A cause for concern: What does Brexit actually mean for UK boarding schools?

Robin Fletcher, chief executive, UK Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA), warns of tough times ahead for boarding schools.  Robin examines the possible impact of Brexit and school fees so high they price UK parents out of the market.

While Robin tries to put a cheery spin on the struggles of the boarding school industry, their only hope seems to be to continue to traffic in children from overseas. EU or otherwise.

Has Boarding School Syndrome become another British export “success”?

The Telegraph

German TV report on early boarding

The 3Sat TV channel in Germany reports on early boarding in the UK.  The report starts at 31:12 minutes.

The Boarding School Association feature in the program, trying to explain that “modern” boarding has somehow changed from the past.

We believe that for young children, nothing of consequence has changed, as we can see in their eyes and body language.  These young children are still being institutionalised, away from their families, homes and communities.  No amount of after-school activities can overcome homesickness, as one house-mother seems to accept.

All change at the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA)?

The Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA), the trade association for the UK boarding school industry, has replaced their National Director.

Hilary Moriarty, in post since 2006, is quitting after the extensive reporting of abuse allegations in around 150 of Britain’s top fee-charging schools.  Most of these schools offer boarding.   We wish her well and wonder why she has never debated boarding with us?

We see that her replacement, Robin Fletcher, is a spin doctor with experience of “crisis management” according to his LinkedIn profile.  He will need all his crisis management skills to try to spin the industry out of years of continuing child abuse.  We wish his well in his new position.

Commenting on his appointment, Robin (a former boarder) tells us that “Boarding education in the UK is respected and admired around the world.”  If this is true, we wonder why international news media are asking us why child abuse still riddles these schools.

What the BSA needs to do is end the harming of our children in UK boarding schools.  Not try to spin their way out of it.

We are already talking to boarding school staff who ask us what can be done to end the harming of children.  We hope their industry bodies and leaders might talk to us too.

Will you knock on our door Robin?  Are you serious about change?

BSA: An empty apology without any true grit

Saying sorry is easy, following through needs true grit.

Today the Chairman of the Boarding Schools Association (BSA) has finally offered an apology to the thousands of people abused in British boarding schools.

What Ray McGovern of the BSA does not get is that a mere trite “sorry” is not enough. True remorse means changing to prevent abuse from ever happening again. Because it still happens today. Children in boarding schools being groomed, inappropriately touched, spied on, weighed by force and much more. Going on today in “modern” boarding schools. We know. We hear it from today’s boarders, their parents, from boarding care staff and from school counsellors. That’s why we want mandatory reporting of child abuse. No more cover up’s to protect a school’s reputation.

If the BSA were apologetic, they would be working to end all forms of boarding for young children from weekly to full. (Occasional sleepovers don’t count.) Reduce boarding for young teenagers unable to understand the effects of living in an institution. Expand boarding at 16+ with modern individual en-suite study bedrooms for those older teenagers competent to make that big informed decision.

This is what the BSA should be discussing at their conference in Glasgow this week. Announcing to the world how they have changed. That they admit the abuses of both yesteryear and the continuing ones of today.

Since when was unnecessary homesickness part of creating “true grit”? Watch Leaving Home at 8 Ray and tell us you finally get it. Tell us that “schools must stop separating young children from their homes, families and communities by institutionalising them”.

Make that real first step. Tell us Ray. Do you have the real “true grit” to change? We are waiting…