Boarding Schools

The Potential Benefits and Drawbacks of Boarding School


In some cases boarding schools may be a necessity for some families where the parents work means they have to travel a lot. Many parents see these schools as a viable and advantageous alternative to what some consider to be a lax public educational system within the United Kingdom.

The first and foremost benefit is that such schools offer a quality education. This is caused by decreased class size, more individual attention, a more specified curriculum and an environment that fosters healthy competition. This can be markedly different than the public educational system in many regions.

Notwithstanding the educational advantages, many parents see these schools as offering a sense of pride and structure to children and adolescents that may have behavioural issues at home. Private high schools and other such boarding institutions offer a rigid and yet rewarding framework that can instil discipline in those children that may be severely lacking or have issues with authority.

Both girls and boys boarding programs frequently offer strong and respected athletic departments. This can be of great consequence for a child that has the potential to become a top athlete.

An additional reason is that parents may wish to provide separate facilities for their children as opposed to a co-ed environment. Girls boarding schools will not offer the distraction of boys, and likewise with the opposite.

Primary reasons that a private school or college may be preferable:
  • The chance of a considerably higher quality education.
  • The ability to instil a sense of discipline and pride in the student.
  • Strong athletic programs.
  • A separation of the sexes if deemed appropriate.

These aforementioned benefits cannot go unnoticed, however there may be some potential pitfalls with choosing this form of educational environment.

The most obvious disadvantage is the cost. According to figures released in 2013, the yearly fee for boarding school can excel the average adult wage at £27,000.

Another potential problem is that certain children may not be able to adapt to such a rigid environment. For example, a girls boarding facility may indeed attempt to instil a rigour and discipline, but the student may reject such notions. Conversely, a boys military academy may actually make the budding student resent authority figures more. This could lead to expulsion back into the public school atmosphere.

Another concern is the fact that there is a notable separation from public life in such schools. This may present a problem, for the student may not learn the skills to adapt to the outside world upon leaving.

A final problem can be encountered with religious tradition. Should the student disagree, a moral and educational dilemma can arise.

To summarize - Disadvantages may include:
  • The excessive cost associated with private schools.
  • An inability to adapt to a structured environment.
  • Poor adaptation to social skills.
  • Negatively interpreted religious undertones.