2 thoughts on “state boarding schools in trouble

  1. Agree.

    I propose that there is a way to increase boarding and increase the common good. The first over-arching and self-evident principle is that boarding school for the young is disadvantageous and has to be stopped. We would then be left with an enormous resource in terms of schools – both buildings and teachers – and the challenge of getting onside all those who have previously been making the private boarding system work as well as they have. My suggestion is simple: that the stock of boarding schools be re-cycled and used as Sixth Form Colleges.

    At 16, many children could benefit from a couple of years of residential education, especially if the regime at these schools were a wholesome one which acknowledges their separation rather than just trying to keep them busy. They might at that age draw advantage from a community of peers of similar age, rather than a hierarchical system of young and older children, which tends to encourage bullying. It would be great to get some of the 16 year-olds off the streets and away from the invasive culture of consumerism – whether it is from consuming electronic products most can barely afford, or from the drink and drugs epidemic, to which we can longer afford to have any of our youth addicted.

    It goes without saying that entry to these new schools would not be based on parental income. For British governments would have to finally fall in line with others and provide a per-child subsidy for any forms of education outside their immediate control. I would imagine that a selection of foreign entrants could help boost the revenue that government would have to supply. Alternatively, those who could pay would pay. Such schools could become a kind of public-private partnership that Conservatives seem to favour.

    Working these things out would be child’s play, once we allow children to be children and letting the “boys in the men who run things” finally come home again.

    • Thank you Nick, over the past week the feedback I have read points to the idea that people feel that a lot of older teenagers might benefit from some kind of boarding, and access to specialist education eg for music. To roll out excellent education not based on parental income would be an incredible leveller, and would surely ultimately benefit everyone. Why do we always have to try and get away with doing as little as possible to help people? It isn’t free, it always costs money and money which is always wasted because it never works. Why not try something radical? As you say, it would need those who run things to come home. We need to get at them with crayons, playdoh, and Yorkshire puddings so they can care for their inner children and we can all finally grow up…

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