Boarding School THE MAGAZINE OF THE BOARDING SCHOOLS’ ASSOCIATION
Ben Fogle ‘Boarding school gave me the confidence to succeed’
Tony Little ‘British boarding at its best’
Lord Nash ‘The positive path of boarding’
By Aileen Kane BSA Assistant Director Boarding School Magazine Editor
Changing s the sector celebrates 50 years of the Boarding Schools’ Association, it is ﬁtting that we launch the revamped and refreshed Boarding Magazine in conjunction with our Annual Conference for Heads.
The theme for this year’s Heads’ conference is Building Bridges, Changing Lives and as Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, discusses on page 12, the ‘life-changing’ work the sector is doing with vulnerable children is doing just that – changing lives. On page 6 adventurer and television personality Ben Fogle explains how boarding at Bryanston changed his life and provided him with the conﬁdence that set him up “for a lifetime of opportunity, experience and achievement.” In our ever-changing global world, it is imperative the boarding sector keeps up with family demands, technological advances and changing attitudes to boarding. So it was encouraging to learn Boarding numbers are holding their own (page 14) in both the state and independent sectors. Parental attitudes to the sector are overwhelmingly positive as Jane Robinson from Research Stories
Times tells us on page 15. In our next issue we will examine how the sector is using this data to inform a national marketing campaign to encourage more UK boarders to our schools.
Eve Jardine-Young from Cheltenham Ladies’ College and Mark Semmence from Mount Kelly have provided valuable insights into how they are adapting to Boarding in the changing world (page 36) and Boarding refurbishment from the drawing board (page 22). This academic year has been all change for Honorary President Tony Little following his retirement from Eton College. He examines the major sector changes over the last 50 years (page 18) and sets us up for a successful next half century.
Within this issue you will ﬁnd a special Golden Jubilee pull-out section detailing our celebrations to date and the upcoming opportunities for your school to take part in during National Boarding Week.
In future issues we would like to create a pull-out section for our boarding pupils. To this end we are calling on boarding pupils to submit news, achievements, artwork, photography and creative writing pieces about life as a boarder to email@example.com. Please include the name of the pupil, year, school and contact details for a member of staﬀ. Once you’ve enjoyed this issue, do let us know your thoughts via twitter (@BSAboarding) and facebook (BSA Boarding). Happy reading!
The Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) champions boarding and promotes boarding excellence. The BSA represents around 500 independent and state boarding schools in the UK and overseas. BSA services include professional development, government relations, communications, media, publications, conferences and events.
Contents Power struggle Robin Fletcher, BSA Chief Executive
What has confidence ever done for me? Ben Fogle, Author, Adventurer and Bryanston Alumni
Fair play Irfan Latif, Headmaster, Sexey’s School
Boarding numbers and sector research Donna Stevens, ISC Head of Research Jane Robinson, Director, Research Stories
The positive path of boarding Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools
Fixing the leaky pipe: girls, STEM and global solutions Charlotte Avery, Headmistress, St Mary’s Cambridge
British boarding at its best Tony Little, BSA Honorary President
Boarding refurbishment – from the drawing board Eve Jardine-Young, Principal, Cheltenham Ladies’ College
BSA conference and seminar programme Summer 2016
BSA Golden Jubilee A celebration pull-out magazine
Paws for thought Nikki Knowles, PR Manager Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls
Safeguarding update Stuart Williams, BSA Safeguarding Advisor
Use of technology in the boarding house Vicki Rendall, Housemistress, King Edward’s Witley
BSA School List
Boarding in a changing world Mark Semmence, Headmaster, Mount Kelly
Lessons learned Annie Lee, All Hallows School Philip Wayne, Royal Grammar School High Wycombe Richard Backhouse, Berkhamstead Schools Group
Boarding here and there John Newton, Principal, Scotch College Australia
Q&A James Knight, West Buckland Alumnus
Front cover image: Leweston School
Boarding School Magazine To subscribe Editor Advertising
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By Robin Fletcher BSA Chief Executive
P O W E R
hose who describe managing teenagers as a power struggle are nearer the mark than they think. On a recent visit to a girls’ boarding house I was told one particular bedroom was in high demand because it had four plug sockets. This was the ideal number for girls of a certain age, apparently, ensuring separate power for mobile phone, music player, hair straightener and hair dryer.
I was reminded of this when reviewing the significant investment plans of a boarding school in France before Christmas. The extent and scale of the plans were very impressive and the mock up of a newstyle bed study room ticked all the right boxes for good, modern boarding. I had to smile however when the school told me the investment included increasing the number of power points in each room from one to two. Somehow I suspect this may end up not being enough for some of their more senior girls! Boarding today is all about great pastoral care and that can just as much mean good facilities in boarding houses as having staff with natural empathy and emotional intelligence. Whether or not putting in enough power points is an integral part of good pastoral care is one for perhaps for the inspectors and commentators. One thing is true however that as the technology, lifestyle or fashion demands and expectations of young people increase so too can the impact upon the bottom line. Eve Jardine-Young from Cheltenham Ladies’ College told me recently for instance that when refurbishing her boarding houses she was strongly advised to replace standard bore waste pipes in
baths, basins and showers with wider ones. Apparently maintenance staff spend considerable time clearing blockages caused by long hair in girls’ houses, so putting in larger bore pipes, while more expensive, frees up staff to maintain other things. Learn more about their boarding refurbishment on page 22. It’s easy to think such engineering minutiae is of no concern for professional boarding staff, but I would argue otherwise. ‘Retail is detail’ is a phrase long used in the shop world and it’s useful for boarding too. Because get the detail right and in many ways the bigger picture will take care of itself. Which brings us back to power points. An international sixth form boarding school in the east of England has neatly got round this issue by installing state-of-theart new sofas, complete with USB power ports, in its common room areas. Boarders there have got used to carrying USB leads and charging their devices during the day, thus reducing the reliance, and cost, of using power points in their rooms. This sort of innovation probably only works for mobile phones, tablets and MP3 players, and so may not be the right solution for girls who want to dry or straighten their hair. But it’s a great example of approaching a genuine issue in a fresh, new way.
what has confidence ever done for me? B oarding school made me, but I did not take to it immediately. I was a mummy’s boy. I missed the dogs, my bed, my toys and homemade food. Even my sisters became things of nostalgia. Something I never thought would happen.
To be fair boarding school was never our first choice, and I suspect my early discomfort had more to do with sulky, frustration at my predicament than anything else. The headmaster, the deputy head, my housemaster, my tutor and countless others persevered. They took me for tea. They invited me to join their families for Sunday lunch (in a kind attempt to make things feel like home), they put up with my tears and my silence and slowly but surely I began to emerge. I use those words very carefully, because the I, really was me. To this point my 13 years of life had been dominated by an asphyxiating lack of self confidence. Unsure of myself I was unable to make decisions, always deferring to the safety net of my family. Shy as a mouse, I lacked a voice and probably a personality. Was it a symptom of a house of high achievers, both parents were successful in their chosen vocations, and my two sisters excelled academically, or was it a character trait? Either way, boarding school was able to polish a blemished, dull stone. I don’t need to tell all of you the great virtues of boarding schools. The academic success rate, the standard of education, the sports facilities, the arts, the theatre, the food...the list of virtues is endless. But when I think back to my own experience and what I got out of boarding school, the list pales into insignificance when I think of the power of change it had over me.
Stripped of my parental and familial safety net I was forced to make my own decisions. Like a seed germinating, I began to grow both figuratively and literally. I have been quoted on record on many occasions deploring my poor exam grades and lack of sporting prowess. I was hopeless in almost all disciplines, but boarding school gave me the chance to experiment. Non judgemental, it built my confidence. And therein lies the powerful ingredient. Confidence. Not the media clichéd arrogance of the stately home owning, blue blooded, toff, but a confidence in me. I began to feel comfortable in my own skin. That confidence set me up for a lifetime of opportunity, experience and achievement. Confidence is such a complex, often misinterpreted word. It is full of nuance often overlooked in the popular press. It is often associated with the privileged middle class. It is not. It is virtue. A skill. A feeling. A value, that is attainable by all but sadly all too often overlooked by the state system.
‘Confidence is not borne ben fogle of wealth and privilege’ It is something earned and something learnt. It opens doors and opportunity way beyond that of exams and degrees. For me it is the most valuable commodity and worthy of the eye wateringly high school fees. I made a list. I have lived for a year on a remote, uninhabited island, I have been chased by the US Navy from Diego Garcia and been imprisoned by the mutineers of the Bounty on the world’s remotest island of Pitcairn. I am a licensed rally driver and have raced a car across the Australian Outback and swum from Alacatraz to San Francisco. I have taken part in the world worm-charming championships, the world conker championships and the world stinging nettle eating championships. I have dragged a dead whale around the coast of the UK in an attempt to record the first Great White shark in British waters and made a film about conservation and poaching with Prince William in Botswana. I am one of only half a dozen in the world to have dived with Wild Nile and saltwater crocodiles with no protection and I have translocated a rhino across Nepal. I have served as an officer in the Royal Navy Reserves and have been on anti-poaching patrols in Tanzania and with the riot police of Bolivia. I have written more than a million words for newspapers and magazines and seven Sunday Times bestselling books about travel and adventure. I have travelled 3,000 miles down the Amazon and spent six weeks in hospital after contracting a flesh-eating disease. I have lived for four years in Central and South America, an area in which I have a degree and speak fluent Spanish. I tried to invade the island of Rockall in the North Sea and have been knighted Lord of Sealand, the sovereignty in the English Channel.
I have campaigned with Hilary Clinton for the release of the Chagosian Islanders. I have travelled and explored more than 100 countries and embarked on more than 20 expeditions around the world, including the Mountains of Moon in Uganda, the black cat trail of Papua New Guinea and the polar wastes of Svalbard in the Arctic Circle. I have climbed the Andes, the Himalayas and the great African peaks. I have holidayed with Buzz Aldrin and interviewed two Prime Ministers at No 10. I have raced the 180-mile Marathon des Sables across the Sahara, the Man versus Horse race in Wales, the London Marathon, the New York Marathon and the Lewa marathon in Kenya. I have been rescued by the RAF from a remote lighthouse off Wales, hospitalised by a camel in Arabia, imprisoned in Nicaragua, castrated a goat with my teeth in Namibia and chased Blue Wales around Sri Lanka with Leonardo Di Caprio. I have rowed across the Atlantic, raced across Antarctica and crossed 1,000km of the Empty Quarter of Oman with four grumpy camels and a grumpy Olympian. It all really began when I answered an ad in 1999 – and without the confidence gained at boarding school it would not have happened at all. Ben Fogle is an award-winning broadcaster, adventurer and a former pupil of Bryanston School.
The Independent vs
State School Debate hen the Good Schools Guide
So which are we to believe? Even more poignantly, to what end is this political posturing in the media? What is evident in the mainstream coverage of these stories is the dogged attempt by spokespeople for either ‘camp’ – independent or state – to resist being drawn into a war of words or mud-slinging. As representatives of the education sector, it is essential to acknowledge the strengths of every party, even while defending the worth of our own.
“We are surprised to discover that, yet again, (independent schools) are under threat”, he wrote drolly to The Guardian. Anyone following the media headlines is likely to have made a similar response. Not a year earlier, headlines had been dominated by the latest Independent Schools Council census that showed that “record numbers are now attending feepaying private schools”, with readers told enrolment was at a 40-year peak.
When Lord Lucas, Editor of the Good Schools Guide, told the BBC’s Today programme: “I would guess that over time we would see fewer independent schools. If more parents are choosing state, then there’s a smaller market for independent schools,” the HMC responded magnanimously that it was “good to see education for all pupils improving”, while attributing some of the success to partnerships with independent schools.
announced UK state schools have “improved so much
that some private schools may go out
of business” in February this year, I had some sympathy with the reaction of Chris King, Headmaster of Leicester Grammar School and chair of the
Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’
Photos: Sexey’s School
Fair Play? That said, despite continued attempts at ‘playing fair’ in the media, the coverage leaves a bitter taste in its hints at sectoral in-fighting. The truth is in fact much more positive. Genuine collaboration and problem solving between the independent and state sector has been the cause of some of this country’s real education success stories. Look for example at the London Academy of Excellence, profiled at feature length in The Times recently. The selective inner-city sixth form’s mix of independent school opportunities (provided via governing body and department links to Caterham, Forest, Highgate, University College, City of London and Eton) and “East End edge” (described by Head Master John Weeks in The Times’ report as giving his students “a hunger you sometimes don’t find when students
take success for granted”) has led to notable academic success and national acclaim. We can all learn from each other – and in discussing our needs openly, produce the best possible outcomes for our students. Similarly, at Sexey’s, we work in the beautiful Somerset town of Bruton, home to no fewer than three boarding schools: King’s School, Bruton, Bruton School for Girls and Sexey’s School. We each have a unique proposition: state boarding (in Sexey’s case), mixed independent (King’s) and single-sex independent (BSG). Far from being rivals, we acknowledge and embrace our differences, and some of our best student opportunities come from our collaborations or competitions – be it in the form of our many sporting fixtures, joint music festivals, innovative lecture series, church and commemorative
services to our road safety campaigns and working with various town organisations. These initiatives benefit our students and the town itself. At a time when our country is debating the benefits of remaining part of Europe and the opportunities and trade that our collaborative membership affords, I would caution against bringing too much independence into the education sector. At its very core, education is about learning – and it is essential we do not lose sight of that, continuing to learn from each other to evolve through alliance and association.
By Irfan Latif Headmaster Sexey’s School, Bruton
is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools and hosts a working party focusing on vunerable children
Photo: Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls
he phrase ‘transformative effect’ is sometimes used to describe the positive impact boarding can have on the lives of young people.
I prefer life changing, because it’s true. As a Government schools’ minister, I want young people to achieve all they can through education. For some of them, boarding is a pillar of stability to help this happen. Many children come from family backgrounds and strong local communities which means that as well as studying at school, they continue their learning at home, supported by their families. They rarely miss school, engage with their learning environment, and then tend to perform better at GCSE or A level. Contrast this however with children from less fortunate or stable backgrounds, those who may be living in poverty, in broken communities, or where abuse, violence, alcohol or drugs may be part of the ‘normal’ backdrop to their lives. For some young people, despite this ‘normal’ backdrop described above, they may be able to cope with school life. Others may not. This is where boarding comes in. For these young people, sometimes termed on the ‘edge of care’,
the stability, opportunities and community offered by boarding can make all the difference in the world. I have seen this first hand through my work with academies and with charities like the SpringBoard Foundation, RNCF and Buttle UK, who, with the generous support of boarding schools, have helped to provide boarding places to young people. The effect has been amazing and it has been boarding that has made the essential and vital difference. My Working Group on Vulnerable Children, which includes representatives from BSA, boarding schools, charities and local authorities, has met several times to see how we can support more ‘vulnerable children’ by offering them boarding places.
One of the key challenges is to ensure local authorities, many of which either do not know about boarding or may have a negative preconception about it, have the information they need about it. This may mean we create a specific website for them, a project being led for me by Colin Morrison, chair of RNCF, with support from BSA. I know I preach to the converted when I speak of the value of boarding. But for some children that value is perhaps now more important than ever. In my role I shall continue to work for ways to help more vulnerable children enjoy the benefits of boarding, and I am extremely grateful to schools in the boarding sector for their support for this very important work.
BOARDING SCHOOLS - A BUOYANT MARKET
Boarding numbers are holding their own says ISC Head of Research, Donna Stevens
ith affordability a
recent hot topic in
the media, we might
expect boarding schools to be suffering the most. But the
picture is somewhat different.
There are just over 500 boarding schools in the UK with (487 in
membership of the Independent Schools Council) educating just over 200,000 pupils, including
70,000 boarders. In the last 16
years, boarding numbers at ISC
schools have remained relatively
steady. There were around 70,000
ISC boarders in 2000 and there are around 70,000 ISC boarders today, which doesn’t indicate a market
that is struggling. Proportionately, boarding pupils accounted for
approximately 14% of all pupils at
ISC schools in 2000 and that
proportion remains the same
today. So how is it that this market is faring so well with many other
sectors and industries feeling the pinch?
Academic excellence Parents will of course be attracted to a school that excels academically. Independent schools outperform the national average and for boarding schools alone, the picture is no different. Results from the recently announced A levels showed half of ISC boarding school A level entries were awarded A or A* and this compares to only a quarter nationally. Flexibility Boarding schools offer unmatched flexibility for parents. For the 487 ISC boarding schools in the UK, just over 90 of them are single-sex, the remainder co-educational. Only a small fraction are exclusively boarding, the majority catering for day and boarding pupils.
In addition, many schools offer varying types of boarding, from full boarding places to flexible boarding places for up to three days a week. Less than half of all junior boarding pupils board full time and over 40% of them board flexibly, making it easier for working parents mid-week in the face of ever-increasing childcare costs. Diversity Many ISC boarding schools have well-established bursary funds. Around 10% of pupils at ISC boarding schools receive a means-tested bursary worth a total value of £69m. More than 90% of boarding schools partner with local state schools and value the mutual benefits this brings. A boarding school education has also grown in popularity among girls. In 1999 only 40% of all boarding pupils were for girls, but this gap has narrowed now to 45%. In fact, in the last six years alone, an additional 2,300 girls have been recruited into the sector, compared to only 430 boys. Finally, many UK boarding schools are world famous, attracting pupils from all across the globe. UK boarding schools are proud to compete on a global scale and welcome the cultural diversity that overseas pupils bring to their schools. Just over one third of all boarders are from overseas and this has not changed much since 2013 (when records began). However, because the majority of UK boarding schools cater for day and boarding pupils, the proportion of overseas pupils overall is much lower. The ISC 2016 census is now available via www.isc.co.uk
Committed to boarding here is strong parental endorsement for the boarding sector according to new research from Research Stories commissioned by the BSA.
communications with parents and stakeholders more widely.
The sector-wide survey among current parents at BSA member schools finds almost all parents recommending the experience and large majorities ‘very likely’ to recommend both boarding (60%) and their child’s school (64%).
The survey finds a positive and engaged customer base for boarding and identifies a range of parent segments. The largest of these is the ‘Committed to Boarding’ group mostly comprising parents of full-time boarders, including a traditional core for whom boarding is a solution for all children and often a family tradition over several generations
This is the first time that the sector has conducted research for many years. It provides the BSA with unique insight into the profile and attitudes of parents (and their children) as well as a better understanding of the customer journey, the decisionmaking process and the experience of a boarding education. More broadly, it provides an evidence base to underpin engagement and
The research identifies significant potential to grow other markets such as the smaller group of ‘Boarding Appreciators’ often new to the sector who send their mostly younger children as occasional or flexi boarders. This type of modern boarding provides an important resource for many of these hardworking parents. Enthused by this initial exposure to the boarding
experience, many are open to exploring fuller boarding options for later schooling.
The research provides in-depth understanding and analysis by a wide range of demographic and survey characteristics such as nationality, school type and level and there is also a facility to drill down to individual school level. To obtain a copy of the survey report please contact Aileen Kane at the BSA. If you would like to discuss school specific analysis contact Jane Robinson at Research Stories.
By Jane Robinson Director Research Stories
S cientific discoveries to eradicate disease and engineering solutions to provide clean water to third world communities are STEM-related works often cited as appealing more to girls. It is claimed girls are often inclined to pursue careers where they will be able to ‘make a difference’. These examples highlight the need to encourage those with different passions, concerns and agendas to enter the STEM environment. That’s crucial if we want to ensure there are enough people with the skills, experience and passion to develop solutions for the world’s problems.
The continuing national underrepresentation of girls in STEM disciplines leaves industries such as aerospace or health with too few people likely to use their skills and experiences to solve these types of problems. So for girls who may have pursued STEM subjects (had they not been wrongly dissuaded from doing so by external factors), it is unfair for the girls themselves, plus a disservice – and potentially a disaster – for the world.
Problems may go unanswered if there is a lack of experienced STEM professionals concerned enough about the world’s environmental or humanitarian problems. As an independent, all-girls, day and boarding school, based in the academically and culturally vibrant city of Cambridge, we enjoy a niche position to respond.
We can promote opportunities for girls who pursue STEM subjects, and help them understand their roles as global citizens inspired to affect change by learning about different world concerns.
PROMOTING THE PURSUIT OF STEM In their formative years girls are likely to encounter an experience which negatively influences their opinion about and participation in STEM subjects. These are sometimes referred to as the leaks in the ‘STEM pipeline’. So when a young girl gets the impression that ‘engineering is dirty work for
boys’, or ‘Science is too difficult for girls’ she may be discouraged from pursuing these subjects at GCSE or A level. This leads her to miss out on a range of future opportunities – a decision she may come to regret later in life when she realises the truth. We are pleased to be able to play our part in ‘fixing’ the leaky pipeline. We do this by teaching STEM subjects in ways which suit girls’ specific learning styles, praising their achievements, and encouraging them that, yes, girls are just as capable of excellence in STEM as boys. Additionally we expose students to a stream of successful and inspirational role models, especially women, who can help them relate to the realities of being a woman and pursuing, and achieving, success within STEM disciplines. And we broaden their understanding of what can be achieved through acquiring skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, by challenging career stereotypes and misconceptions. Thanks to our independent status, we are able to prioritise instilling the view that STEM subjects are for everyone, even to our youngest Reception girls. Through delivering a Creative Curriculum different ‘subjects’ are incorporated into the termly class topic, including Technology, so pupils from the age of four onwards can see the practical relevance of STEM skills for creating solutions to everyday problems, within one unifying theme. One year group recently studied The Titanic. They examined the historical context, drafted letters as first, second or third class passengers, built their own small boats and investigated the science of floating and sinking through practical experiments. We continue to build on the firm foundation established in the Junior School as girls move into the Senior School, by stressing there is no such thing as a subject (or sport, or hobby) which is ‘not for girls’. Students who join the Senior School from other schools also benefit from this environment.
Fixing the leaky pipe: girls, STEM & global solutions
17 Subject choices are discussed without preconception, career paths are decided based on passions and dreams, and extracurricular clubs are offered to girls of all abilities – under the assumption that each girl can thrive following any pursuit. Our location in the technology-hub that is Cambridge offers students exceptional opportunities to experience and delve deeper into all things STEM.
Sixth Form students have benefited from work experience at Microsoft Research, girls of all ages have visited some of the city’s fascinating exhibitions as part of their curriculum studies, such as the Centre for Computing History, and the Cambridge Science Centre. There are annual trips to the Cambridge Science Festival, Maths in Action Day, Think Computer Science Day, Astra Zeneca Life Sciences and Art Workshop, and project days at the Babraham Institute. Students are encouraged to make the most of our school’s links with local institutions, such as the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research (CSAR), which offers the opportunity to attend monthly lectures. DEvELOPING GLOBAL CITIzENS We recognise, of course, that pursuing a STEM career will not suit all young people, nor should it! What’s more, studying the Arts and Humanities to degree level and then looking for a job has not had its day. In fact there are increasing calls from educators and academics for the Department for Education to prioritise arts’ teaching.
Our arts departments are thriving, with girls achieving many accolades in Dance, Drama, Music, Art and Photography.
To re-balance the careers’ spectrum, the acronym STEM is now being replaced with STEAM – the ‘A’ representing the ‘Arts’. We provide equally strong opportunities in the arts as in STEM.
Even with the emergence of a more balanced STEAM approach, politicians often still focus too much on academic participation and achievement. There is obviously more to life than academic study and our Christian heritage ensures we are thoroughly committed to developing in each girl a sense of self.
We do this by helping students recognise and nurture their passions and develop essential skills – including those life skills now often highlighted by many employers as lacking in many young recruits.
This helps them work out their unique place in the world, including their potential to impact the rest of the world through their lives. We are passionate about ensuring each individual has a genuine belief she can achieve success in any academic discipline. We aim to create an environment in which every girl is able to find her niche, to dream an extraordinary dream about her role in the world, and is inspired and equipped to achieve her goals. Teachers, mothers, astronauts, scientists, doctors, midwives, sportswomen, authors, citizens – we want to make sure our girls are free to make informed decisions about their own futures.
Photo: St Mary’s School, Cambridge
By Charlotte Avery Headmistress St Mary’s School, Cambridge
British B ritish boarding is the best in the
world and there has never been a more vital moment to shout
about it. Education in the UK is
Boarding, done well, is a unique and unmatched way to prepare young people to face the challenges of 21st Century life.
receiving more focus and scrutiny today
than at any time in the last 30 years. The Government is ideologically and
practically committed to driving change and improvement. Some of that is
about teaching, learning, knowledge, results and standards; some of it is
about structures and governance, such
as turning all maintained schools in England into academies.
In the middle of all this commotion and
noise it is perhaps easy for the boarding message to get lost. Or worse still, for the positive story to be overlooked,
leaving just negatives in the spotlight. What then should we shout about?
Photo: St Peterâ€™s, York
AT ITS BEST
Boarding For me that is simple: boarding, done well, is a unique and unmatched way to prepare young people to face the challenges of 21st Century life. To imagine that success is guaranteed simply by obtaining excellent examination results is to misunderstand the world today. Ability on paper is just one of a broad spectrum of skills and qualities young people need to navigate a landscape in which there will be jobs and ways of working no one has yet even thought of. This is where the less tangible benefits of boarding come strongly to the fore. These are the benefits that come from working as part of a team in a close-knit community, learning to deal with all manner of people, trying new things because you have time to so, exploring your potential across a wide range of activities, building up confidence and developing life-long relationships around the world. More
than any type of schooling, it is good, modern, British-style boarding schools that offer this rich, diverse and stimulating experience. Through my own personal experience as a boarder, house tutor, house master and Head, I have seen students metamorphose from cautious caterpillars into bold butterflies ready to take flight. Some of this transformation comes from within, as many young people will make this journey on their own. But I am convinced, after more than 40 years witnessing boarding at close quarters, that boarders get there quicker, and have the potential to soar higher than they ever expected. It goes without saying that all schools should strive constantly to make themselves better, but we should be immensely proud of our 500 boarding schools and the 5,000 dedicated,
committed and professional staff who work in them. Boarding has many facets - big, small, independent, state, full, weekly, flexi, girls, boys and co-ed. But a golden thread throughout all boarding weaves the word ‘opportunity’. Every boarding school promises to do everything possible to help every boarder have the best opportunity in life. Tony Little was Head Master at Eton College from 2002 until 2015 when he left to become Chief Education Officer of GEMS Education, responsible for ensuring the quality of education in GEMS schools worldwide. He is Honorary President of the Boarding Schools’ Association during its Golden Jubilee Year.
By Tony Little BSA Honorary President
Boarding refurbishment â€“ from the
drawing board Eve Jardine-Young
Principal of Cheltenham Ladiesâ€™ College reflects on lessons learned in its multi-million pound investment in boarding facilities
governors have committed to a
once-in-a-generation investment to
ensure our boarding estate provides a
comfortable, attractive and energy efficient
environment for the 21st century boarder.
Tony Little Founded in 1854, the College has had an BSA Honorary President unbroken tradition of full boarding since the
1870s, with many boarding Houses purpose-
built for their time. To refurbish and remodel
these (including enhanced IT and new heating
systems), we realised pupils would need temporarily to board elsewhere so projects could be completed over periods longer than a
Celebrating our Jubilee summer holiday.
t gives me enormous pleasure to write the foreword to this celebration marking 50 years of the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA). The BSA was formed just a couple of years boarding in the late 1960s. To board at Eton then was to say the least a formative experience. The school was of course as historic and traditional as it Summer of Love and Sgt Pepper. If these two worlds were sharply contrasting then, contrast them again to boarding today. For all Mr Wilson’s 1960s rhetoric about in the ‘white heat’ of change there was little evidence of that in boarding schools then.
dormitories, inadequate heating, poor food and pastoral care in the hands of prefects were common attributes. Fast forward 50 years and what a
The facilitating project was therefore building a
heating, abundant food and wrapconvenor of the boarding family for new additional boarding House, providing around 24/7 pastoral care from boarding conferences and events. ‘decanting’ overspill capacity for successive professionals. Houses. This allows toallmove into the Thepupils BSA does this and, swan-like, much And that doesn’t even consider thefacilities access atmore exchangetime, for a modest newest the besides, earliestinpossible annual subscription. mitigating the disruption of temporary and broad co-curricular programmes. relocation. That we need the BSA and all its That the change has been so great is of valuable services is beyond doubt as At who the end the College will50have course well known to those workof the process, we contemplate the next years of an additional boarding House. This will provide in boarding. The hard part is explaining boarding. the seismic leap to the outside only world, a modest increase in overall boarding especially journalists or sceptical parents. The challenges are great and many capacity because progressive refurbishments of – and we don’t know what the boarding existing Houses will improve the overall space Yet throughout all that has changed there landscape will look like in 2065, how many per pupil and staff accommodation quality, has been a constant, reassuring and boarders we will serve or how many valued presence: the BSA.including better provision for resident
Housemistresses and their deputies.
But however things unfold, it is an Oxford in July 1965 the BSA has beenthese projects enormous knowvery the BSA is Through wecomfort have to faced there, rather like a long-serving and there with us on the journey. varied challenges and opportunities. Visiting warmly trusted boarding house matron.
and talking to colleagues at fellow boarding
Thank you BSA, and good luck as you plan professional teamsyour of advisers. centenary!
schools before and during the planning stages So what comes to mind when one thinks was invaluable in helping brief of our of the BSA? Professional development, expert advice, an increasingly strong voice to government and journalists, information provider for prospective parents and
Tony Little BSA Honorary President 2015-2016
In the spirit of helping any other colleagues considering new build or
refurbishment projects, here are some lessons learned over the past five years:
1. CHALLENGE your pastoral care team to consider afresh the desired balance between shared communal spaces, private leisure spaces and work/prep/library spaces within Houses. Ways of working and social behavioural patterns are changing – make sure the architectural layouts support rather than inhibit the behaviour you want from your boarding communities. Talk to your pupils and all levels of house staff. 2. AGREE on your target finished standard of accommodation in relation to the National Minimum Standards (e.g space per pupil, proximity of beds in dormitories etc.) and understand what this means for your budgets. 3. CAREFULLY MODEL the final as well as the transitionary total capacity. This is essential for your Admissions team to know so plans can be accurately explained to prospective families, and recruitment managed into different buildings in different years. Good communication is essential, beyond just the immediate project teams. 4. CONSIDER AFRESH THE LOCATION of residential staff accommodation and offices to achieve the best balance between supervisory and pupil access. Think hard about the safeguarding legislation and how this impacts on the personal life of your resident boarding staff, influencing your decisions about factors like privacy of access. Recruiting and retaining high quality pastoral staff is essential for happy and successful boarding communities, and accommodation will be a factor in how positive they feel about their jobs. 5. CHALLENGE YOUR DESIGN TEAM to provide as much ‘future-proofing’ as possible in the way rooms and spaces are configured (e.g location of windows, stud/partition walls as opposed to load-bearing, possible placement of service conduits with ‘blanked’ panels ready to be activated at a later time). This could save both money and disruption at a later stage. Budget may be a limiting factor on how much future-proofing and versatility can be designed in, but strive for as much as you can manage. 6. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE how much additional time your Head of Pastoral Care (or equivalent) will need to spend on these projects if end-user needs are really to be met. If more than one House is being refurbished, consider how much weight is given to the wishes of individual Housemasters/Housemistresses and what decisions (décor, use of spaces etc.) are taken at a school or House level. Views and preferences can differ considerably. 7. DETERMINE HOW IMPORTANT it might be to use boarding facilities for commercial letting purposes. Involve key personnel in the design discussions to understand fully their needs and how these can be balanced with the primary use for boarding. Good planning can avoid ‘bolt-on’ or awkward solutions later. Security of personal effects, storage spaces within the Houses and work patterns for the domestic services’ teams at turnaround times are all key factors. 8. A SMALL BUT SIGNIFICANT POINT – we wish to thank the Royal Ballet School for its advice about installing larger-than-strictly-required diameter pipes for water drainage from bath/shower blocks because mass occupancy from girls with long hair can have serious implications over time for the good functioning of the plumbing - our Works department is grateful!
Tony Little BSA Honorary President
Celebrating our Jubilee t gives me enormous pleasure to write the foreword to this celebration marking 50 years of the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA).
heating, abundant food and wraparound 24/7 pastoral care from boarding professionals. And that doesn’t even consider the access
The BSA was formed just a couple of years and broad co-curricular programmes. boarding in the late 1960s. To board at Eton then was to say the least a formative experience. The school was of course as historic and traditional as it
That the change has been so great is of course well known to those who work in boarding. The hard part is explaining the seismic leap to the outside world, especially journalists or sceptical parents.
Summer of Love and Sgt Pepper. If these two worlds were sharply contrasting then, contrast them again to boarding today. For all Mr Wilson’s 1960s rhetoric about in the ‘white heat’ of change there was little evidence of that in boarding schools then.
dormitories, inadequate heating, poor food and pastoral care in the hands of prefects were common attributes. Fast forward 50 years and what a
Yet throughout all that has changed there has been a constant, reassuring and valued presence: the BSA.
Oxford in July 1965 the BSA has been there, rather like a long-serving and warmly trusted boarding house matron. So what comes to mind when one thinks of the BSA? Professional development, expert advice, an increasingly voice to Photos: Cheltenhamstrong Ladies’ College government and journalists, information provider for prospective parents and
convenor of the boarding family for conferences and events.
AT A GLANCE
The BSA does all this and, swan-like, much more besides, in exchange for a modest annual subscription. That we need the BSA and all in its the centre • 23-acre dispersed estate valuable is beyond as of theservices Regency town of doubt Cheltenham. we contemplate the next 50 years of • In-house dining (no central dining for boarding. boarders), communal dining for day pupils. The challenges are great and many – and we don’t know the‘mini-campus’ boarding • Academic and what sports landscape will lookthe like15 inHouses 2065, how many sites bookend which are boarders we among will serveresidential or how many located areas in between. Walking time of between two and 10 minutes from Houses to either But games however unfold, it is an or things teaching facilities. enormous comfort to know the BSA is • The Houses are configured as there with15 us on the journey. vertical 11-16 junior Houses (six boarding, three day) and separate Sixth Form Houses (five boarding, one day).
Thank you BSA, and good luck as you plan • 850 girls aged 11-18, with 670 full your centenary! boarders and 180 day pupils (approx. 80%:20% ratio). Tony Little BSA Honorary President 2015-2016
the Boarding Orchard
The Boarding Orchard was launched by the BSA in 2014. It aims to be largest orchard, by geography, in the UK and involves boarding schools joining the orchard by planting fruit trees in their grounds. The trees symbolise the ‘tree of knowledge’ and demonstrate each school’s commitment to growth and caring for the environment. Since launch, schools across the UK including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - have joined The Boarding Orchard, and trees have also been planted at boarding schools in Switzerland, Turkey and the USA.
The following schools joined our orchard recently: Princess Helena College, Beechwood Park School, Mill Hill School, Wells Cathedral School, Cranleigh School, Clayesmore School, All Hallows, Dulwich Prep School and St Teresa’s, Effingham. Email email@example.com to take part and join the BSA Boarding Orchard.
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Celebrating 50 years of the Boarding Schools’ Association
Golden Jubilee pull-out special 2015-2016 marks the golden jubilee of the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) and silver jubilee of the State Boarding Schools’ Association (SBSA). The UK is the world leader in boarding education with around 500 boarding schools, over 75,000 students and representatives from more than 50 countries. Find out more about our jubilee celebrations inside this pull-out special.
National Boarding Week will take place from June 20 and members are encouraged to let BSA know what celebrations you are planning in your school. BSA have planned a number of events during National Boarding Week including: Monday, June 20 Go Green for Barnardoâ€™s. ÂŁ1 green mufti day.
Tuesday, June 21 Boarding Bake Off final at Dorney Lake with celebrity chef James Tanner. Wednesday, June 22 Golden Time Capsule. Bury a boarding time capsule in your grounds. Thursday, June 23 Telegraph Festival of Education.
Sunday, June 26 Big Boarding Sing with Dominic Peckham in London.
Golden Jubilee Writing Competition The award winning pupil newspaper, First News is offering pupils the opportunity to be a guest journalist with the paper covering the events of National Boarding Week (commencing June, 20). To enter please send an article of 170 words (maximum) detailing why you enjoy boarding at your school. Articles by boarding pupils only will be accepted. Please submit a high resolution image of the pupil(s) with your entry. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to enter and winning entries will be chosen by the editorial team at First News.
# Bake Off Competition Sponsored by
WHO CAN ENTER? Boarding pupils aged 9 - 15 years (as of 1 September 2015).
PRIZES Gold Kitchen Aid Masterclass with a Sodexo pastry chef Signed James Tanner Cook Book Sodexo baking kit
HOW DO I ENTER? Participants may enter any recipe and it does not need to be an original created by the entrant. Recipes may come from cookbooks, magazines, websites or any other means. Participants may choose from the below categories for their entry. With the exception of cookies and squares, all entries for the heats should be prebaked and decoration will take place during the competition. All bakes will be inspected prior to decoration.
Please note pre-made cake mixes are not permitted. The winner and runnerup from each heat will be entered into the ﬁnal.
Permitted baked goods entries: Cakes. All cakes must be evenly risen, tender, light, springy, free from sogginess in centre and have no noticeable flavour of egg, oil, baking soda etc. Not to include fresh cream. Decoration to be completed during the competition.
Cup cakes. Entrants must present a selection of three varieties to include chocolate, lemon and one other favour of the competitors choice including two of each variety of cup cake (six in total). Cup cakes should be pleasing in appearance, texture and taste. Not to include fresh cream. Decoration to be completed during the competition. Cookies and squares. To be baked during the competition. All cookies
and squares should be uniform in size and shape, have even colour, and be free from surface flour. Thickness to suit the mixture; thin cookies should be crisp.
Dessert tarts. Bases may be produced in advance and presented in a circular form (pastry bases only) for a minimum of six portions. One slice must be removed for judges to taste. A suitable sauce or garnish may be served separately if desired. The number of portions should be clearly identifiable. Fillings to be completed during the heat. All tarts are to be of the dessert variety. All ingredients to be provided by the participant. HEATS – HALF DAY/4 HOURS Scotland – May 24, Glenalmond College, Perthshire North – May 25, St Olave’s Preparatory School, York Midlands – May 25, Old Swinford Hospital School, West Midlands South East – May 26, Royal Alexandra and Albert School, Surrey South West – May 25, Millfield School Somerset HEATS JUDGING PANEL Independents by Sodexo Chef Guest Judge Boarding Schools’ Association
FINAL Tuesday, June 21, Dorney Lake Eton SL4 6QP
FINAL JUDGING PANEL James Tanner, Independents by Sodexo Consultant Chef Irena Barker, TES Robin Fletcher, BSA
Celebrating National Boarding Week with IE Today
Independent Education Today (IET) has teamed up with BSA to celebrate National Boarding Week. We want to hear your views on boarding life – whether it’s the challenges of homesickness, the joys of midnight feasts or the difference you’re making to students’ education. Tweet to @ie_today using #Boarding Because and, if 140 characters aren’t enough, send in your blogs (including images) by 1 June to be featured on the IET website during National Boarding Week. We’ll also choose a blog to be featured in the July/August bumper issue of IET magazine. Send your blogs and photos to: email@example.com
About IE Today Independent Education is a free, subscription-only monthly magazine reporting on all aspects of private education. Each issue features the latest news, opinion, and event previews from across the sector. Read more and sign up online at www.ie-today.co.uk
Stephanie Broad, editor of Independent Education Today www.ie-today.co.uk
r o f s r e d r Boa s ’ o d r a n r Ba In 2015 BSA launched the Boarders for Barnardo’s project to develop
a long-term charitable partnership between the boarding sector and vulnerable children. The project began with four pilot schools which
have been fundraising, carrying out social enterprise activities and completing work experience to make a diﬀerence.
‘Children helping children’ project
and join today
Radley College students from B Social Boarding House adopted Barnardo’s as its charity for the academic year. Following an inspiring visit from the Barnardo’s team, B Social led a presentation to fellow pupils about their work and in the autumn term raised funds via Chapel services, bring-and-buy sales and an unwanted Christmas gift sale. During the Spring term the boys have been busking on their bagpipes in Oxford and have a garden party planned for the summer term. The boys aim to raise £3,000.
Photo: Radley College
Sexey’s School were delighted to be working with BSA in supporting the outstanding work of the Barnardo’s Charity. The Charities Commission run by Sixth Form students have worked tirelessly in the past to raise awareness and valuable funds for the likes of Children In Need, The Children’s Liver Foundation, Fair Trade and the school’s partner charity, Macmillan Cancer (Douglas Macmillan the founder of the charity was an Old Sexeian). The school has recently held an Auction of Promises at the Spring Ball which was organised by the Parent Staﬀ Association (including rugby boots donated by James Haskell, England and Wasps rugby player). In addition to their fundraising eﬀorts Headmaster Irfan Latif is working with parents, staﬀ, students to raise awareness of Barnardo’s and oﬀer support to children who will beneﬁt from a boarding education where they will become part of a loving family and a strong community in which they can grow, ﬂourish and develop into conﬁdent and responsible individuals.
Westonbirt School and St Peter’s School, York have undertaken a number of events and have more planned for the summer term for pupils and parents. Join our campaign Barnardo’s celebrates its 150th anniversary in the same year BSA turns 50 and to celebrate this collaboration BSA is challenging 50 schools to join the BSA Boarders for Barnardo’s project to raise a minimum of £1,500 by the Annual Conference for Heads in May 2017. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register. There are also many opportunities to join the Boarders for Barnardo’s campaign during National Boarding Week (June 20, 2016).
Makeover Challenge Madness’
Horris Hill School recently won the Golden Makeover Challenge set by BSA and John Lewis for Business.
On behalf of John Lewis for Business, I’d like to
The brief was simple – member schools were challenged to add a feminine touch to the boarding facilities of their boys.
congratulate Horris Hill School on winning the BSA
Golden Makeover Challenge. The judging panel,
which was made up of 15 John Lewis Partners from
our sales team including those who focus
specifically on the education sector, was virtually
Participating schools entered a two-minute video each with their eye on the prize – a £2,000 makeover voucher and a John Lewis for Business designer to help them create their dream room.
unanimous in its decision to award first prize to the boys for their fun take on the Madness song, ‘Our House’. We particularly enjoyed the sleeping cameo in the background from a member of staff! We now look forward to working with the boys to select furniture from our assortment in order to deliver a common room to be proud of, that will
The video entered by Horris Hill was a spoof of the all-time great hit ‘Our House’ by the infamous 70’s group, Madness. With the words re-written for the brief and the boys performing, proudly sporting oversized jackets and flat caps, the winning video was born!
allow them to relax together after a hard days’ work in class.
Mr Slawinski, John Lewis judging panel
The prize money will be spent on re-designing a boys’ common room to include new seating. Head of Art Jo Omar,
suggested a colour scheme based on the artist Hundertwasser which the boys will be studying in the Summer term. Hundertwasser uses bright colours and modular lines which appeal to boys and which have been reflected in our choice of sofa style and colour from John Lewis. The boys will also be producing wall hangings as part of their art curriculum to capture the ‘spirit’ of the new design. The win was not only tweeted on Horris Hill’s own Twitter account but was re-tweeted by the official Madness site which caused great excitement amongst the boys. As well as a wonderful new common room to be enjoyed, there are now many Madness fans at Horris Hill amongst the boys!
Search ‘Boarding Schools’ Association’ on YouTube to view the winning video
Boarding Fello The first winners ileen Rees and Patrick Toland have been selected to be the first BSA Boardings Fellows for
timing as much as the nature of school meals? Such details, and the sympathetic reception they receive in a pastoral context, can be at the heart of the social and cultural health of a boarding school.
They were picked from a wide range of entries by BSA Honorary President Tony Little, former Head of Eton College, Oakham and Chigwell. Here Aileen and Patrick outline their fellowship research projects. Aileen: My proposed research project will investigate how BSA schools cater for their diverse and dynamic international intake. Do we just cope with different nationalities or do we celebrate them? I am very excited about the opportunity this fellowship gives me. I hope my questionnaire and the discussions in follow-up onsite visits will provide BSA member schools with an informed and critical snapshot of current practice. I aim to produce a discussion document for disseminating ideas, strategies and responses to a shared challenge – how best to internationalise UK boarding schools to secure the UK’s ongoing position as the world’s leading destination for secondary boarding education as a pathway to admission to worldwide university programmes. There is a delicate balance to achieve between protecting the dignity of boarders as individuals and offering them an education particular to the traditions of
Photo: Sherborne Girls
the School (which, after all, has been chosen by both the parents and the student). Yet as well as preserving our own sense of identity and value, how do we prepare our students for the range of global opportunity that lies before them? How well do we communicate with parents whose first language is not English? Do we contact them with the same frequency and enthusiasm as we contact our UK parents? Are we hard-wired to be too UCAS-centred in our university advice? Is the high point of our cultural awareness to have an ‘international evening’, rather than attempting to appreciate that different cultures and nationalities can have a hugely beneficial influence on approaches to work, to classroom behaviour and to discipline, punctuality, even hair style, and the
My initial questionnaire will be designed in part to generate useful quantitative data, suitably anonymised. This will include statistics on international admissions in real and percentage terms, the challenges of language competence and the measures taken to meet them, accommodating cultural provision (such as in cuisine, music and sport), and ultimate national and international university destinations, particularly in relation to international admissions profiles. At the same time, the on-site visits will encourage a more qualitative analysis, and would make me better able to relate each particular institution and its traditions and culture to its internationalist context and ambitions. By gathering, discussing and analysing this information, as part of the BSA’s golden jubilee celebrations, I think it will be helpful to member schools, giving us a timely panorama of our own working methods and a valuable model for the sharing successful practice for future development. Aileen Rees is Assistant Head of IB and Housemistress at St Leonard’s School, St Andrew’s.
I am very excited about the opportunity this fellowship gives me
“The quality of applications was so strong BSA has awarded the Boarding Fellowship to two members of the boarding community as a reflection of the high quality of entries – a fitting result during our Golden Jubilee year as we celebrate excellence and professional development in the sector.” Tony Little, BSA Honorary President
hen the Head of Rockport College, George vance, informed me I had been selected as one of the inaugural BSA Boarding Fellows, I couldn’t have been more delighted.
The Fellowship, like all of the new and innovative developments and outreach activities from the BSA in this Jubilee Year, represents another opportunity to platform and credit some of the outstanding boarding pastoral care and relationship-building in our sector. My project study focuses around Standard 12 of the National Minimum Standards – Promoting Positive Relationships. There is a special emphasis on how boarding schools develop and maintain trust and how this is linked to issues of attachment and the work of Bowlby. Sir Anthony Bowlby (also ex-boarder), along with Mary Ainsworth, are the key theorists in Attachment Theory. Their work could be best summarised in the statement that ‘to thrive emotionally, children need a close and continuous caregiving relationship’ (Bretherton, 1992). Critics of boarding draw on their work (even though it is over 40 years old) to suggest that the boarding experience is one that, due to disengagement from parents and poor attachment to boarding care-givers, leads inevitably to creating young people with issues of anxiety and insecurity that become foundational for future social interactions and mental health issues.
This is the ‘Paddington Bear’ view of abandonment/ care-provision that pays scant attention to the modern role of the child in selecting boarding as an active choice and the co-curricular offers that boarding schools now make to aid boarders in their transitions into and beyond boarding. My study is then an attempt to counter this position by drawing attention to the exemplary pastoral work that is taking place in contemporary boarding schools and underpinned by the NMS. Whether in terms of pre-visits, induction, flexi-boarding, buddy systems, peer-mentoring, alumni links, semi-independent living or policies that attend to the needs of all preferences or stakeholders, I believe there is substantial quantitative and qualitative evidence to show the sector is meeting the challenge of creating the type and style of long-lasting relationships between students and staff and students that are supplement, and not a surrogate, to family life. The project is also underpinned by a desire to engage with a range of parties to best provide a basis of evidence. This will include visits to boarding communities and engaging with organisations such as the Bowlby Centre, the Boarding Survivors Network and academics in the social science field. I am delighted these organisations have already welcomed my approaches in such a generous and openhearted way. In all, I look forward in the coming year to learning more myself about the excellent work of our sector and to contributing to the renewed energy and drive within the BSA to be vocal and proud of what is outstanding and worthy of acclaim within our sector.
Patrick Toland is Head of Boarding, Rockport College, Northern Ireland
Boarding in a changing world o misquote Wilde, to merge two schools might be regarded as a challenge; to merge three looks like foolhardiness.
Yet Mount Kelly, born from the 2014 merger of Mount House, Kelly College, and Kelly’s standalone prep school, is growing rapidly. Reversing a 30% fall in the combined roll since 2007, pupil numbers at the College are up by 20% on 2014-2015. Further encouraged by last year’s ISI inspection report, the new Foundation is in rude health. Central to this success has been a strategic re-direction towards boarding, and a clear commitment to high-quality boarding education lies at the heart of recent changes. This has been underpinned by a clear understanding of the market, a willingness to be flexible, agile and quick-footed, and the identification of, and investment in, a USP. Given the demographics of the School’s location, on the sparsely-populated western edge of Dartmoor, it was critical to reconnect with the wider UK boarding market. Extending the day by two hours, enhancing the extra-curricular programme, reinvigorating the weekend offer, and heightening the expectations on staff to contribute fully to the life of a busy boarding school, have brought fundamental change to the ethos of the Foundation. Staff recruitment has been central, and the last year has seen the recruitment of almost twenty new colleagues, most with a strong boarding pedigree and all bringing a range of skills and talents. Parents are therefore getting more for their money, and the pupils are stretched and challenged in and out of the classroom. At the same time, a programme of refurbishment of boarding facilities reinforces a clear commitment to boarding. The merger has also enabled the new Foundation to offer the sort of flexibility on which success in an increasingly fragmented market depends. Kelly College had for many years been a Years 7 to 13 School, drawing pupils both from the maintained sector and from Kelly College Prep School, which finished at Year 6. Mount House, across the valley of the river Tavy and always entirely independent from Kelly College, was a more traditional prep school, running up to Year 8 and preparing children for Common Entrance and progression to senior schools around the country.
Photo: Mount Kelly
A critical question on merger, therefore, and one that was central to determining the shape of the Foundation, was where the provision for Years 7 & 8 would be sited, and what curriculum would be followed. The decision to retain a traditional Prep/Senior School model, the College starting at Year 9 and with Years 7 & 8 at the Prep following the Common Entrance syllabus, was based on solid educational and pastoral principals. For many pupils in 11+ senior schools, Years 7 & 8 can be a time of drift. A clear commitment to the Common Entrance syllabus for all pupils, and the prospect of externallyset exams at the end of Year 8, however, bring greater educational focus and impetus. The decision to make provision for Years 7 & 8 at the Prep, rather than the College, also has clear pastoral benefits. Pupils have another two years in which to grow, mature and develop, before facing the challenges of life in a senior school. They are also able to take on positions of responsibility and leadership which would be denied them in a senior school setting. High-quality boarding in Years 7 & 8 also plays an important role in Mount Kelly’s appeal to parents who may wish to move their children from distant rural primary schools into the independent sector at Year 7. In a large and sparsely populated region, the School’s location enables parents across Devon and Cornwall to engage with the life of the School without the challenge of a long school run every morning and evening. While a busy programme of competitive fixtures on Saturday mornings means parents are able to attend matches and still have their children home for the weekend. Investment in facilities and the driving up of standards at the College (which from September 2016 will start at Year 9), make remaining within the Foundation an increasingly attractive option. The commitment to Common Entrance at Years 7 & 8, however, enables those who wish to continue their education upcountry to do so, and the School has an impressive track-record of pupils progressing to high-profile schools, many with scholarships. Mount Kelly is therefore structured to facilitate entry into and exit from the Foundation at a range of points.
Established in 1978, the Performance Swimming Programme at Mount Kelly has produced 65 international swimmers, 15 Olympians and four Paralympians. Swimming was therefore immediately apparent as the USP which would extend the School’s appeal nationally and internationally, and has been the focus of major investment. The construction of a 50m Olympic Legacy pool within walking distance of the boarding houses, the retention of the existing 25m pool, and the further development of an already internationally-renowned swim programme, now enable Mount Kelly to recruit elite swimmers from across the UK and more widely, and is allied to investment in boarding and academic provision across the Foundation. The resultant 30% growth in boarding numbers has, in turn, enabled the Foundation to increase its international boarding numbers without changing the overall boarding profile. A firm belief in the relevance and value of a boarding education in preparing young people for the modern world has also been central to the strategic redirection of Mount Kelly. While schools are often likened to super-tankers, Mount Kelly’s experience over the last 18 months suggests that, contrary to conventional wisdom, radical change can be driven through very quickly. Despite the current portends of disaster hanging over the independent sector, flexibility in a changing market, and a willingness to invest in a USP, will be the watchwords of schools surviving these turbulent times. In choppy and uncertain waters, it pays to be a frigate rather than a super-tanker. It is a mindset of which Admiral Kelly – the founder of Kelly College and one of the great naval captains of his generation – surely would have approved.
By Mark Semmence Headmaster, Mount Kelly
Paws for thought
eaving the family home for boarding school is an adventure. There are many lessons to learn, lifelong friends to make and plenty of fun to have.
“Stroking a dog is an extremely calming experience and the companionship of a dog, snuggling up to the girls when they are feeling down, really makes a difference to their mood,” Ms Morse added.
Inevitably there will be moments when boarders miss their parents – and their pets – and occasionally the pressure of exams can become a little stressful for fifth and sixth formers. But furry friends who belong to house parents across a family of schools in Monmouth, South Wales, are on hand to provide cuddles, kisses and a friendly ear to any child in need of a pick-me-up. Over the years, staff at the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools have noticed the remarkable effect their dogs have on children who board. Having hounds around has also helped pupils to overcome fears and learn about being responsible pet owners. Julie Ann Morse runs Augusta House for sixth formers at HMSG, where she lives with her partner Lee Jones, their teenage son Oliver and dogs Bernard and Lucy. She said: “Being housemistress of a Sixth Form boarding house with 50-plus female residents is never dull. “Each day can bring a range of emotions, be it examination pressure, a friendship issue or missing selection to your chosen team.
“Having dogs in the house makes it seem more homely and the girls look forward to seeing them after a busy day at school. “Greeting the dogs is one of the first things some girls do when they come into the house. They have an extremely therapeutic role for certain boarders who take the opportunity to walk them as a way to relax and exercise.”
“In addition to the range of coping strategies that we encourage the girls to develop, we have found that one of the best ways to reduce stress and increase happiness has been the calming and constant presence of the house dogs, Bernard and Lucy. “The dogs are always happy to see the girls, never judge their behaviour and are willing to sit patiently, listening to all their worries and concerns.” There are 11 dogs in residence at HMSG, with four in particular having plenty of contact with the girls.
Ngum Mofor, aged 13, boards at School House for pupils between seven and 13, and has managed to overcome her fear of dogs thanks to affable cocker spaniel Humphrey and his pal, crossbreed, Marmite. She said: “I used to hate dogs. I was terrified of them – I would scream and cry if I saw one. “But I love them now. “I’m always the first back from school to see Humphrey and Marmite. “They’re like an extra part of the family – Humphrey is like an imaginary friend who’s come to life.
“He’s taken away my fear of dogs and being with him gives me a sense of comfort.” Humphrey has also been a ray of sunshine for Amelia Couch, aged 11. “Dogs can sense when you’re upset,” she said. “Humphrey is like my little therapist. “I was crying about something once and he licked my tears away. Dogs are very supportive. “We love dressing him up in all his little outfits too – he’s like a teddy bear.” Over at Monmouth School for boys, Lyndsay Hope and her husband David have been house parents for 10 years. They have noticed it’s not just the pupils who benefit from a full house. Treacle the black Labrador, seven, Dylan, aged 19 and Isis the retired greyhound, who’s six, live with them at school.
Tony Little BSA Honorary President
Celebrating our Jubilee “They also bring a lot of fun to the house. “Treacle helps to tuck the boys in at night – she really likes going around the house withheating, David. abundant food and wraparound 24/7 pastoral care from boarding professionals. “She’s very entertaining because she tries
t gives me enormous pleasure Mrs Hope said: “I’vethe always had dogs, to write foreword to this mainly rescues. “Isis was quite quick in of celebration marking 50 years her racing days, sheSchools’ was a winner on the(BSA). to empty the bins and she’s a shocking the Boarding Association track. And that doesn’t even consider the access thief. The BSA was formed just a couple of years “When we brought her home to school and broad co-curricular “She loves Pancake Day. If programmes. the boys flip three boarding years agoinshe thewas late terribly 1960s. afraid of the pancake in the air and they fall to the men and doors – petrified of anything That thelightning change has been so great of floor, she’s fast to pick themisup!” unusual new. To and board at Eton then was to say the least Harry course well known who work Simpson boardstoatthose Monmouth a formative experience. The school was “The positive effect worksand both ways – as it of course as historic traditional living with the boys has really helped with her confidence she’s with them Summer ofand Love andfine Sgt Pepper. now.”
If these two worlds were sharply The Hopes have had since she contrasting then,Treacle contrast them again to was a boarding pup. today.
in boarding. The hard is explaining School’s New House, runpart by Alex and the seismic to theto outside world, Georgie Peace leap - parents two-year-old especially or sceptical Clemmie andjournalists springer spaniel Tilly.parents.
Harry, aged 14, said: “This is my second yearYet in throughout boarding. all that has changed there has been a constant, reassuring and presence: BSA.and it was a “I’vevalued got two dogs atthe home
nice surprise to have Tilly living at school. “It’s definitely friendlier and more relaxed “It’s really heartwarming and lovely to about see in withOxford For all Mr Wilson’s 1960s rhetoric July 1965 BSA has been a dog in - they havethe such a good that the are able comfort boys thedogs ‘white heat’ ofto change there wasinlittle energy. there, rather like a long-serving and a way evidence that we can’t – it’s magical really,” of that in boarding schools then. warmly trusted boarding house matron. Mrs Hope continued. “Tilly reminds me of my dog when she “We find boys whoinadequate feel a bit homesick or dormitories, heating, poor shy, and also who care are easily food andboys pastoral in the hands of distracted, findwere the common dogs have a calming prefects attributes. effect on them. Fast forward 50 years and what a
what comes to mind wasSo younger and takes mywhen mindone off thinks of the BSA? things if I’m ever homesick.” Professional development, expert advice, an increasingly strong voice to government and journalists, information provider for prospective parents and
Fellow boarder, Nathan Pugh, 15, added: “I always wanted a dog but my parents said I’d have to take responsibility and convenor of the boarding family for look after it. conferences and events.
“It feels really homely in New House, but all this and,homelier.” swan-like, much aThe dogBSA justdoes makes it even more besides, in exchange for a modest Recently, the canine companions gave annual subscription. schools across the country something to
bark about on Twitter after Humphrey That we aneed BSA and all its inspired newthe hashtag. valuable services is beyond doubt as we contemplate the next 50 years Thanks to his dashing selfie beingof boarding. by the Boarding Schools’ retweeted
Association, who thanked him for starting The challenges are great and manyschools – their #boardinghousedog gallery, and we don’t knowtowhat the boarding were encouraged share photos and landscape will look 2065, howtomany fun facts about the like petsinwho help boarders we will serve or howfor many create a family environment boarders across the UK.
But however things unfold, it is an enormous comfort to know the BSA is there with us on the journey.
Thank you BSA, and good luck as you plan By Nikki Knowles your centenary!
PR and Social Media Manager Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools
Tony Little BSA Honorary President 2015-2016
“Dogs just make you feel happy much more than cats do.”
Annie Lee, Head, All Hallows School, Somerset IS IT EASIER BEING HEAD FOR A SECOND TIME? The role of Head is a complex one and those complexities are different in every school. So there may be elements which are familiar and perhaps second time round you can apply previous experience when problem solving. There will be new challenges and different challenges but as we all know, calm seas don’t make good sailors!
WHAT LESSONS FROM YOUR FIRST HEADSHIP HAVE YOU MANAGED TO BRING TO YOUR ROLE? Time spent being visible is time really well spent! It is easy to become a slave to email and not get out and about as much as you would like to. When you are in effect the CEO of a large organisation it is important to remember our raison d’etre is to educate young people. Ensuring excellent teaching and learning must lie at the heart of all that a Head does. ARE YOU LEARNING THINGS SECOND TIME ROUND YOU DIDN’T COME ACROSS DURING YOUR FIRST HEADSHIP? Yes, boarding is new to me. I am also learning about maintaining listed buildings! I am working on a fabulous site and we are the stewards of some wonderful historical architecture which demands our constant attention. WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT DURING YOUR FIRST HEADSHIP? There were so many things I was really proud of but the main two would be making long-lasting improvements to the school environment and introducing a Creative Curriculum where the team of teachers took ownership of the way in which key skills were delivered in their year group. It was really empowering.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN THINGS YOU WOULD LIKE TO ACHIEVE IN YOUR NEW ROLE? Boarding is absolutely integral to all that we do at All Hallows. We have a reputation for innovation and I would like to extend this into our boarding provision, ensuring we continue to build a diverse community of families from the local area and further afield. Alongside this I want to ensure we offer a curriculum that is relevant, stretching and creative and is delivered in the best possible work spaces. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS WHO MIGHT BE LOOKING TO BECOME HEAD FOR A SECOND TIME? Do it! It is never going to be the same job. A new job has its own challenges and excitements you cannot predict. Keep an open mind and listen in order to learn the culture of the new school. It will not be easier, just different. ARE THERE ANY DIFFERENCES IN BOARDING BETWEEN YOUR LAST SCHOOL AND YOUR NEW ONE? I was running a day school I am afraid. DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE IN THREE WORDS? Authentic, empowering, determined.
3 Philip Wayne Head, Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe
IS IT EASIER BEING HEAD FOR A SECOND TIME? I would not say it is easier, by any means. It is different. In some ways, it is more challenging as expectations are higher because everyone knows one is an experienced Head. But there are aspects of being a Headmaster you do not need to learn.
WHAT LESSONS FROM YOUR FIRST HEADSHIP HAVE YOU MANAGED TO BRING TO YOUR ROLE? I think the main thing I have brought is that I am more comfortable with allowing improvements to be made steadily rather than rushing into vast amounts of change being seen as a strength. Also, I am not trying to turn this school into my last one! This is contextual of course - I have inherited a great school in its own right. ARE YOU LEARNING THINGS SECOND TIME ROUND YOU DIDN’T COME ACROSS DURING YOUR FIRST HEADSHIP? Yes - every school is different. At RGS, for example, boarding and a CCF are elements I have not come across before. Whilst I have great people in charge of both of these areas, I am ultimately accountable for their success or otherwise.
WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT DURING YOUR FIRST HEADSHIP? Changing a culture which enabled my school to go from ‘Requires Improvement’ in 2007 to ‘Outstanding’ in 2014 (via ‘Good’ in 2009!)
We asked three second-time Heads what they have learnt from their previous Headship Richard Backhouse Principal, Berkhamsted Schools Group
IS IT EASIER BEING HEAD FOR A SECOND WHAT ARE THE MAIN THINGS YOU TIME? WOULD LIKE TO ACHIEVE IN YOUR NEW ROLE? It’s certainly different. There are times when I have only been in post since January, so you think to yourself ‘I recognise this’, but it’s early days. First, I’d like as many people there is also the danger you think your Tony Little as possible to feel listened to, and second experience means you understand a BSA Honorary President I’d like to make sure the community feels situation or a problem because you think confident in the direction being taken. Third, you have seen it before, when in fact you I’d like young people to be inspired – in have seen something similar. The golden WHAT’S ARE THE MAIN THINGS YOU subjects to study at university, in career, in rule, it seems to me, is not to make WOULD LIKE TO ACHIEVE IN YOUR NEW contribution to their community – and to assumptions and listen hard. ROLE? have sufficient confidence to aim high in all I would like RGS to be on the map as a truly WHAT LESSONS FROM YOUR FIRST these areas. first-rate school for day and boarding HEADSHIP HAVE YOU MANAGED TO BRING pupils. This involves developing the already TO YOUR ROLE? WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO excellent co-curricular programme, pushing Plan before all meetings, even those in OTHERS WHO MIGHT BE LOOKING TO exam results to the next stage and BECOME HEAD FOR A SECOND TIME? which you think you know what is going to developing the school estate. I am very Just as your Headship was to make your happen - you can’t rewind. Keep as much of keen to see us playing in the pleasure t gives our mepart enormous heating, abundant food and wrapconvenor of the boarding family for first school more wholly and wholesomely your time as possible on the things you community as ato multi-academy trust. to this write the foreword around 24/7 pastoral care from boarding conferences and events. itself, so is your second role to make your want to achieve - this sounds simple, but I celebration marking 50 years of professionals. second school more fully itself. But these think it is tremendously important. Ask WHAT ADVICE YOU GIVE TO theWOULD Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA). The BSA does all this and, swan-like, much are different entities. Approach the new ‘Why?’ as often as possible, and encourage OTHERS WHO MIGHT BE LOOKING TO And that doesn’t even consider the access more besides, in exchange for a modest school as a completely fresh challenge. others to ask it too. BECOME HEAD SECOND TheFOR BSA A was formedTIME? just a couple of years annual subscription. Consider the benefits/risks of moving on and broad co-curricular programmes. ARE THERE DIFFERENCES IN BOARDING ARE YOU LEARNING THINGS SECOND from somewhere one happy and boarding inisthe late 1960s. That we need the BSA and all its BETWEEN YOUR LAST SCHOOL AND YOUR TIME ROUND YOU DIDN’T COME ACROSS established – think about what you can offer That the change has been so great is of valuable services is beyond doubt as NEW ONE? DURING YOUR FIRST HEADSHIP? a new school. Don’tat beEton precious thetolast To board then in was say the least course well known to those who work weYes, contemplate the next 50 years and of more lots. Berkhamsted is bigger Yes, just as every person is different, so is few months when yourexperience. current school a formative Thehas school was in boarding. The hard part is explaining boarding. complex with 1,900 pupils on five sites, with every situation, because they have different appointedof your successor (andand be sensitive course as historic traditional as it the seismic leap to the outside world, six Heads of its component schools, a larger people in them. I think it’s a great mistake to to the Head you are replacing!) especially journalists or sceptical parents. Theproportion challengesofare great and many – day pupils, and a diamond see people as ‘types’ and therefore to make Summer of Love and Sgt Pepper. andstructure. we don’tThe know the boarding twowhat are excellent in different one situation a re-run of another. ARE THERE ANY DIFFERENCES IN Yet throughout all that has changed there landscape lookareas like in how many ways butwill three of 2065, commonality have BOARDING BETWEEN YOUR LAST If these two worlds wereSCHOOL sharply has been a constant, reassuring and boarders we already will serve or how WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST struck me - both havemany outstanding AND YOUR NEW ONE? then, contrast them again to contrasting valued presence: the YOUR BSA. FIRST ACHIEVEMENT DURING and highly committed staff, both place the As above, boarding boarding today. is new to me. HEADSHIP? child right at the centre of planning and Butdecision-making, however things unfold, it is I’m not keen on the idea of ‘my’ and both areancommunities DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE IN For all Mr Wilson’s 1960s rhetoric about in achievements: Oxford in Julychange, 1965 thedevelopment, BSA has been enormous comfort to know the BSA is and of educational innovation. THREE WORDS? the ‘white heat’ of change there was little there, rather like a are long-serving and I there with us on the journey. progress in a school a team game. 1) I like to think that because I have been evidence of that in boarding schools then. worked warmlywith trusted boarding lots of fantastichouse peoplematron. at DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE IN inspired in the past, I can inspire others. Monkton Combe, and some of them came THREE WORDS. what comes totime, mindso when onehave thinks 2) I don’t ask anyone to do anything I would toSo the School in my I would to Reflective, bold, enabling. dormitories, inadequate heating, poor of playing the BSA? not do myself. say a part in their appointment was food and pastoral care in the hands of the achievement. Together, Monkton 3) I am also exceptionally ambitious for my prefects were common attributes. Professional achieved somedevelopment, really fantastic expert things school, its stakeholders (boys in particular) advice, an increasingly strongand voice to opportunities for young people staff, and myself. Fast forward 50 years and what a government and journalists, Tony Little buildings, and innovations – but information the credit provider foralone prospective parents BSA Honorary President 2015-2016 was not mine for any of them. and
Celebrating our Jubilee
Thank you BSA, and good luck as you plan your centenary!
The BSA’s new Commitment to Care Charter places safeguarding centre stage for all BSA member schools. The BSA also has a new Safeguarding Forum and its first safeguarding advisor, Stuart Williams, Director of Compliance at Bradfield College. Here Stuart looks at some of the fundamental principles of child protection and obligations on all who work with children at school.
GUARDING he irony of a valentine’s Day frontpage story reporting that children who text intimate photographs to girlfriends/boyfriends are no longer to face prosecution, and the devastating consequences of a lifelong criminal record, can only have met with approval at breakfast tables in British households.
Such approvals would, unfortunately, fit well with emerging press campaigns against ‘overzealous’ action elsewhere which is in danger of bringing the established approach to child protection disclosures into disrepute – an outcome which must endanger children. On the same front page the Sunday Times headline ‘Hogan-Howe to face Brittan’s Widow’ indicated that police actions undoubtedly intended to secure justice for children have backfired. They also threaten corrosion of that principle fundamental in child protection work: that children’s disclosures must always be taken seriously and discounted only once hard evidence demonstrates allegations cannot in fact be true. The vital importance of the principle favouring children who make disclosures, with the
presumption they are saying things to be taken very seriously, is undeniable when we consider historic child abuse cases where victims went unheard. The extent of what went unchecked was too often the consequence of presumptions made in favour of adults (who eventually turned out to be abusers) and against children, whose stories were discounted when they simply told of what was happening to them. The case of the Rt Rev Peter Ball indicates the surprising extent to which people of generally sound judgment are easily taken in by fellow adults – even when their behaviour is manifestly peculiar. It is salutary to remember in light of his case that while adults find it very easy to dismiss straightforward children as untruthful, we find it equally easy to believe in our peers, even when they have habits indicative of personal oddity (of a type that should, were reactions more straightforwardly rational, give grounds for grave concern). The view of the 1980s, that Jimmy Saville was a modern saint (5,000 filed past his coffin when he lay “in state” at the Queen’s Hotel, Leeds) seems incredible naïve with hindsight, when his TV persona is reassessed.
Tony Little BSA Honorary President
Celebrating our Jubilee
Photo: Bradfield College
t gives me enormous pleasure heating, abundant food and wrapconvenor of the boarding family for to write the foreword to this around 24/7 pastoral care from boarding conferences and events. WHAT IS TO BEcelebration LEARNT FROM ALL 50 THIS? marking years of professionals. False accusations can lead to good people the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA). The BSA does all this and, swan-like, much being accused and deeply hurt (‘mud’ And that doesn’t even consider the access more besides, in exchange for a modest sadly sticks). fundamental TheBut BSAthe was formed just a couple of years annual subscription. principle of child protection, that a child’s and broad co-curricular programmes. disclosureboarding of abuseinisthe never, to be late ever 1960s. That we need the BSA and all its discounted or disbelieved, is a principle of That the change has been so great is of valuable services is beyond doubt as unimpeachable importance in a world To board at Eton then was to say the least course well known to those who work we contemplate the next 50 years of Photo: Bedales Photo: Bedales where the worst abusers are often adept a formative experience. The school was in boarding. The hard part is explaining boarding. at developing status and reputation that of course as historic and traditional as it the seismic leap to the outside world, make it hard to believe ill of them. The regulatory compliance. So, if the SCR is in diligence’ when making appointments, but especially journalists or sceptical parents. The challenges are great and many – watchwords have always to be: “It could good order, the CP Policy properly it cannot guarantee pupils are safe. The Summer of Love and Sgt Pepper. and we don’t know what the boarding be true; it could have happened” and formulated and the PSHE scheme of work efficacy of a deterrent depends on the Yet throughout all that has changed there landscape will look like in 2065, how many investigations must follow. well drafted, all is thought secure. Such potential criminal’s expectation of If these two worlds were sharply has been a constant, reassuring and boarders we will serve or how many documents are certainly very important, detection. Child abusers have fair reason contrasting then, contrast valued presence: the BSA. The prospect of prosecutions and them again to but they must represent only the starting to be optimistic they will not be found out boarding sentence under thetoday. Sexual Offences Act point in child protection. It is the practice for theirs is a secret and under-reported however unfold, it isthat an is 2003 does not deter ‘sexting’ between whichBut follows afterthings the paperwork crime. all Mr Wilson’s 1960s rhetoric Oxford in July 1965 the BSA has been enormous comfort to know the BSA is teenagersFor in intimate relationships and is about in of essential importance. Ongoing, prothe review. ‘white heat’ of change there was little there, rather a long-serving and with us on thetojourney. rightly under Equally, the prospect activethere safeguarding has be a The responsibility onlike schools to have onevidence of that in boarding schools then. warmly trusted boarding house matron. responsibility that reaches every corner of of deterrent sentences does not going, pro-active strategies to address guarantee the safety of children from a school if children are to be safe from illicit on-line activity by children and Sochild whatabuse comesby toadults mind when one adult abusers, and the matrix of checks potential already onthinksabuse. The responsibility is as central to recorded on a school’sinadequate Single Central the work of the part-time sports coach as dormitories, heating, poorthe SCRof BSA? inescapable and is,the therefore, Register, likewise, can do little to protect it is to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. profoundly important. Potentially the food and pastoral care in the hands of children from the determined It is the PSHE teacher who senses importance of pass/fail inspection reports prefects were common attributes. Professional development, expert paedophile. The Single Central Register whether the lessons on wise use of IT can tempt schools towards a view of child advice, an increasingly strong voice to demonstrates a school has shown ‘due have any protection duties as an exercise in Fast forward 50 years and what a government and journalists, information Tonyimpact Little of pupils’ attitudes. provider for prospective parents and BSA Honorary President 2015-2016
Thank you BSA, and good luck as you plan your centenary!
Photo: Bradfield College
Tony Little BSA Honorary President
Celebrating our Jubilee gives me enormous pleasure heating, abundant food and wrapconvenor of the boarding family for It is the peopletwho work with children to write the hear foreword this around 24/7 pastoral care from boarding conferences and events. hour-by-hour who see and mostto and marking professionals. are best placedcelebration to notice change and50 years of listen to worries and concerns. one the Boarding Schools’Each Association (BSA). The BSA does all this and, swan-like, much of us ‘at the chalk face’ must be prepared And that doesn’t even consider the access more besides, in exchange for a modest to challenge CP education and of years Theineffective BSA was formed just a couple annual subscription. be ready to believe the incredible when it and broad co-curricular programmes. is disclosed, giving in credence the child boarding the late to 1960s. That we need the BSA and all its telling us someone we know well, like, That the change has been so great is of valuable services is beyond doubt as trust, respect, evenat admire, haswas done To board Eton then to say the least course well known to those who work we contemplate the next 50 years of somethinga terrible that needs to be school was formative experience. The in boarding. The hard part is explaining boarding. passed on, without even momentary of course as historic and traditional as it the seismic leap to the outside world, hesitation, to the DSL. We must also not especially journalists or sceptical parents. The challenges are great and many – Photo: Bedales Photo: Bedales react over generously when we encounter Summer of Love and Sgt Pepper. and we don’t know what the boarding Code of Conduct exists to safeguard staff and take care not to take altruism at face the altruistic character who is always Yet throughout all that has changed there landscape will look like in 2065, how many as much as children, and suggest those value and be over-trusting. And those there for the children, whose behaviour If these two worlds were sharply has been a constant, reassuring and boarders we will serve or how many who give to children by operating beyond whose generosity is upright and sincere seems self-sacrificing and ‘saintly’. Often contrasting then, contrast them again to valued presence: the BSA. the limits the Code sets down, actually do place themselves at risk of false the generosity of spirit displayed by such boarding today. legitimise patterns of behaviour which allegation by becoming too close to the people is authentic and schools can be But however things –unfold, it is an can shelter an offender and must stop children to whom they give their time. It is enriched by what they offer. However, we For all Mr Wilson’s 1960s rhetoric aboutthe in work Oxford July 1965 the BSA hasthe been comfort to know the BSA is doingenormous so. of theingood colleague, and must be mindful that nobility in behaviour ‘white of heat’ of changemen, there was little there,torather likethem a long-serving there with us on the journey. best friend, remind the Staff and is also thethe disguise malevolent evidence of that in boarding schools then. warmly trusted boarding house matron.
dormitories, inadequate heating, poor food and pastoral care in the hands of prefects were common attributes. Fast forward 50 years and what a
So what comes to mind when one thinks of the BSA?
Professional development, expert advice, an increasingly strong voice to government and journalists, information provider for prospective parents and By Stuart Williams, BSA Safeguarding Advisor
Thank you BSA, and good luck as you plan your centenary! Tony Little BSA Honorary President 2015-2016
Board here John Newton, former Head at Taunton School and former BSA Vice Chair, shares some highlights of boarding Australian style.
in many respects, Australia and the UK speak the same language. But consider the following. In Australia history is either very recent or stretches back thousands of years due to the profound links it has with its indigenous people. History is about the land. It is about rites, ancestors and religion.
Secondly, the geography: one of the first and most important pictures I have put up in my study was of the map of the incredible country of Australia. Its size and dimensions are utterly mind boggling. I reckon I know a lot about the UK and France. Australia will never be fully experienced by anybody.
Thirdly, there is a word that we all think means the same thing but has different significance for both of us. That word is rain. In the UK rain makes us all miserable. In Australia it makes everybody incredibly happy. Rain affects the harvest and the feed. Rain affects the prosperity of remote families. Rain means we can afford boarding.
When you unite both geography and the climate together you understand why boarding has established itself so well in Australia. Here boarding helps remote families who live on sheep stations the size of small counties to send their children to a decent school in preparation for university. They can afford to do so by the work of their hands and by what grows in the ground. Those in school marketing always look at the long range weather forecast to know just how good the boarding enrolment figures are going to be. La Ni単a in the Southern Hemisphere means hot weather. Batten down the hatches. There is a whole set of values attached to being a country family which boarding life reflects. Those families want toughness, and they want courtesy and old-fashioned manners. They want very tight bedtimes and God forbid anybody who believes that anything good could comes out of a screen.
Photo: Scotch College
here... So boarding largely supports the rural rather than the urban community, which is a challenge for a pasty-faced Englishman. In the UK boarding offers huge extra-educational benefits. The long day, the activities of the weekend and the intense experience of living in a place with so much going on genuinely gives a return on the investment that parents make in boarding. In Australia it is something of a necessity for a 12-year-old country student, so they avoid having to live in the great outback for too long, lacking social contact and a decent sports team. An opportunity for Scotch to differentiate? Maybe soâ€Ś
Climate also makes a big difference to the working week in Australian boarding. There are no lessons on a Saturday morning because the grounds arenâ€™t big enough to provide enough ovals and other pitches to run sport concurrently on a half day. There is, after all, only so much green grass the brown water supplies can nurture.
Sport therefore dominates the weekend. If you rise at 7.30 on a Saturday morning you will not see uniform-clad young people going off to lessons, but a whole range of parents setting up the gazebo around the cricket pavilion as they prepare for a whole day of cricket on the oval. Beyond boarding, Australia treasures religion. So we need to talk about Aussie Rules.
AFL, as it is known, is a healthy addiction, anaesthetizing overzealous males for about five months of each year when the temperature nudges unwillingly down to about 10 degrees and there is a drop of rain. Its narcotic effects are such that even in the closed season with the temperature nudging gleefully up to 35, the radio broadcasts are jam packed with who is moving to which club, who played well last year and who is going to succeed next year.
beaches are all sandy and quiet, and you can park right next to them without being hit by a huge parking fine. It is so unstuffy, so efficient, so easy going. It is the Med without the hassle.
Photo: Scotch College
This is a country which understands quality of life. It is a country which loves Tony Little its children and loves its schools. It takes BSA Honorary President education in its profoundest and most collegial sense extremely seriously so their young men and their young women grow up balanced and happy, enjoying all life has to give. There may not be too much Greek, but who can argue with a country as unpretentiously successful, level-headed, loyal and welcoming?
Celebrating our Jubilee
The care and love that families feel for Several channels on Fox TV, the sister of each other here is easily as great as any Sky TV, have now fully analysed last warm boarding community in the UK. season’s matches. We are now reviewing t gives me enormous heating, abundant food and Come the weekend parents dowrapnot simply the 1990s. In South Australia, thepleasure Rugby to write the foreword to this around 24/7 pastoral care from boarding support activities such as concerts and World Cup was an irrelevance. When the celebration 50the years of plays professionals. and sport, they also allocate season commences themarking great and the Boarding Association (BSA). responsibilities to each other. They good gather aroundSchools’ ovals and in stadiums AndThey that doesn’t consider the access coach. referee.even They do backstage. all over the country in order to cheer on The BSAheroes. was formed just athat couple their warrior Translate intoofayears They put on vast amounts of hospitality so co-curricular programmes. country context and this is the highlight of thatand youbroad are never more than 25 metres boarding in the late 1960s. the country community’s week. Everyone or 25 minutes away from a bacon comes together to watch the netball or sandwich, sausage, a beer, a cuppa That thea change has been so great isorofa the AFL. Whenat the nights in,say people of cake. is community To board Eton thenclose was to the least piece course well This known to those wholiving workat park their utes allexperience. around theThe edge of the And is then of a formative school was a wonderfully in boarding.high Thelevel. hard part explaining oval and put onas their headlights to there isleap the weather. Howworld, can you of course historic and traditional as it course the seismic to the outside provide the lux factor for the AFL games. not especially love a country whenor it’s over 25parents. journalists sceptical degrees for a good half of the year? The Summer of Love and Sgt Pepper. For a boarder, every Saturday, the oval Yet throughout all that has changed there hosts If four matches including these two worlds were Old sharply has been a constant, reassuring and Collegian (Old Boys’) games. It is a contrasting then, contrast them again to valued presence: the BSA. jamboree. The BBQ rota kicks off at 8am boarding today. sharp. For all Mr Wilson’s 1960s rhetoric about in And anybody fearing that Australia would the ‘white heat’ of change there was little be rough and ready, dominated by men evidence of that in boarding schools then. who don’t shave and women with harsh vowels should think again. It is a highly sophisticated society. People do not dormitories, inadequate heating, poor complain in a confrontational way. They food and pastoral care in the hands love their children deeply and care very of werewellbeing. common attributes. much prefects about their And they support their schools to the hilt. The forward 50 yearsit and what a loyaltyFast is humbling when is not impressive.
Oxford in July 1965 the BSA has been there, rather like a long-serving and warmly trusted boarding house matron. So what comes to mind when one thinks of the BSA? Professional development, expert advice, an increasingly strong voice to government and journalists, information provider for prospective parents and
Boarding and its values add much to this. So if any of my colleagues out there are having rebellious thoughts about moving the boarding family forThis is toconvenor Australia,ofI would nurture them. a conferences place which and has events. refreshed me, it has changed many of my perspectives and it has me to and, thinkswan-like, new-world Thechallenged BSA does all this much thoughts aboutin new-world more besides, exchange problems. for a modest Someone said to me before I applied for annual subscription. the role at Scotch College that of course I must it will theand best Thatgo weas need thebe BSA allthing its I ever did. They were right. The boarding valuable services is beyond doubt asand school life in Australia are50 high quality. we contemplate the next years of And if any of you ever wish to come and boarding. see more there is a fabulous community at Scotch College happy to welcome you, The challenges are great and many – rain or, more than likely, shine. and we don’t know what the boarding landscape will look like in 2065, how many boarders we will serve or how many
But however things unfold, it is an H Newton enormous comfort to knowJohn the BSA is Principal, Scotch College there with us on the journey.
Thank you BSA, and good luck as you plan your centenary! Tony Little BSA Honorary President 2015-2016
v How can technology
help keep a Housemaster’s or Housemistress’ life on track?
VICKI RENDALL a Housemistress
at King Edward’s Witley,
has some ideas even the most
technophobic to get on board with.
Photo: King Edward’s Witley
he work-life balance need not be a mythological beast boarding staff only hear about ‘out there’ in other magical places where people aren’t caring for large numbers of adolescents 24-7. But it does seem something increasingly unobtainable as we seek to provide the very best support we can at every turn. And whilst linking our work emails to our mobile phone or tablet might seem like an excellent timesaver, as we reply as quickly and efficiently as we can, we all know the temptation to do that ‘one last check’ at 11.30pm before turning out the bedside light. It is hard to feel the balance if you are never truly off duty. Realistically, we should give ourselves a cut-off and remind ourselves if anything is ever an emergency after, say, 9pm, then we’ll definitely know about it. Once we have agreed to deal with our emails in a more timely fashion we could also make use of some pastoral management software, t gives me enormous pleasure such as Badger, developed by to write the foreword to this Housemasters Andrew Day and Nick celebration marking 50 years of Rendall, which organises all pupil the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA). administration quickly and relieves the burden of the groaning inbox. The BSA was formed just a couple of years
Tony Little BSA Honorary President
Photos: King Edwards Witley
Celebrating our Jubilee heating, abundant food and wraparound 24/7 pastoral care from boarding professionals. And that doesn’t even consider the access
convenor of the boarding family for conferences and events. The BSA does all this and, swan-like, much more besides, in exchange for a modest annual subscription.
and broad co-curricular programmes. boarding in the late 1960s.
To board at Eton then was to say the least e may not immediately a formative experience. The school associate technology with was of course as historic and traditional relaxation but there are a as it
number of excellent apps to help Summer of Love and Sgt Pepper. refocus and allow ourselves really to wind down. This can be particularly If these two worlds sharply difficult if we have had a were Saturday night contrasting them again on duty and havethen, only contrast just managed to to herd all the 6thtoday. form into their beds boarding after an energetic social. But five minutes yourself for about in Forspent all Mrpreparing Wilson’s 1960s rhetoric bed isthe never wasted. Consider ‘white heat’ of change apps there that was little look atevidence sleep cycles, such as SleepBot of that in boarding schools then. (you may wish to pass this one on to your boarders too), or ones that are designed to support mindfulness and poor dormitories, inadequate heating, meditation like Calm, Headspace or food and pastoral care in the hands of Breathing Space. If you’re stressing out prefects were common attributes. during the day, consider an app that is more about lifestyle change such as Fast forward 50 years and what a Pacifica or Stress at Work (which is also compatible with Apple Watch).
That the change has been so great is of course well known to those who work in boarding. The hard part is explaining the seismic leap to the outside world, especially journalists or sceptical parents. Yet throughout all that has changed there has been a constant, reassuring and was recently asked what I liked to do valued presence: the BSA. in my spare time. As a Housemistress, teacher and mother of a young child realised what I liked doing Oxford inIJuly 1965 the BSA has been (reading, dog-walking, meeting up with there, rather like a long-serving and friends) was far removed from what I warmly trusted boarding house matron. actually had time to do (watching Dickensian on iPlayer and trying to stay So what comes to mind when one thinks awake until the end). It’s easy to forget of the BSA? we need to invest in ourselves and keep own interests alive to make us happier Professional development, expert and more productive. When we feel advice, an increasingly strong voice to good about our own development we government and journalists, information invariably pass this on to our charges. provider for prospective parents and Fitness is one way of keeping our mental
That we need the BSA and all its valuable services is beyond doubt as we contemplate the next 50 years of boarding. The challenges are great and many – and we don’t know what the boarding landscape will look like in 2065, how many boarders we will serve or how many health tip-top so you could invest in a Fitbit or Jawbone to remind yourself how much (or howthings little)unfold, you are But however it doing. is an If you are wedded to social media and would enormous comfort to know the BSA is rather not be, consider Cold Turkey there with us on the journey. (getcoldturkey.com), which will block sites that you find yourself losing precious hours on for a specified amount of time. This will finally leave you free to start that Couch to 5k challenge (once you’ve worked out who killed Jacob Marley, of course).
Thank you BSA, and good luck as you plan your centenary! Tony Little BSA Honorary President 2015-2016
IN EACH ISSUE WE INTERVIEW A BOARDING ALUMNUS TO SEE
& Boarding Alumnus
QA When were you at West Buckland? 2003 - 2010 Yr 7 - yr 13
What did you enjoy most about your time there? Sport and my later years (Yr11 to Yr13). I played a lot of sport at school and captained the 1st XI hockey for two years running. I was also encouraged to play a lot of rugby which I continue to do so and even stay in touch with my rugby coaches (Mr Hooper and Mr Calder). You were occasional flexi border. What was that like? It was fantastic. It not only let me see another side to the school but it gave my parents a little more freedom and flexibility with working and the occasional holiday.
‘ James Knight
Former pupil of West Buckland School
As a day pupil, what was your relationship with West Buckland boarders like? The relationship was good, within two weeks of starting school we were all taken out for a school social to build on relationships. Boarders were no different to day pupils and between the hours of 8 and 5 we were all in exactly the same boat. All day pupils were also encourage to look after house boarders during the school holidays, something I took advantage of and really enjoyed. Every half term, we would look after two Cantonese students which I think my parents enjoyed just as much as I did. My sister, four years older, also brought home boarders from Brazil and Spain. Would you recommend boarding to others? Definitely, West Buckland has a great emphasis on community across the whole school It’s something I actually wish I did more of during my time at West Buckland and think many more day pupils should experience boarding even if for the week.
What have you done since you left West Buckland? I was originally going to take a year out before starting a degree however decided to use the degree as a second option before moving into recruitment. I have now been within the business five years and run a team that focuses on recruitment of finance professionals into Financial Services.
Do you think being a flexi boarding helped you prepare for life beyond school? Flexi boarding helped me to get into a routine which I believe is incredibly important for life beyond school. It also prepared me for long days and working hard which is a harsh reality beyond school. The structure within the boarding house was very good at making sure there is a mix of both hard work and relaxation. A number of activities were made available in the evening with house parents and other teachers in the school. The school made sure normal day teachers also took shifts in the evening at school to help with things like homework and activities.
HOW LIFE HAS CHANGED SINCE LEAVING BOARDING SCHOOL 55
“Boarding is amazing. You live together with people from all over the world.”
Are you still in touch with your day and boarding contemporaries? I am still in regular contact with a number of both day and boarding contemporaries and actually going on holiday with some shortly. The majority of the boarding community were international and so most contact is via Facebook. I did recently visit a friend from West Buckland who had moved to Australia. Several other former pupils from the school attended as well – 12 of us in total from different years and houses, some day and some boarders. Who would you like to play you in a film about your life? I literally have no idea, I’ll leave this up to you! What do you see yourself doing in 20 years time? Hopefully retiring (!) otherwise as a Director within my current business, or potentially looking to move back to Devon and work with my father’s business in Property Development.
Biog Work experience
Five years’ experience working within a £250m turnover recruitment business, predominately in the financial services. This has given me excellent experience of working with some of the largest bank and insurance businesses in the UK including Lloyds, Nationwide, Axa and Aviva.
Professional and personal achievements My biggest personal achievement to date was buying my first home in December 2015. Professionally, my first professional achievement has been specialising within finance recruitment after joining an academy in the business. The second has been making the finance division a success. When I joined the team in 2011 there was only me, but with the support of the business we are now six strong with the demand to grow even further. I am a big sports fan, predominately rugby but also an Arsenal fan. I played a lot of rugby during my time at West Buckland, something I had never done before starting at the school. I was encouraged to play a lot and played my first 1st XV game in year 11. Rugby Sevens was also a big part of school for me. It meant a few cheeky days off school and some decent trips away (Roselyn Park being the best trip away)!
Photos: West Buckland
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Tony Little BSA Honorary President EUROPE Aiglon College, Switzerland
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Celebrating our Jubilee
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t gives me enormous heating, abundant food and wrapconvenor of the boarding family for Thepleasure Read School St Dominic’s Brewood King’s School, Germany Theto Royal Ballet School around 24/7 pastoral care from boarding write the foreword this St Edmund’s College,to Herfordshire Leysin American School, Switzerland conferences and events. The Royal Grammar School, St Edmund’s School,celebration Canterbury marking 50 years of professionals. Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz, Switzerland High Wycombe St Edmund’s School, Surrey Open Gate Boarding School, the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA). The BSA does all this and, swan-like, much The Royal High School, Bath St Edward’s School, Oxford Czech Republic The Royal Hospital SchoolAnd that doesn’t even consider the access more besides, in exchange for a modest St Francis’ College Robert College, Turkey The Royal Masonic School for Girls St George’s School, Ascotwas formed just a couple of years The BSA annual subscription. Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Laroverket, The Royal School, Armagh Sweden St George’s School, Harpenden and broad co-curricular programmes. The Royal School, Dungannon St Columba’s College, Ireland St George’s School, Windsor boarding in the late 1960s.The Royal School, Haslemere That we need the BSA and all its St George’s International School, St Hugh’s School, Lincolnshire The Royal School Wolverhampton That the changeSwitzerland has been so great is of valuable services is beyond doubt as St Hugh’s School, Oxfordshire Thomas Adams School St Gilgen International School, Austria St James Senior School ToBoys’ board at Eton then wasThe to say the least course well known to those who work we contemplate the next 50 years of The Wellington Academy Surval Montreux, Switzerland
St John’s Beaumont
a formative experience. The school was in boarding. The hard part is explaining boarding. The Yehudi Menuhin School of course as historic and traditional as it the seismic leap to the outside world, Thornton College Tockington Manor School especially journalists REST THEparents. WORLD The challenges are great and many – orOF sceptical St John’s International School Tonbridge School St John’s School, Leatherhead Summer of Love and Sgt Pepper. and we don’t know what the boarding Avi-Cenna International School, Nigeria Trent College St Joseph’s College Yet throughout all thatInternational has changed there British School, Phuket, landscape will look like in 2065, how many Tring Park School for the Performing Arts St Lawrence College Thailand If these two worlds were sharply has been a constant, reassuring and boarders we will serve or how many Trinity School St Leonard’s School, Fife Bromsgrove International School, Truro High School for Girls valued presence:Thailand the BSA. St Margaret’s contrasting School, Busheythen, contrast them again to Truro School St Martin’s Ampleforth boarding today. Day Waterman College, Nigeria Tudor Hall School St Mary’s Calne Dulwich College Suzhou, China But however things unfold, it is an Twyford School St Mary’s School, Ascot Frensham, Australia Uppingham School ForCambridge all Mr Wilson’s 1960s rhetoric about in Oxford in July 1965 the BSA has been enormous comfort to know the BSA is St Mary’s School, Hangzhou Greentown Yuhua School, Victoriawas College, Belfast there, rather like a long-serving and theShaftesbury ‘white heat’ of change there little there with us on the journey. St Mary’s School, China Vinehall School St Olave’s Preparatory School Harrow International School, Bangkok, evidence of that in boarding schools then. warmly trusted boarding house matron. St John’s College, Hampshire
St John’s College School, Cambridgeshire
St Paul’s School
St Peter’s School, Devon
Walhampton School Warminster School Warwick School
Hilton College, South Africa
Thank you BSA, and good luck as you plan your centenary!
So what comes to mind International when one School, thinksBrunei Jerudong Welbeck - The Defence Sixth Form Kincoppal-Rose Bay, Australia St Richard’s School dormitories, inadequate heating, poor of the BSA? College Knox Grammar School, Australia St Swithun’s School food and pastoral care in the hands of School Wellesley House Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar, Malaysia St Teresa’s School Wellington College prefects were common attributes. Professional development, expert Michaelhouse, South Africa Stamford Junior School Wellington School advice, an increasingly strong voice to Miles Bronson Residential School, India Stamford School & Stamford High School Wells Cathedral School International School, Malaysia Tony Little Stanborough Fast School forward 50 years and what a government andNexus journalists, information West Buckland School North London Collegiate School Jeju, Stewart’s Melville College provider for prospective parents and BSA Honorary President 2015-2016 St Peter’s School, York