Ever since I inherited my dad’s guitar at age 12 music was my total focus, it’s what got me through boarding school.

Supertramp’s Roger Hodgson: the 10 best songs I’ve written, composed, and sung

Supertramp legend Roger Hodgson takes us through his favourite self-penned songs

My teenage years were a very fertile period for me. Ever since I inherited my dad’s guitar at age 12 music was my total focus, it’s what got me through boarding school. I remember running to the music room at school in between classes and playing a few chords until the next class started. I had a passion for music and put my heart and soul into it, so I would say my creativity at that time came from my “passion of youth.”

The Logical Song

The Logical Song was born from my questions about what really matters in life. It was a very personal lyric for me. Throughout childhood we are taught all these ways to be, and yet we are rarely told anything about our true self. We are taught how to function outwardly, but not guided to who we are inwardly. We go from the innocence and wonder of childhood to the confusion of adolescence that often ends in the cynicism and disillusionment of adulthood.

In The Logical Song, the burning question that came down to its rawest place was ‘please tell me who I am.’  I think in these modern times, the more complex life becomes, this eternal question becomes ever louder – which is why the song continues to strike such a deep chord with people around the world.

Classic Rock

Rich families use ‘privilege to opt out’ of child services

Rich families are using “privilege” to disrupt or avoid child abuse investigations, a report has found.

Goldsmith’s University found wealthy households were effectively “opting out” of the child protection system.

Social workers had uncovered cases of sexual exploitation and emotional abuse, but found children’s services were biased towards poorer families.

Professor Claudia Bernard, who led the study, said neglect cases in affluent areas often went “under the radar“.

Prof Bernard told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “People have these deep-set beliefs that this is happening in poor, dysfunctional families.”

In one case parents of a young girl disclosing sexual abuse complained to the council about the investigation.

Social workers were then rebuffed by school nurses who said there was no way the child’s “great mum” would ignore such abuse.

Teenagers in private fee-paying and boarding schools, often isolated from their parents, had complex safeguarding needs, the report found.

Often the issues only came to authorities’ attention when parents were dealing with an acrimonious separation and needed a child welfare report, the study said.

The study called for social workers to be trained to deal with affluent families.

BBC News

Rich parents neglecting their children are ‘using lawyers and powerful friends to scare off social workers’

Social workers’ experiences have been detailed in research commissioned by the City of London Corporation

Social workers have told of wealthy parents using lawyers, intimidation and powerful connections to shield their families from intervention over cases of neglect.

Their experiences have been detailed in research commissioned by the City of London Corporation.

It notified its children’s and safeguarding committee today it was adopting findings of the Goldsmith’s University study into its Service Improvement Plan.

The study focused on social workers serving 12 local authorities around the UK, excluding the City, to hear their experiences of confronting neglect among affluent families.

Professor Claudia Bernard’s study pointed out that while much research and social work training was focused on links between poverty and child neglect, it was rarely directed at wealthy families.

Previous research has suggested such abuse had gone under-detected, because of a bias in child protection authorities toward scrutinising families of lower socio-economic status.

However, emotional neglect among wealthy families could be difficult to determine, Prof Barnard said.

Psychotherapist and “boarding school syndrome” author Professor Joy Schaverien welcomed the research, saying she hoped the findings were noted by other local authorities.

She said her boarding schooled clients experienced early emotional isolation that left lifetime effects on sufferers’ ability to form healthy relationships.

Children live without love in these situations,” Prof Schaverien said. “It’s very difficult when you’re a child and you’re being told by your parents ‘it’s very good for you, we’re paying a lot of money for you; you had better make the most of it‘.”

Get West London


Choir boarding schools at risk, association warns

“Choir Schools’ Association conference hears that independent sector is under political pressure and has ‘few friends at the moment

The risks to choir schools are as great today as they were 100 years ago, the chairman of the Choir Schools’ Association (CSA) has said.

Speaking at the association’s centenary conference, Paul Smith, headmaster of Hereford Cathedral School, highlighted the risks he believed were faced by schools that educate the UK’s cathedral and collegiate choristers.

He used his address at the conference in St Paul’s Cathedral to say: “For those of us in the independent sector, there can be little doubt that we have few friends at the moment.

“Politicians, of all shades, seem hell-bent on issuing ill-informed edicts, based upon lazy stereotypes, which purportedly seek to ensure the independent sector does its bit to justify charitable status.”

Is he really just talking about the boarding sector, riddled with child abuse scandals. Recent, ongoing ones, not even ones from wayback?


Thanks from a Mum

On the eve of our 2018 Conference, we received this message from a mother:

“Hello I am writing to thank you for your website.

Your articles and information about Boarding School Syndrome helped put into words and flesh out the different nagging feelings I had as a mother as we considered secondary schooling for our 10 year old son.

At the time he was attending a prep school as a day boy but at 11 all boys start to board and are then on a conveyor belt towards top boarding schools.

We duly visited some of those boarding schools but I felt torn inside. In the end our financial circumstances changed due to my husbands change of job and this steered our choice.

We took our son out of the prep school at the end of year 6 and he started a truly excellent day school for Year 7. Having read the information on your website it made the change of course so much easier.

I knew it was definitely the right thing for us as parents and for our son.

I’m delighted to say he is now thriving at his new school, representing his school in Football, Rugby, cricket and debating. He’s made super friends and is doing very well academically.

What more can a parent ask?

He comes home at night, expresses himself emotionally, vents, is heard, listened to and then finds calm most of the time. I am so grateful that as parents we are there for him to guide him, nurture him and advise him.

Thank you again for your website which helped me make an important internal shift at a crucial time. I don’t mind you quoting me but only anonymously.

I wanted you to know that your website helped in our journey, even though I wasn’t looking for your website! It appeared in a Google search and caught my attention.

My husband, father, father-in law, uncle etc etc all boarded and I see the emotional cost for all of them, though they certainly gained in other ways.”

With gratitude…”

Too little, too late: ‘We are deeply sorry’ – boarding schools apologise for child abuse

If the UK boarding school industry was really serious about apologising for child abuse, they would end boarding for the under 16s.

They are still too busy sweeping current sex abuse scandals under the carpet and have yet to address Boarding School Syndrome, etc.

It is not just about sexual abuse and it never has been. Apology not accepted. We want to see an end to boarding under 16. And from 16 where the potential boarder makes a fully informed decision to board.

Boarding schools must correct “the wrongs of the past” and create “obstructive obstacles” to deter potential abusers, headteachers will be told today.

Martin Reader, the chair of the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA), is today set to apologise for the abuse suffered by former pupils, on behalf of his organisation’s members.

Addressing the BSA’s annual conference in Brighton today, he will say: “It is to our great shame that there have been those adults at our schools who have used their positions of power to abuse those they were supposed to be looking after, or have failed to use their positions of power to stand up against those abusers, putting school reputations before children.

We are deeply sorry to the victims and survivors of the abuse that happened in our schools and are thoroughly committed to making our schools as safe as possible.”

His comments follow recent media reports about the scale of abuse at UK boarding schools, including in recent years.

Ampleforth College, in North Yorkshire, is currently subject to three ongoing police investigations into historic allegations of sexual offences.”


Repton School head leaves. Regulator has ‘serious concern’ over safeguarding incidents.

The headteacher of the prestigious Repton School is leaving to take up a new role.

Alastair Land will leave in April 2019 to become the new headmaster at the independent Harrow School in London.

A spokeswoman for the boarding school said the “search for Repton’s next headmaster has already begun”.

In recent weeks, news has broken of allegations against past and present members of staff at Repton.

Just last month, a watchdog expressed “expressed concern” over a number of reports of safeguarding-related incidents at the boarding school.

Derby Telegraph

Stars shun boarding for young children

The ancient practice of sending seven-year-olds to live away from home is dying out, and not only because of the high fees

Children under 16 should not be sent to boarding school, according to the broadcaster and historian Bettany Hughes, whose own daughters are being educated at a day school.

She said that her husband, Adrian Evans, and his brothers had boarded from the age of seven, which she described as “too young”. Her husband had enjoyed it but his brothers had not.

Emphasising that she was speaking in a personal capacity Hughes, 50, a mother of two, said: “I would not do it. I did not go through that system. We have not sent our own children to boarding school.”

The Sunday Times (subscription)

The sinister clean-eating trend spreading through boarding schools

It’s the food movement that has captured the imagination of a generation of schoolgirls. But does ‘clean eating’ provide a cover for serious eating disorders? And what are England’s top educational establishments doing about it?

There was a simple solution to surviving a fairly revolting lunch at my West Country school: fill your blazer pockets with stacks of white bread from the dining room, return to the kitchen at the house, toast it and slather it in Nutella.This was the same school where a girl broke into the tuck shop with a hockey stick, such was her need for a sugar fix. And so it was in girls’ schools across England in those Edenic pre-Instagram years before anyone had uttered the words ‘clean eating’ or ‘Have you seen my spiraliser?’


Karren Brady, the Apprentice star and baroness, 49, talks about the legacy of a boarding school childhood

Karren Brady: I went to boarding school. And at boarding school nothing is your own. You wear what you’re told, eat what you’re told, go to bed when you’re told, you do what you’re told and at 18 I decided I’d had enough of being told what to do and craved independence.

I wanted to be able to make my own decisions, do things when I wanted to do them, how I wanted to do them. I went to work at 18 and I’ve never given up. You don’t want to get to the age of 49 and look back on your life and say, ‘I wish I would have done this…’ You’ll never know if you’re good at anything unless you try it. And don’t let fear hold you back.