I have been thinking about boarding schools for a while now, wondering how to broach the subject, as it seems to be one that needs addressing. This is all the more important, as there is one aspect that is not being discussed at all:-
Boarders don’t come from homes with loving parents!
The subject is of particular interest to me, for I was one of the more fortunate ones who avoided boarding school altogether. I should explain a little of the background to that.
Back in the days when we had REAL grammar schools, at about 13 years of age I was informed about an opportunity to sit an examination for entrance to Eton.
Passing the exam would have meant a Bursary which would have presumably taken care of some or all of the expenses. (I can’t be more specific about that, as I never bothered to find out).
I think I must have informed my parents about it, but I had no intention whatsoever of sitting the exam. I knew that there was a system of “Fagging” in operation at such schools, and I was absolutely determined that I would never be anyone’s “fag”!
Blood would be spilled before that happened!
I would mention in passing that I had experienced a separation from my family at a much younger age, with nearly disastrous consequences, and I was not about to repeat the experience.
Recently there has been a spate of articles about the effects of boarding schools on children. I will refer you to only three of them:-
“Boarding School“, from the person that coined the term “Boarding School Syndrome”
“Campaign urges boarding schools to stop taking young children”
“The boarding school and the damage done”
Note the following extract from the last article in the above list:-
“I was glad enough to go to boarding school. My father’s family had a history of leaving home early and thereafter not having a great deal to do with one another. Maybe I had a bit of that in me. I had been at odds with my mother over religion since childhood and the dispute was escalating. I was never homesick once during the six years I was there.”
The problem is being perpetuated by those drawn into its net. Children of boarders are much more likely to be sent to boarding school themselves, but they may well see it as a logical step, or even a welcome relief.
Why do I think that the whole practice is deplorable?
Boarding schools are commonly the starting point for a career in politics, and are likely to lead to “career politicians” that never go away. This is disastrous for any democratic country, for with such people in control, Democracy is warped and distorted out of all recognition.
This is why we have such a problem in the UK at the moment:-