Of all the various questions that parents find themselves becoming stressed over, few of them divide people’s opinions more strongly than the issue of, “Should I send my child to a boarding school?”
However many articles parents read, websites they look at or people they talk to, in the end this will always be a decision that they have to make for themselves.
Make a decision and stick with it
We would strongly recommend, therefore, that whatever you decide, it’s important that the decision is one you feel comfortable over, and one you can stick to.
This may therefore mean that you may need to close your ears to naysayers and various people trying to get you to change your mind.
What works for them might not sit well within your family’s life and who knows whether they’d even do what they might suggest you should do, if they were in identical circumstances to you.
When meeting with parents we cover this question in much more detail, however, so as to help you to put some shape to your thoughts, here are seven reasons why you should send your child to boarding school.
Separately & perhaps confusingly too, in separate articles we’ll also discuss:
- 7 reasons why you shouldn’t send your child to an independent boarding school
- 7 reasons why you should send your child to an independent day school, and
- 7 reasons why you shouldn’t send your child to an independent day school
We appreciate, however, that even after reading each of these articles you may still be none the wiser, we trust that you’ll have a better understanding of what you do want, or don’t want, for your child’s education.
And with that in mind here are seven reasons in favour of sending your child to boarding school.
1. They’ll be immersed into a close community of supportive learners
Boarding school students become members of a strong academic community that respects learning.
Their boarding day isn’t restricted and constricted by commutes to and from school and as such it’s possible to fit additional work or prep in around rest time, sporting activities and clubs.
Living in an environment where everyone is focused on learning can be very stimulating and can drive students to give their best, leading to great work and results.
2. Boarding school fosters independence
Attending boarding school develops your child’s self-reliance and helps to introduce them to the idea of being away from home.
Many students who go onto university find that they can transition into university campus life much easier having already spent time as a boarding.
Their boarding school experience also equips them with a selection of social skills that will help them when they begin in their chosen career path.
Pupils learn to take their turn in doing various boarding house tasks, such as collecting papers, taking clothes out to the laundry & helping younger years with various duties.
In their early years they learn to take direction from older pupils and as they progress through to the senior years they develop the skills of managing others around them too.
Being in control of their own timekeeping means they develop strong organisational skills, including independent working and revision.
They can also find themselves being tasked to carry out leadership activities at an early age, sports teams and clubs for example, so they develop skills in this area too.
3. No daily school run means more time for both parents and children
Travel to and from the school will be reduced to two times per half-term rather than twice every school day.
Not being required to travel every day means a more easy beginning to each school day.
Your child will be able to take breakfast in their school, either in the main refectory or in their boarding house, rather than having to grab a rushed breakfast so as not to be late for registration.
Any unfinished homework or prep can be dealt with at a desk or in their room, rather than trying to complete it at the breakfast table or in the car on the way to school.
At the end of each school day they’ll be back in their boarding house in minutes and can rest, grab a snack, complete their prep, or take part in some sports activities, rather than have to everything until they’ve completed their commute home.
Where parents have two or more children of different ages at the same school they don’t have to wait in their car to collect each at different times.
Unlike parents who might have children attending different day schools, boarding school parents aren’t trying to get to two schools at the same time.
When siblings are involved in separate after-school activities, parents won’t be forced to sit in the car-park and wait until both have finished before driving home, as each can simply return to their respective boarding houses.
4. A wide selection of facilities & courses administered by great quality teachers
The two largest elements of boarding school fees are the salaries paid to their teaching staff and the overhead for the buildings and facilities.
This translates into boarding schools being able to secure top quality subject teachers, who are also involved with various extra-curricular activities, such as sporting teams and clubs.
Boarding schools are also known for having a high standard of facilities and are able to make the best use of them because pupils are on-site for longer each day.
5. Academic innovation abounds in boarding schools
Top boarding schools provide the opportunity for well-qualified teachers to develop new and innovative ways of teaching their students.
By being free from having to follow a state-mandated syllabus means subject teachers are able to develop their student’s knowledge using a variety of new methods.
This has resulted in various private boarding schools developing techniques that are then rolled-out into other schools, both independent and within the state maintained sector.
Many independent boarding schools have been involved in the setting up of new schools within the state maintained sector.
These schools have taken the most transferrable skills and techniques from the independent school and re-purposed them to fit within the requirements of the state schooling system.
6. Boarding fosters strong traditional standards
Many boarding schools have a history that goes back hundreds of years.
Students who attend these schools are taught the lineage of previous students and how many alumni went on to great successes.
Many previous students have gone on to secure senior positions in business and the government, in many different countries.
Traditional British values of fair play and sportsmanship are stressed and many ex-boarding school pupils go on to develop careers at high levels of international sport.
7. Strong pastoral support
The role of a boarding school teacher doesn’t stop when the class bell signals the end of the day’s final class.
Some of them may also be the designated senior person in charge of one of the boarding houses.
Many subject teachers have a dual-role as a tutor for a small group of pupils and so your child will be able to discuss any concerns with them.
This could relate to their studies, or perhaps how they’re dealing with some emotional issues.
In addition, modern boarding schools provide pupils with 24 hour call access to a counsellor if there are any issues they feel the need to discuss.
Do the right thing, let your child attend a boarding school
Sending your child to a private boarding school is a perfectly good idea.
The English boarding school education system is highly regarded around the world and the level of competition for limited places is a clear indication that it’s not being shunned in favour of day schools.
As parents ourselves we know how difficult making these decisions can sometimes be.
We’ve helped parents navigate the private school, state school and home schooling options (having used all three ourselves) and write about education and schooling so if you’d like to explore options for your children you can contact us