in this beautiful article the writer refers to ‘respectability politics’ that are ‘othering black women’ and highlights two horribly ugly historic traits: the colonial desire to treat people as backward and depraved, and a total disregard for the value of parent-child relationships: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/21/aboriginal-mothers-like-me-still-fear-that-our-children-could-be-taken-away

consent and competency

We have recently been made aware of the notion of Gillick Competency. This is a medico-legal concept which we believe may have leverage  when it comes to the age at which children can be said to be able to give  consent to going to boarding school.Of course, we recognise that medical matters are not directly comparable to educational ones, but the idea seems relevant that:”…it is not enough that she should understand  the nature of the advice which is being given: she must also have a  sufficient maturity to understand what is involved.”

False Advertising

I spend an awful lot of time looking at websites for boarding schools, websites about boarding schools and even websites for agencies that ‘place’ pupils in boarding schools. What surprises is me that there is never any mention whatsoever of any possible harmful effects of boarding. We sell cigarettes with health warnings on the label; when boarding schools are aggressively marketed overseas and at home should they not, even if it’s in tiny print, have to state that “some research shows boarding education can have harmful effects on children”? Is it really ok for the boarding school association to suggest simply that  “boarding education can be a very cost-effective solution to the problem of busy parents and active, interested children” . And why, when research overwhelmingly points to the idea that the younger children are when they board, the more harmful it is, is it ok for this agency to say when boarders are shipped from overseas they believe its a case of “the earlier the better“?

a question of rights

the preamble to the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child refers to “Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow
up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding”. Article Nine relates to children living with their parents. here is a link to the full document: http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Publication-pdfs/UNCRC_PRESS200910web.pdf