Are boarding schools beneficial to children ?
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ROHIT UNCKE AND FAMILY .
g. teaching children tolerance and compromise in a regulated environment. scholarships (academic grants). Children with specific learning or emotional needs can also
. Living with peers of their own age.Advantages
Boarding schools allow children a safe space in which to exert greater control and independence over their daily lives. This can be a great preparation for university or work away from home in later life as it provides an intermediate step between childhood and full independence. including ballet schools. sports matches and art if they do not have to arrange travel home late at night or after the school buses have left. This can be especially helpful for working with university or company colleagues in the future. tennis academies and cathedral choir schools. Diversity of experience is not neglected as many schools run community volunteering schemes. computers and teachers while doing their homework. and anyway students will spend substantial periods away from school in the holidays. such as ballet. children with parents on military or diplomatic service overseas) means that students are not all drawn from one class or income bracket. This would be difficult to arrange on a local basis as specialist equipment and training is expensive and therefore concentrated in a few centres. Boarding schools minimise disruption to children s academic work by reducing the need for extended travel/time off school to reach them. As well as allowing for flexibility in curriculum choice. boarding schools can also accommodate a variety of specific family or lifestyle considerations. A variety of characters and interests must be accommodated. or by the state (e. Furthermore. Being in school all the time allows children full access to its facilities. religious and ethnic backgrounds frequently make up a significant minority of the student body. This is good for creating a learning environment as pupils can have access to libraries. round the clock. Many specialised interests. tennis or music require training from a young age. many boarding schools celebrate diversity as international students with different cultural. allow children to pursue excellence with like-minded peers. Similarly it is easier to take part in extra-curricular activities such as plays. and boarding students whose fees are paid through bursaries (means-related grants). A proportion of non-boarding day pupils. Boarding schools. teaches children how to get along with each other and compromise. Teachers and staff can supervise and support but they are unlikely to be overprotective.
i.benefit from specialised help as noted above. Pupils at the school may be drawn from only one gender or religion. Friendships and relations between peers are governed by the rules of the school and therefore do not always reflect real life.
Parents are a child s most natural support and best role models to learn from. Particularly important is the way a boarding school may provide relief for parents from the day to day strains of dealing with a child s problems. Because the school controls a large portion of their pupils' lives they may never come into contact with individuals who think differently from them. This loss of diversity may also be seen as detrimental to a holistic conception of education (for example a library may provide books on wartime evacuation but might not be as good a resource as the pensioner down your street who was themselves evacuated). amateur dramatic groups. bereavement or illness of a parent. the very regulation of the pupils' lives can lead some to become institutionalised.e. Also. If they are separated from them for long periods of time this may damage their relationship and leave the child feeling anxious or alone. parents whose work requires them to travel extensively. live in remote areas or abroad may find boarding school a useful way to provide stability and continuity in their child s education. On a merely practical level. etc.
. for example divorce. Spending all your time in school restricts the circle of people you come into contact with. Sometimes time away from the home benefits the child whose problems may be caused or exacerbated by troubles at home. and will certainly be drawn only from the wealthier social classes because of the high fees charged by all boarding schools. sports clubs. "Anyone who has been to an English public school will always feel comparatively at home in prison". Schools are unlikely to be able to replicate the detailed knowledge of each individual child that a parent has and therefore cannot be as effective in supporting the child. unable to cope with life and relate to others outside the regulated framework of the school. Extracurricular activities organised by the school will largely be with peers rather than the whole range of the community as might be the case with local choirs. making time spent together more pleasant. It was traditional boarding schools which Evelyn Waugh had in mind when he wrote.
It is not unreasonable to expect parents to consider the education of their children when selecting their careers and to do so in a way that would not force them to board. While a boarding school may ameliorate some family problems it is unlikely to solve them. Most difficulties of working parents could be equally well addressed by after school clubs or better childcare provision.
. It can also harm the breadth of opportunity available at a local level. Confronting issues head on with help from local social services could allow families to stay together rather than risking the other problems listed above. compelling those interested in a particular discipline to become boarders when they would have preferred not to.Specialist boarding schools can lead to an over concentration on one area or style of curriculum to the neglect of all others.