“cold and unpleasant place”

another one of these “someone famous says they wished they hadn’t been to boarding school” articles, this time its Earl Spencer. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2894655/Diana-s-brother-Earl-Spencer-says-wishes-d-gone-state-school-instead-cold-unpleasant-boarding-school-boys-regularly-caned.html

No massive surprises here, though we might wonder why this story is classed under ‘femail’, as if the merest mention of Princess Diana renders this a lesser female-only interest article…

“The Board Generation”

Essay of the week in the Sunday Herald today is an excellent piece on boarding schools by Vicky Allan. Allan is herself the wife of an ex-boarder, and a fellow mum at my kids’ school. She gets under the skin of this issue beautifully, and masterfully tackles the surrounding issues. Take a look…http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/the-board-generation.25881381

This is not what boyhood should feel like…

This is not a diatribe about violence in boys’ boarding schools. Rather, it is a call to recognize that boys pay a heavy cost when we choose to perpetuate ideas of masculinity that refuse to recognize these children’s vulnerability to violence and exploitation. ” Here is a fascinating and insightful article about attitudes to children and exploitation from Atiya Bose http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/fEBV6ogOEIrtoFcWmhsu8K/Adolescence-The-secret-life-of-boys.html

seven boys’ stories

I have just happened upon this rather grim collection of boarding school experiences from the Guardian in 2005, so I am sharing it for those of you who might not have seen it. I have waded through an all manner of accounts like this and something which always strikes me is the lack of distinction between consensual and non-consensual activity, as if it is all placed in one big box marked ‘sex’ and left there. In these particular stories there is at least some distinction, but the lines “I think rapes certainly wouldn’t have been called rapes” as well as ” these things are so difficult, and its not unusual for people to exaggerate after the fact” paint a worrying picture.

expansion of state boarding.

I am not really sure what to make of this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/11066745/Boarding-school-plan-to-transform-troubled-childrens-chances.html

while some of us in the anti-boarding movement are not opposed to boarding sixth forms for ALL young people (as in not just those who can afford them). however my two main concerns with the idea of moving ‘troubled’ young people into state boarding would be a) that this denies all value of the home as a place to raise children, or the ‘caring’ aspect of care homes. b) that it feels like removing ‘troubled’ people to change them and make them different, rather than supporting their families and communities. Would be interested to hear your thoughts…