Boarding schools for children under 11 is just wrong

(552 Posts)
babybarrister Thu 21-Mar-13 22:13:49

If I were PM for the day this would be on my to do list.
Children under 11 are too young and if their parents cannot look after them it should be raising serious alarm bells not generating slaps on the back for complying with an outdated tradition.

IneedAgoldenNickname Thu 21-Mar-13 22:53:54

My cousin went to boarding school at roughly that age as she is profoundly deaf, and it was the best school for her.

A friend of mine went to boarding school as her df died, and her Mum struggled to cope with her heartbreak and her children.

Like a pp I always wanted to go to boarding school thanks to Enid Blyton!

Iggity Thu 21-Mar-13 22:54:16

Love how nursery staff appear to know the ins and outs of peoples lives. My discussion with my key worker focuses around my son's day there and if there are any issues I need to raise with them. I certainly don't discuss my outside life with them. They know I work across the road from the nursery. In any case, if I wanted to spend all day getting my big toe waxed, it would be none of their concern. In the 2 yrs my son has spent at nursery, the parents spend their time at work I'm assuming to keep a roof over their head. If that equates to a "certain lifestyle" so be it but beats living under a bridge.

Yfronts Thu 21-Mar-13 22:54:20

My mother went aged 7 and hated it, missed her family. She really struggled to bring up her own family as a direct result she said. An institution can't model a good family set up however good it is

Excuse me, I clicked on this because it was in active and DH was in boarding school from age 7 (and in a foreign country where he didn't speak the language), so he and I discuss this and I'm interested.

FWIW I know from him how kind they can be. Some of his teachers were second fathers to him. But, I saw this, and had to comment:

Its quite a modern idea to bring up your own children.

No, it isn't. Poor and ordinary people have always cared for their own children. That means most of us. It's true a minority have for a long time been sent away. But the ways this was done have changed a lot.

In fact the whole idea of 'childhood' is a particularly modern invention.

No, it really isn't. Medieval people, Saxons, Romans - they all had an idea of childhood.

It's a very nineteenth-century myth that it's only us who care about children and schooling. The reason that myth exists is to support the idea that is' ok for children to go to boarding school and to be treated harshly by their parents (as children were back then). I'm not saying boarding schools aren't ok - or even great, as they were for my DH who has so many fond memories - but please don't justify them like this.

stargirl1701 Thu 21-Mar-13 22:57:03

YABU. For forces children they provide stability and security. For children whose parents work overseas they are a home from home in a familiar country. For children from the most deprived backgrounds they could be a lifeline out of poverty.

I would've loved to attend a boarding school.

kim147 Thu 21-Mar-13 22:57:39

I survived it. Years of bullying. No one to talk to except a few friends. Bored at the weekends if you did not play sport. Bullying by the older children of the younger ones. Younger ones expected to do duties for the older ones. Including changing the TV channel and making toast.

No space to hide or to show your emotions. No one actually caring about you. Teachers getting drunk and shouting at you. And fuck all to do.

It has really affected me - academically I did well but emotionally, I know I still carry the scars.

TSSDNCOP Thu 21-Mar-13 23:10:56

I think if I were PM for the day this would be like miles down my "to do" list.

thezebrawearspurple Thu 21-Mar-13 23:12:38

It depends on the individual child, the school and whether or not they want to be there. There are circumstances where it may be for the best, in others it may be catastrophic. You can't judge all as wrong just because some are.

difficultpickle Thu 21-Mar-13 23:15:26

Utterly pointless pathetic and goading thread abandoned by an apparent barrister who cannot support her argument.

I told ds (8) recently that one of his old schoolfriend's mum had been vocal in criticising the fact that ds had gone to boarding school. Ds wanted to call her to tell her what he thought of her ill-judged comments.

Some children love boarding and some hate it. Obviously the ones who love it must have delinquent parents hmm

Janni Thu 21-Mar-13 23:16:12

Hopasholic - our childhoods sound rather similar!

Madlizzy Thu 21-Mar-13 23:26:19

My dh still suffers from 'Sunday night feeling' and suffered dreadfully Fter being sent off aged 9. It's affected him in many ways.

Bearing in mind this thread is focussing on children under the age of 11 and boarding we are talking years 4-6 (8-11years old) I do disagree with it. It would not be for us. Children still need their parents at that age and I don't believe a boarding school however good will ever care more about my child than I do.

The whole gives the child stability argument is also over played in my opinion Families give children the greatest stability not schools in my experience and opinion.

MsElisaDay Thu 21-Mar-13 23:47:32

YABU. If I was bringing up a young George Osborne I'd want to send him away, too.

WishIdbeenatigermum Thu 21-Mar-13 23:54:22

Boarding schools for under 11s are like food banks. in a perfect world there would be no need for them, but for some they're essential.

iheartmycat Fri 22-Mar-13 00:30:32

As a child I changed schools and countries at least yearly, if not more often, loved it, didnt feel unsettled in the slightest -'security' was DM, df and ds. However, come secondary age, it IS much better to have the stability of one education system in the build up to exams - I didn't board as my mother decided to settle in one country with us while df worked abroad but many of my friends did. So, no, I don't think they are a bad thing - but not for the under 11,s.

DaveMccave Fri 22-Mar-13 00:40:43

I can relate tokim147

In my experience, the ones that loved it and raved about their 'opportunity' were the ones that encouraged the bullying by age, were the bitchiest, embraced pointless and damaging traditions without critical thought. They were also the worst at showing their true emotions. I can't imagine the boarding school lovers turned out to be rounded individuals, and I bet they're still in denial big time.

The notion of boarding school is abhorrent. Working overseas is not an excuse, change your career or don't have children if staying in the forces is so important to you. It's a pitiful excuse for parenting.

pigletmania Fri 22-Mar-13 00:52:54

I went when I was 11, my dad was dying of cancer and i chose to go as I did not want to be in the same school as my bullies. At first it was hard but then as I got used to it I really loved it, noi am not a bully or of the hooray henrietta variety. going to boarding school was the best thing that could have happened as it gave me a sense of independence that my very needy and possessive mother could not provide and to break free from all that. So baby your views are narrow and ignorant, it's not for you far enough but it does not mean its wrong.

ChocStocksRunningLow Fri 22-Mar-13 00:53:40

I boarded from 11, but my youngest brother and my sister started at 9 & 10. We were Forces children and all five us boarded. We all loved it, it didn't matter that we moved home and country frequently, our schools were the one constant in our lives.

My older children have boarded since year 7 and they also have loved it. We all have, as a family, a huge bond and are most certainly not scarred by boarding school. Quite the contrary rather.

ukatlast Fri 22-Mar-13 02:20:13

'Boarding schools for under 11s are like food banks. in a perfect world there would be no need for them, but for some they're essential.'

THIS. I personally wouldn't go for it over 11 either but it is easier to justify then.

tvmum1976 Fri 22-Mar-13 02:36:02

i think as a general rule YANBU. I"m sure there are lots of exceptions to this and worthwhile reasons but I agree that as a general rule, young children should be with their parents if at all possible and don't agree that it's a 'great opportunity' for them to be sent away.

Good heavens. There is nothing "modern" about the concept of childhood.

This is a type of argument used to undermine established social conventions (another example is the nuclear family) and is pretty much always not historically accurate.

HollyBerryBush Fri 22-Mar-13 06:39:10

There is nothing "modern" about the concept of childhood.

So we weren't shoving toddlers up chimneys, had them working between the looms in the mills, our gathering crops during harvest, powder monkeys on ships, down coal mines, the age of consent wasn't raised to 12 in 1865, and before the Education Act 1870, which made the provision for state education is all a dream in my mind and the little blighters were happily playing hopscotch until they were 18?

FYI there was so state provided secondary school until 1902.

So 'childhood' as we think of it, is a modern concept.

theodorakisses Fri 22-Mar-13 07:04:19

Troublemaking thread. biscuit

skratta Fri 22-Mar-13 07:06:00

I agree theodora

kim147 Fri 22-Mar-13 07:23:00

My sister did fine at boarding school - it suited her personality and she left with very good communication skills, lots of friends and mega confidence (but not many qualifications). If she'd have been at home, maybe our parents might have paid more notice.

It affected me so much. I had no one looking out for me for 7 years and that's all I want. Someone to look out for me, to love me and to actually care about me and what's going on in my life. I know that is all down to my time at boarding school and it's affected my relationships because that's the one thing I desperately want.

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