Homestay Handbook 2024

Accredited by the British Council, member of English UK, Quality English, IALC, TEN, The International Education Forum and the IEA

Welcome to Beet

At Beet we believe in active learning. We help students improve their skills by using English to  communicate both in the classroom and in the ‘real’ world outside the classroom. We also emphasise the benefits of our students belonging to an international community and encourage them to make friends with people from as many different countries as possible. We choose our homestay families very carefully, both for the facilities you have to offer and, more especially, your ability to give the warmth and  welcome of a ‘home away from home’ feel. We encourage you to treat your student as a full member of the family, eating together and sharing the common living areas. Homestay families are asked to encourage their students to speak English as much as possible to support their learning and to better understand and adapt to the English way of life.

Welcome to Beet
Terms and Conditions & Legal Requirements
British Council Code of Practice for Homestay Providers:
Host Family Responsibilities
Booking & Payment Procedure
Prospective homestay requirements checklist 2023
Safeguarding Students aged 16 and 17 and Vulnerable Adults
What to do if …..?
Settling down - Culture Shock
The Magnificent 7...
BEET’s Hosting Advice!
Do’s and don’ts in the event of a major incident
Terms and Conditions & Legal Requirements

1. Accommodation is to include a single room (unless otherwise requested by BEET), breakfast, evening meals throughout the week, and full-board at weekends. Main meals must be eaten with the student(s).

2. There are to be no more than four students accommodated at one time in homestay accommodation, unless by special agreement with the students and BEET.

3. Private accommodation allows more students than four but there may be less contact with the host.

4. There are to be no other students who speak the same language living in the house, unless sanctioned by BEET.

5. Accommodation is provided subject to one week’s notice on either side without regard to the length of stay originally proposed.

6. When less than one week’s notice is given, payment will be made in lieu, except when a student has been removed due to breach of this contract or the British Council Code of Practice for Homestay Providers.

7. All money paid by BEET for any period after the week of notice or in addition to compensation in lieu of notice or both shall be returned in full to BEET within seven days of the end of the week of notice.

8. The daily rate of payment is one-seventh of the weekly rate.

9. No compensation is payable for cancellation or postponement prior to the proposed date of arrival of the student. Or if the student requires a visa and is refused. No compensation is payable should students be unable to travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We shall, however, try to replace the student as soon as possible.

10. When cancellation or postponement is advised after the proposed date of arrival, one week’s compensation will be paid except when a replacement is offered.

11. When a room is held during a student’s absence (for reasons of holiday, hospitalisation etc.) the weekly retention fee will be three sevenths of a week or pro rata. This applies to a period of a minimum of one week. The payment may be waived at the homestay provider’s discretion.

12. When an overpayment is made, the amount overpaid shall be returned in full to BEET immediately.

13. The homestay provider agrees to abide by the British Council Code of Practice for Homestay Providers (overleaf)

14. The homestay provider agrees to produce a copy of Landlord’s Gas Safety Record for all gas appliances in their home on request.

15. The homestay provider agrees that their homestay details may be passed to students and where applicable their handling agents. Such information may include name, address, telephone number, type of accommodation, occupation, age, hobbies, children, and other relevant details.

16. Everyone is encouraged to take the Safeguarding level 1 certificate, but anyone hosting under-18s now has to have it. Please note this is FREE of charge. Please Select Safeguarding Level 1 for Homestay Hosts. Please remember to save and/or print the certificate so you can forward it to BEET.

17. The homestay providers agree to read and accept the “PREVENT” guidelines and undertake free online PREVENT training. Please remember to save and/or print the certificate upon completion so you can forward it to BEET.

18. The homestay provider agrees to abide by the terms, conditions & legal requirements.

British Council Code of Practice for Homestay Providers:

✔ To encourage the student to speak English as much as possible in my/our home.

✔ To encourage the student to feel at home and to treat them as a member of the family rather than as a paying guest.

✔ Not to host a student of the same native tongue at the same time unless by special arrangement with both the students and their schools/centres.

✔ To provide a clean and comfortable student room meeting the physical requirements laid down by the British Council.

✔ To provide a home environment in which it is possible for the student to carry on their English studies properly.

✔ To provide the student with a balanced and appropriate diet.

✔ To show due concern for the welfare, safety, and security of the student during their stay.

✔ To give the student reasonable and regular access to a bathroom.

✔ To provide 1 load of laundry per week, along with bedding and towels done weekly.

✔ To maintain a close liaison with the student’s school/centre and so be in a position to help resolve any problems that the students may encounter during his/her stay.

✔ To respect the student’s different cultural background and to be sensitive to the particular needs of the student.

Covid Secure Procedures for Homestay

Covid-19 Secure

It is important that we all take extra measures when hosting students during these unprecedented times, for the sake of the students and your family.
We ask that everyone in the family and students wash their hands on entering and leaving the home. Preferably keep separate cutlery and crockery for the students use. All rooms in the house to be kept well ventilated.
The bedroom is to have tissues and sanitiser provided. Waste paper bins to be bagged and disposed of daily.
The bathroom to a have a place for the students toiletries a tray or bag, so not to share. Students to be provided with their own towel. Antibacterial wipes or cleaning products for everyone to use before and after use.

Bedding to be washed weekly as normal. Clothes to be washed regularly.
Try not to share anything that comes in to contact with your mouth. Try not to shake hands. Keep doors open where you can. Both you and the student to wear face masks when you are travelling in the car.

If your student is required to quarantine on their arrival. He/She must stay within the perimeter of your home and garden. They should not go out to the shops or park etc for the two weeks of quarantine. This doesn’t mean that you and your family can not go out. The student will require lunches to be provided during the week, and we will be paying an extra £25 per week for this extra service. During this time the student will be encouraged to take the online lessons provided.
If you or a member of your family are tested positive for Covid-19 then we are aware that the student will have to self-isolate with you in the home. You must inform BEET straight away. The student will then be able to continue their lessons online. If however, you are too unwell to keep your student with you, then we will move the student as soon as we have found alternative accommodation.

If your student contracts the virus they will need to self-isolate in their room for the two weeks and will continue with their lessons online. You will be asked to provide them with lunches and £25 extra will be paid for each week of isolation.
We recommend that you abide by the government guidelines on the website at the time.

Host Family Responsibilities

Students often experience difficulty in adjusting to the English way of life, especially when their English is low level or if they are non-Europeans. All help that can be given will be greatly appreciated and will often lead to lasting friendships later. The more the student feels part of your home environment, the easier the relationship becomes. BEET Language Centre has culture sheets available on certain nationalities and is always willing to discuss cultural differences and the “Culture Shock” problem.

The bedroom:
Apart from the normal furniture (bed, wardrobe etc.) this should generally contain a table or desk and chair for study. There should also be adequate lighting for this purpose. If a table and chair are not provided in the bedroom, there must be a suitable room made available where the student can study quietly. Bedrooms may not be shared except by special arrangement with the school.

This should be provided for a reasonable period in the student’s bedroom and place of study. Please bear in mind that many students do feel the cold and may require extra blankets or duvets.

You should provide a substantial and varied breakfast according to the student’s requirements, e.g. a choice of cereals, toast, boiled/poached egg, ham, cheese, yoghurt, fruit juice and tea/coffee. One other main meal of the day must also be given. This will be in the evening during the week, although students have been told that this meal may be offered at midday during the weekends. An additional light meal will be provided on Saturday and Sunday. You are not expected to provide “between meal” snacks. A packed lunch should be offered when your student is away on an all-day excursion at the weekend.

The main meal of the day should be taken with the family and should consist of a least two courses (e.g. main course and dessert). Meals should vary throughout the week and should be healthy and satisfying.

Key: Adult students will expect to have a key to the front door. Although a student is a paying guest, he or she is also a temporary member of the household and should, therefore, respect the internal rules of the home.

It is always advisable to make clear to a student any particular custom of the house, which perhaps has not been quite understood.

Baths: We ask that the student has regular access to the bathroom and a daily shower is considered normal.

Telephone: Students usually have their own mobile phones and smart phones.

Computers: Many of our students like to bring their laptops with them both to help them with their language practice and to keep in touch through the internet. All students should be allowed free access to your Wifi.

Executive Accommodation: A spacious, comfortably furnished bedroom is provided with exclusive use of a shower or bathroom and toilet facilities. Breakfast and evening meal (3 course evening meal accompanied by a glass of wine, beer, juices as appropriate) Monday to Friday; breakfast, a light lunch and evening meal on Saturday and Sunday A washing and ironing service will be provided.

Additional Charges:
No additional charges should be levied on a student without prior consultation with the school.

Under Government regulations medical treatment is free only to citizens of those countries in the EU, BUT ONLY WHEN THE NEED FOR TREATMENT ARISES DURING THEIR STAY IN ENGLAND. Treatment given at the Accident and Emergency Units in hospitals is not always free of charge Follow-up treatment has to be paid for if the student is not a member of an EU country.

Students have been strongly advised to obtain medical insurance before coming to England. Should your student fall ill, please contact your own NHS doctor. Please then advise us of the situation by contacting the emergency number out of office hours.

In cases of minor ailments, arrange for a visit to the local pharmacy. Please ensure that when medicines are prescribed the student has understood the dosage correctly and that the medicine is kept in a safe place.

Students with dental problems should either make an appointment with your own dentist or see the Accommodation Department, who will arrange an appointment with the local dentist.

Homestay hosts are NOT allowed to offer or administer any medicines to students.

If your student is staying longer than 6 months, we recommend that they are registered with the family Doctor and Dentist.

Please ensure at the start of their stay that you show all students the most suitable exit to take from the building in the event of fire. You will also need to complete and return the BEET Fire Risk Assessment form.

Income Tax:
You must by law inform HM Revenue and Customs of any earned income. There is now a “rental allowance” of £7500 per household IN ADDITION to any personal tax allowance. This means that you are able to earn £7500 gross from paying guests without paying any tax whatsoever. Any student income over the amount is taxed at your normal rate. If you do not receive any income from other sources your personal allowance is added to your rental allowance. Depending on your circumstances, you may have to complete a self-assessment form – please ask advice from the tax office. This is subject to alteration.
You can opt to pay tax on all income from students less expenses i.e. you must prove exactly how much money was spent on electricity, gas, food and entertaining. As the rental allowance is quite generous we suggest you choose the first option.

Please remember to advise your insurance company that you are accommodating students. If you do not tell your insurers that you have paying guests, your policy may be declared null and void in the event of a claim.

“If you receive benefits, depending on which benefits you

receive, you must keep the Jobcentre Plus office (meanstested benefits), pension service (pension credits) and Bournemouth Borough Council (Housing and Council Tax benefits) notified of your income from providing accommodation to students. Notification of income from homestay visitors, or any changes to income received, must be supplied to the benefit paying authority at once.” Revenue & Benefits Services, Town Hall, Bournemouth

Carbon Monoxide Alarm
It is requested that a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm should be fitted in any home that contains a fuel burning appliance like a boiler, and tested regularly to ensure that it is working.

Gas Safety Regulations
Homestays providing accommodation are classified as Landlords/Ladies under the Gas Safety Regulations (Installation and Use). These Regulations were introduced to ensure that all gas appliances in rented premises were modern and safe for tenant’s use.

Consequently, providing a room for anyone, including an international student, means you need to conform to the Regulations by ensuring that all boilers and central heating systems are installed and serviced under contract by “competent persons” only. Such work can only be done by businesses that are a member of the Association of Registered Gas Installers (ARGI).

A certificate should be obtained and a copy given to the school’s Accommodation Office on request.

As a Language School, we have a duty to inform all our employees and homestay families about PREVENT, which was introduced by the UK government as part of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015. Prevent is about safeguarding our students to keep them both safe and within the law. The Prevent duty is not about preventing students from having political and religious views and concerns. The government has defined extremism as ‘vocal or active opposition to fundamental British core values.’ The four fundamental British core values are:
1) Democracy
2) The rule of law
3) Individual liberty
4) Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different
faiths and beliefs and with those without faith.

As a homestay family for BEET and ITTC you, along with the staff at school, have a duty to be aware that vulnerable adults or children may be drawn in to extremism or are in danger of being radicalised. If you are aware of any student being drawn into any kind of terrorism as a consequence of radicalisation, then you need to report it, no matter how trivial your concerns may be. If you would like to gain more awareness, please access the PREVENT online course here. You will be given a certificate on completion, please email a copy to BEET and retain one for your records, thank you.
Your BEET Prevent Lead is Alison Yorke-Saville, you are able to contact her via phone: 01202 392522 or via email:

Booking & Payment Procedure

Payment Procedure
Payments are made via BACS straight into your bank account.

Payments are made on a weekly basis. The first payment is made on the first Saturday after the student arrives. Please report any discrepancies to the Accommodation Department as soon as possible in order for us to rectify the problem.

Change of Accommodation
We do allow changes of accommodation, but we require one week’s notice from the student and the homestay. If you require a student to be moved we would also ask that one week’s notice be given. Where no serious complaints have been made, we will endeavour to find a replacement wherever possible.

For more detailed information, as well as our rates of pay, please contact our accommodation team.

Temporary Absence/Student Holiday
Should your student be away from their accommodation for one full week or more by agreement, a room retention fee will be incurred (outside July & August) During the summer months full accommodation fees would be charged.

Christmas Holidays
During Christmas and New Year the school will be closed for 2 weeks; most students tend to return home during that time, a room retention fee is charged for that period. Some students however, choose to stay, in which case they will require full-board which you will be paid a one-off supplement for on top of the weekly rate.

Early or Late Departure or Arrival
The homestay department requires notification from the student/agent should arrival or departure be scheduled earlier or later than the specified dates/times; you will always be informed of any early/late arrival as it could also affect your payment.

In the event of a student having a late departure transfer, it is stipulated that you do not ask them to leave your home but to ensure they have somewhere comfortable to wait.

Prospective homestay requirements checklist 2024:

Have you provided us with the following documentation?

✔ Copy of Gas Safety Certificate

✔ Homestay provider bank account details

✔ Fire Risk Assessment

✔ Completed GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) form

✔ Two references for the main carer – one from a professional and one from a friend who can provide a character reference

✔ Declaration of Suitability from the main carer

✔ Declaration of Suitability from anyone else in the household who is over 16 years of age

✔ Copy of PREVENT certificate

✔ Copy of Safeguarding certificate

✔ If you require a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, we can apply for you but there may be an extra cost for this service. For this, you will need to provide us with:

✔ your passport

✔ Driving licence

✔ A utility bill

✔ Signed consent form declaring your approval for us to apply for you

Safeguarding Students aged 16 and 17 and Vulnerable Adults

91% of BEET Language Centre students are aged 17 or over, and 9% are 16.

Homestays who have agreed to accommodate 16- and 17-year-olds are subject to rules and regulations, which are as follows:

Any members of your household who are over the age of 16 must complete a Child Act declaration form. DBS checks for the main carer (aged 18 or over) must be in place before a 16 or 17-year-old student can be placed with you.

Please note that BEET does not organise police checks for students. When booking under-18 students, we will advise you of their date and time of arrival, including transfer details.

Students under 18 need to be in their homestay by 23.00 hours Sunday to Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday. They are to call or text if they are to be any later. They are also expected to call school if they are not able to attend school or going to be late for any reason.

They will have a Safeguarding meeting with the Senior Accommodation Officer on their first day, and receive advice on what is allowed in England and what is not. They will also have a weekly meeting with the Safeguarding Officer throughout their stay.

Providing homestay accommodation for an under-18 student places restrictions on the ages of other students you may accommodate. This would be discussed when students are placed with you.

Identifying abuse
It can be difficult to identify abuse as it has various forms. Below are some typical indicators to watch for:

unexplained injuries; another student telling you of their concern about a fellow student; sexually explicit behaviour in games/activities; serious distrust of adults or other students; difficulty in making friends / socialising with other students; personality changes and behavioural changes; changes in dress which may be covering up bruises etc.

How to react if you suspect abuse. Remain calm, accessible and receptive, listen carefully without interrupting, communicate with the student in a way that is appropriate to their age, understanding and preference – this is especially important for disabled students. Be aware of the non-verbal messages you are giving; make it clear that you are taking them seriously, their courage and reassure them that they are right to tell, reassure them that they should not feel guilty, let them know that you are going to do everything you can to help them and what may happen as result. Do not promise to keep the information a secret.

Procedure to follow if abuse is suspected
If you have any concerns about the welfare of a 16– or 17-year-old BEET student staying in your home, please contact Alison Yorke-Saville without delay: / 01202 397721 / 397609 or on the emergency out of hours number 07729 164998. The Safeguarding Officer will take appropriate action, which may involve external agencies and contacting parents/guardians.

All homestay families hosting students under the age of 18 are required to complete our  FREE Online Safeguarding Certificate Upon successful completion, please print and return a copy to BEET, thank you in advance.

What to do if .....?

Please contact the Accommodation Department. It is normally not acceptable for students to be left alone in your home overnight.

On their arrival you should ask if your student has any food likes or dislikes, as this should encourage the student to eat with you. It may be that they are unsure of what they are eating and in some cases this may need explanation (gravy for instance). Please contact the Accommodation Department if this is cause for concern.

Most of our students travel individually. Where we have arrival details, we will inform you. We do ask that students contact homestays with arrival details via email or text. Please look out for your student’s message. Please do not use the emergency number for arrival details.

This depends on your own house policy. Many students cook amazing food from their own country. Whatever your policy, please explain it to the student. We ask that students be allowed to make tea and coffee.

We have a number of information sheets (available on request) for different nationalities. Please contact the Accommodation Department should you have specific questions.

Students who attend BEET all have different levels of English. Where possible, speak slowly or in some cases write things down, as students can sometimes understand the written word, rather than the spoken word. Many students are extremely nervous at first, but you should find in a short time that they are feeling more relaxed and will communicate more easily.

We would advise that your address should not be attached to the house keys. It would be reasonable to ask your student to pay for a replacement key.

Settling down - Culture Shock

Culture is something that is learned – it is not natural behaviour or inborn. What is considered normal and polite in one country may be regarded as rude or even illegal in another. Culture is how we perceive aspects of everyday life in our own country: food, housing, religion, government, family life, attitudes to law and order and even celebrations. We hope that students will avoid embarrassing situations by learning as much as possible about life in the UK before they arrive but it is important for us to understand their beliefs. If you require information about certain nationalities then please contact the school and we can either offer a fact sheet or verbally explain the do’s and don’ts for certain nationalities. We do not wish to encourage stereotyping, but there are often cultural details that will help you to make a student feel at home as they need to know that their beliefs and needs are appreciated and respected. Our students are sent an information leaflet before they arrive (similar to the Information Leaflet for Homestays but from the student’s point of view) and are able to visit our website to access the current Student Guide covering details of what to expect at school and in the family. Information is also provided about excursions, places of interest, places of worship, and most importantly, how to behave!

Your student will learn by observation and will hopefully come to terms with living in a different environment very quickly. However, the following “pointers” may be of some use and we would be grateful if you would assist your student as much as possible.

Please do encourage your student to talk and to practice their English, asking them to tell you how they react to different experiences. Try to start the conversation yourself – many of the students will be too shy to begin a discussion.

Ensure that they take advantage of informal social occasions so that they can meet more English people. For example, they should be encouraged to attend the School’s social events and excursions. If interested they can pursue their own hobbies. The School can help them register with local clubs.

Encourage them to talk to local people, even just a few words every day. Let them become aware of our non-verbal forms of communication and our body language.

Our out-of-office emergency number is 07729 164998; this number is for genuine emergencies which cannot wait until our office is open.

Our Accommodation Department are here to help and advise!

Alison York-Saville
Accommodation & Welfare Manager, Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
Millie Hendy
Accommodation & Welfare Officer
Andrew James
Accommodation & Welfare Officer
The Magnificent 7... BEET’s Hosting Advice!

1. Being friendly is the key to a happy relationship with your students – a ‘friendly’ host family is top of the list of requests when students are researching their stay.

2. Students will often contact their family before they arrive; if you’re expecting a student, please ensure you check your ‘junk mail’ as sometimes messages do go astray – having a friendly response from a host family can make ALL the difference to a student’s stay.

3. Treat your students as part of the family! Students genuinely enjoy spending time with their families, their experience with you is one they’ll remember forever! Eating dinner together and having a chat in the day can make a huge difference to their time here.

4. Ensure you and your student exchange phone numbers when they arrive to make contacting one another easy.

5, When your student arrives, please give them a few helpful pointers such as how to locate bus stops, how to access timetables, show them where the local shops are, and of course how to get to BEET!

6. Please inform us of any changes to your living circumstances: people living in your home or renovations you might be commencing.

7. We know how frustrating it can be for families to receive last-minute changes or cancellations to your bookings but please understand that these are made due to circumstances outside our control. We do everything possible to ensure you are happy too!

Do’s and don’ts in the event of a major incident.

We cannot predict what type of incident may occur. However, here are some basic principles which would need to be adapted to suit a given situation.
In the event of an explosion, for example, gas main in the street or a VBIED (Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device) detonating in a nearby location:

• Do not evacuate your house
• Students should be strongly discouraged from travelling towards the location of the event (once the location is known)
• Tune a radio to BBC Radio Solent for public service messages
• Monitor the news on BBC, Sky TV etc.

In the event of a security emergency, such as a firearms or weapons attack,
Of course, such events are extremely unlikely, however, in such circumstances, the Government has provided guidelines for the most effective course of action:

If such major security incidents happen at or affect the school, homestays and students will be contacted via email with appropriate instructions to follow.

Where to find us

BEET Language Centre

Nortoft Road, Charminster, Bournemouth,

Dorset BH8 8PY United Kingdom

Tel 01202 392522 / 01202 397721 Fax

Email /

Emergency Phone Number: 07729164998