding ‘bubble’ do not need to socially distance. ISCA staff will be placed within each boarding ‘bubble’, with access to their own separate bathroom.

Members of each ‘bubble’ will not be permitted to enter other boarding ‘bubbles’ (either in different boarding houses or in separated areas of the main boarding house). In addition, although social distancing rules do not apply within a ‘bubble’, additional COVID-related precautions will be taken at all times (e.g. hand hygiene, cough etiquette etc). The use of face coverings will be reviewed regularly, but pupils may wear face coverings at all times if they wish.

The use of these ‘bubbles’, with each ‘bubble’ separated, will facilitate social distancing in the dining areas, on coaches and during sight visits where group entry is required.

Single Rooms Only

Currently, sharing a room with someone from a different family is not permitted. Therefore, we have arranged with Charterhouse to ensure that all students are accommodated at the school in their own private bedroom. If you have siblings of the same gender attending the same course at the same time, please contact us if you would like them to share a room.

Testing on Arrival

All ISCA pupils will be tested on arrival, with staggered pre-bookable arrival times. The exact procedure will follow the latest technology available in August 2022. Currently, our advice is to use rapid lateral flow tests administered by trained staff. These will be administered on arrival, with parents/guardians remaining with their child in our socially distanced welcome area until the result is returned. Results will be returned within 30 minutes. All ISCA staff will also undergo the same testing procedure prior to students arriving. If a pupil or staff member tests positive they will not be able to enrol in the programme. In this scenario, ISCA will try to recover any and all monies we can to the pupil’s family. This will be done in a transparent manner, explaining costs we can and can’t recover.

A pupil or member of ISCA staff will be required to take a test and self-isolate during the programme if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • A temperature, fever or feeling feverish. This is defined as 37.8 or greater.
  • A new and continuous cough. As a guide, ‘continuous’ is coughing a lot for an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours.
  • Loss of sense of taste or smell.
  • A range of other symptoms that potentially indicate a COVID-19 infection has been identified, as advised by the Department of Health and Social Care.

If a participant has symptoms of COVID-19, parents/carers will be contacted and we will immediately carry out a fast test with our LFTs. If this is positive we will arrange for a confirmatory PCR test, with results available within 24 hours. During this time the participant will isolate in their room. If they are sharing a room, a single room will be made available for the other participant. Upon receiving a positive test, the current UK quarantine rules for those who test positive will be adhered to. As things stand, that is 7 days quarantine from the start of symptoms. Parents / Carers will be invited to collect their child from the trip or, if this is not possible, our two ISCA COVID Officers (one male, one female) will be able to interact with the participant whilst wearing a mask. Meals will be served in their room and entertainment options provided.

In the event of a positive COVID case, the pupil’s close contacts will have to take a lateral flow test, with permission from their parents / guardians. As of 16 August 2021 close contacts do not have to automatically isolate. Instead, we will carry out daily LFTs for all participants.

Regular Communication

You will be assigned a personal member of our team who will send you a daily update about your child and news from the programme throughout their stay. We will also be available to take your phone calls and answer your e-mails throughout the course.


Visiting famous cities and tourist destinations is a key part of our summer programme. We ensure that every sight we visit has implemented the correct Government and Public Health guidance to obtain the ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard and consumer mark.

Coach Travel

Our coach company, Safeguard Coaches, have been accredited as ‘Good to Go’ by Visit England.

The coaches are deep cleaned every day before the start of service, using virucidal fogging. This process permeates the entire vehicle air-conditioning system to reduce the chance of any infection recirculating.

Drivers clean touchpoints and exposed surfaces throughout the day. Drivers wear appropriate PPE and are temperature checked every day before starting a shift.

All passengers will be required to sanitise their hands before they get on and when they get off the coach. Face coverings will also be worn on board the coaches.

Coaches will be arranged to facilitate social distancing and will be filled from the back of the coach towards the front of the coach, and offloaded in reverse, to maintain social distancing.

Quality guaranteed

The ISCA Summer Camp should be a truly memorable experience for all our pupils. As such, we are taking steps to guarantee the quality of the experience, and ensure your child has the experience of a lifetime.

Rules and regulations can change quickly, which means some of the locations we traditionally visit on excursions or aspects of the social programme might change. Even so, we will ensure that you still have a great summer camp experience.

We have worked carefully with Charterhouse School to develop the very best COVID-secure programme based on their experience and will communicate any changes to the policies listed above as UK government guidance changes as we approach August next year.

Updated: 02/09/2021