Ah, bureaucracy, sucking the fun out of life! Does anyone else agree that making host families (every member of them) have an enhanced CRB check before allowing them to play host to a foreign exchange student might make it more and more difficult to convince parents to take part? CRB checks are time consuming and frustrating, but a necessary part of working with children. You don’t need one to be a parent or to have a family, and that’s why you go on an exchange, to live with a family. I can also see a battery of fussy parents insisting that if they have to have a CRB check then the families hosting their children should have something similar. The hassle just means that schools will find it too difficult to difficult to do and they’ll stop doing it!
I personally loved my exchanges, they taught me that these languages we slogged away at school at are not just useless lessons, but that people really did speak them. They taught me to love German breakfasts, French wine, German beer and French music. They taught me that the French spoke in France and the German in Germany have as many regional varieties as the English we speak here. The Guardian points out the many different experiences that would be missed out on by the next generation, should Exchanges go the way of the Dinosaurs.