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

COVID-19 Policies

All the policies listed below have been put in place to enable the programme to run from 17 May 2021, once international travel restrictions are lifted. We would expect guidance to change significantly between now and July 2022, and will update our guidance regularly.

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.

Additionally, the timing of our programme in July allows us to benefit from a seasonal drop in virus prevalence. In July 2020, there were 50 recorded positive cases (amongst a population of 126,000) in Waverley Borough where Charterhouse is located. In addition, the rural setting of our campus, combined with a focus on outdoor activities, minimises the risk of COVID-19 during our programme.

UK rules and regulations are expected to change prior to the 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

For those of you who choose to credit your 2020 booking to ISCA Global 2022, ISCA’s COVID-19 Refund Promise guarantees that if COVID-19 cancels the trip in July 2022 you will be able to receive at least the same refund, if not more, than you would receive if cancelling your programme today. Although the 30% deposit is legally non-refundable, we will always recover any and all monies we can in this scenario.

Safety Measures at our campuses

Charterhouse School and Cranleigh School operated as normal between September and December 2020. At the time of writing, the school is due to return to full boarding for the Summer Term 2021. ISCA are in regular contact with each school, learning from their experience of best practice and suitable infection prevention control measures in a boarding school setting. Their 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 pupils will be temperature checked daily.
  • 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.
  • Equipment used during campus activities / in the boarding house will not be shared between pupils, other than when appropriate cleaning has taken place.
  • 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

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 and staff 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. The exact procedure will follow the latest technology and requirements in July 2022. Currently, our advice is to use rapid lateral flow tests administered by trained staff. Results will be returned within 30 minutes. All ISCA staff will also undergo the same testing procedure prior to students arriving and will be vaccinated.

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.

Tests will be available through Public Health England and through our rapid-lateral flow testing capacity. Parents/guardians will be contacted if their child develops symptoms. ISCA will ask permission to conduct a test and, if positive, will supervise the pupil and cover any costs incurred, including rebooking flights and providing a chaperone if required.

In the event of a positive test, each member of the pupil’s bubble will be required to isolate for 10 days in line with current government guidance. This means the end of their programme. In this instance, all members of the bubble will be placed in isolation until they can be collected from the campus. At this point our COVID-19 financial cover will come into place, with a refund made depending on the total amount of time spent on campus. For example, if a bubble was to test positive after 4 nights of the 8-night programme, a 50% refund would be given.

Excursions

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 July.

Updated: 05/02/2021