Who we are

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The Guardian Family Network

The Guardian Family Network offers guardianship support to overseas students at UK independent boarding schools.

Working relationship

We have excellent relationships with several partners across the world, dedicated to helping to provide a high level of service to our clients. We communicate in a timely manner liaising between our partner agencies, schools and guardians to ensure that our students receive the best academic and pastoral support whilst they are studying in the UK.

Peace of mind

Our bespoke services include production of financial estimates and statements, payment of school bills and other associated costs, making travel arrangements, assistance with purchasing of school uniform and handling of day to day issues occurring within normal school life. This allows parents to have complete peace of mind whilst their son or daughter is studying in the UK.

  • siobhan skaife

    Siobhan Skaife


Siobhan was educated at independent schools from nursery through to the Sixth form, attending a boarding school from the age of 11 to 18.  She then went on to Bath University where she graduated with a degree in Applied Physics.

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Afterwards she commenced a career in Sales and Marketing where Siobhan spent 10 years gaining experience in both Retail and Foodservice. She has always loved children and has volunteered at her daughters schools since they were young.  Both girls are now grown up, one having just graduated from University and the other is currently studying for her A levels.

Siobhan has been a guardian for over 9 years, finding the experience very rewarding and managing to juggle between this commitment and her job.  “Being a guardian brings a great deal of happiness as your children grow with an understanding of other cultures combined with a strong study ethos that students from overseas bring.”

She has worked in various capacities for the Guardian Family Network and further to purchasing the business in May 2016, Siobhan is now the Managing Director with responsibilities to include the finances, marketing and the recruitment of guardians. Every day is different at The Guardian Family Network, which provides an exciting and interesting challenge to the team.

Siobhan is our designated safeguarding lead and can be contacted on 07961 490673.


    Emily Cavender Dengel

    Guardianship Services Manager

Emily Cavender Dengel


Having worked in Independent Schools for over fifteen years in a variety of key roles, including a stint of five years as resident Head of Boarding & Pastoral Care and Safeguarding & Welfare Officer at a Preparatory Boarding School.

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Emily’s passion has always been for helping children develop and reach their full potential by whatever means are accessible to them.

Starting out as a nanny in the South East immediately upon leaving School, Emily moved to London where the slower, friendlier pace of the rural South West soon called her home, where she discovered her natural talent for management across the Education sector.

Now happily based back in the South West near to her family, Emily lives with her husband and three daughters, where she continues to add to her growing list of qualifications in her spare time and is currently working towards an MBA.

Emily brings a vast array of experiences, an eye for administrative efficiency and a genuine passion for the education of children to The Guardian Family Network.

Emily is our deputy designated safeguarding lead and can be contacted on 07539 021684

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    Charmaine Melrose

    Book Keeper

Charmaine Melrose


After having two lovely daughters Charmaine decided to re-train as a bookkeeper so that she could work around caring for two young children.

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Her bookkeeping business in now in its fifteenth year and she still gets enormous satisfaction from supporting small-sized businesses and seeing them grow year on year.
Both her girls have been educated in independent schools, giving her an understanding of their workings and expectations.

Charmaine has been The Guardian Family’s bookkeeper for seven years and is now more involved with supporting their administration team as it continues to grow.

  • John Dengel

    John Dengel

    Travel Coordinator

John has spent most of his working life in direct sales most recently in the motor industry working for brands such as Audi, VW and Kia. He has had various roles which included sales and marketing and distribution.

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Having also worked for a wholesale supplier to London Heathrow Airport he has good knowledge of the airport layout and surrounding area. This is invaluable when dealing with transport providers and appreciating the difficulties that may arise from time to time within the airport itself.

John worked for several years in Independent Boarding as a resident House Parent and knows first-hand the challenges of ensuring students are safely moved in and out of the UK.  With a keen eye for detail and intimate knowledge of the commitment need to guarantee the safety and wellbeing of the students, John is ideally suited to provide the transport link between homestays, the student, their family, and the school.

John is responsible for the logistics of moving our students around the country matching taxis and school transport to flights and planning the bespoke , sometimes last minute arrangements according to each students requirements.

Married to Emily he brings a wealth of experience and a fresh dynamic to the team.

  • Jane Whear

    Jane Whear

    Guardianship Services Assistant

Educated at an independent girls’ school in Brighton and having experienced working life in many different sectors and moving around the UK Jane settled in the south west and began working in the Admissions Department at a local boarding school.

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Jane soon discovered that she really enjoyed working with parents and their children and has built up 20 years’ experience in boarding school admissions for a number of well-known schools in the south west.  Believing in delivering high quality customer service and focusing on attention to detail is an important aspect in her day to day work.

Jane is married with two sons who will hopefully be heading towards attending University soon.   During her time off Jane enjoys anything equestrian having been a keen rider herself and also a qualified riding instructor.

Jane brings her administrative skills and school based work experience to offer our homestay families, students and their parents her support and assistance.

  • Linda Millington

    Linda Millington

    Guardianship Marketing Executive

Linda Millington


With a father in the Royal Air Force, Linda’s school education gained its military wings as a five-year-old, with enrolment at RAF Changi in Singapore, complete with ‘chair bag’ and remembering to take off her shoes on exiting the school bus during the monsoon.

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After graduating at The University of Bath with a degree in European Studies (French and Italian languages), she went on to join the RAF and travel extensively, gaining a rich experience of life abroad and building on her knowledge of languages through her work in Russian.  Forces life led to marriage with two children and a home in Somerset, where Linda then returned to university to study for a PGCE and to begin a career in teaching modern languages.  She has taught across the age range of students from 3-18 throughout schools in the South West, gaining invaluable reward from working with young people and helping them to build confidence and ownership of their learning.

Now settled in the South Somerset countryside, Linda enjoys the opportunity to be outdoors: walking or running for sport and working in her garden which now proudly boasts 5 additional trees since she moved in and many new plants – including a lavender hedge which, once the bees have finished, is offered to the local residents in bunches.

As part of the GNet team, Linda’s responsibilities include the recruitment of host families and liaison with independent schools and international educational agents, to help build a package of homestay and school care for our students as members of our Guardian Family Network.  Linda will be working to ensure students will feel happy in a ‘home from home’ environment with their host family, where there is additional opportunity to add to their rich experience of their life in the UK.

Interested in any of our services?