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

Boarding school in Chislehurst has been deemed ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted over a serious child protection issue

Ofsted inspectors found a boarding school had failed over a serious child protection allegation.

Darul Uloom London, off Perry Street in Chilslehurst, was first visited by inspectors in May 2017 and slammed as “inadequate”.

The all-boys Islamic school opened in 1992 and received ‘good’ for its first inspection in 2008.

But standards appear to have slipped, as subsequent Ofsted reports rated the school satisfactory in 2011, requires improvement in 2014 and the lowest rating of inadequate in 2018.

The first inadequate report found school leaders did not follow their own safeguarding policy after receiving an allegation of a serous child protection issue.

The first report stated: “They did not inform the local authority designated officer (LADO) or the Disclosure and Barring Service.

“This demonstrates a lack of understanding of senior staff in key safeguarding positions in the school and boarding provision.”

Trustees were also aware of the serious child protection allegation but no one took action in response to the concerns.

Kent Live

The school sexual assault problem

Teenage girls are more likely than anyone else to be victims of sexual assault. Izzy Smith and Peter Yeung look at measures to tackle an overlooked issue

The problem of sexual abuse among teenagers has been largely overlooked. Recent conversations about sexual assault and harassment have focused on workplaces and the world of adult dating. Yet girls aged between 16 and 19 are more likely than anyone else to be victims of sexual assault, according to the Office of National Statistics.

This week more than 800 students from the University of Cambridge signed an open letter demanding that the burden of proof be lowered in disciplinary cases amid claims that sexual predators are not being held to account.

The Times investigates the issue of sexual abuse among teenagers, with a focus on the number of girls who have experienced some form of sexual harassment at school. By Izzy Smith and Peter Yeung.

The Times

Boarding schools send in the drug dogs

Boarding schools are carrying out random tests on hair, urine and saliva and searching pupils’ rooms with dogs amid fears about rising drug use.

One healthcare worker told The Times that some children he treated were buying illegal drugs over the internet and having them delivered. Head teachers say privately that the use, and variety, of recreational drugs among teenagers is increasing.

The Times (subscription)

Eleven things you’ll remember if you went to a boarding school

I went to boarding school for sixth form and the experience completely changed my life.

I went from a grammar school where people looked at you funny if you only got a B on a test to an alternative universe where your social standing was determined by the type of tie around your neck.

Boarding school taught me to be independent; I was introduced to people who I never thought in a million years I would meet, including actual princesses of other countries.

But, most of all, it taught me about pride, ambition, discipline and camaraderie that has stayed with me until this very day.

Here are 11 things you’ll know or reminisce about if you went to a boarding school.

1. Everyone called each other by their surname

There are some people who for about a year I had no idea what their first name was because of this.

Tough times if you had a surname that was hard to pronounce.

2. God help you if you missed prayers before bedtime

The guilt was almost too much to bear so you rarely did it.

Because you knew, if you got caught, either matron or one of the boarding house masters would give you an earful that you had no energy for.

3. Matron was your best friend and arch-enemy wrapped into one The original love/hate relationship.

She was like your mum away from home, gave you advice, the best hugs and sometimes, if you were good, even sweets.

But if you got on the wrong side of her all of that went out of the window.

Life was not easy if she was not on your side, so you made up with her ASAP.

4. Day students arriving in the morning was one of the highlights of the day

The fresh and boundless energy they brought.

They didn’t look as stale as we boarders, who basically never left the four walls of our prison, sorry, boarding house.

They brought tales of the outside world. OK, you had Google, but they could tell you about what was going on in the local high street.

5. House rivalry was very real

House competitions, no matter the challenge, were the most exciting points of the year.

Battle lines were drawn, cross-house friendships ceased for the duration of the competition.

Most of all for the time you were in competition, if they cut you open you would bleed your house colours.

Loyalty was everything.

6. It’s a miracle nobody died from cross-country running each year.

The treacherous muddy fields and awful weather.

I’m a netballer, but this was honestly the worst time of year for me.

I would see some people storming ahead like they actually enjoyed the rain and subsequent wet hair slapping them in the face.

I could never comprehend how almost catching pneumonia was fun and, unfortunately, compulsory.

7. The fight for the television remote

For two years I didn’t watch my beloved EastEnders because the drama of fighting for control over the television remote was not worth the hassle.

Hundreds of boarders spread across the school, the majority of whom are in the games room which has just one television.

Who could be bothered with that?

8. Who needs EastEnders when you have debating club?

Utter pantomime. Oh the drama of it.

The arguments, the persuasive rhetoric, the nail-biting public vote at the end.

Those debaters were writing Shakespeare and they didn’t even know it.

9. Apart from good grades, everyone’s aim in life was to become a prefect

You weren’t even quite sure what a prefect even did or what special powers were bestowed on them.

You just knew that the teachers treated them differently and with respect.

For that alone you were down for being one.

10. Ties determined your social standing

Forget what your parents did, what was around your neck determined who you were in school.

If you had just your basic house colour tie you were simply unambitious.

You wanted to reach the top of every field. You wanted your full house colour tie, but you also wanted a sports tie or a music tie.

11. You make friends for life.

The friends you make within the four walls of your boarding house are your friends forever. How could you possible not stay mates with someone who understands why you randomly wake up at 7.14 every morning even years later (a hang-up from morning roll-call)? Who else will understand how you can make snap judgements on people’s personalities after asking, ‘What house was he in?’ Who else was with you during all the highs, lows, trials, tribulations, breakups and makeups during one of the best times of your life? Your fellow boarder, that’s who.

How about discussing this article over on our Forum?

The Metro

Crime statistics: Boarding school sex offences rising, police figures suggest

BBC News reports that sexual offences in England and Wales have have more than doubled in the past three years.

Some of this increase comes from the growing number of sexual abuse investigations of UK boarding schools. This includes physical abuse such as beatings, which almost always have a sexual (power/control) element.

Austria: Tyrol to investigate allegations of ski boarding school sexual abuse

VIENNA (Reuters) – An independent commission will investigate former Austrian skiers’ allegations of sexual assaults by coaches, supervisors and team members from the 1970s until at least 2005, the Austrian province of Tyrol said on Tuesday.

Former Olympic skier Nicola Werdenigg said last month that she was raped when she was 16 by a male team colleague and that what happened to her was not an isolated incident.

More former Austrian ski athletes have since spoken out, though anonymously, since Werdenigg’s interview, reporting similar experiences and suggesting the abuse was systemic.

The issue in Austria has arisen as numerous allegations of sexual harassment in entertainment, business, politics and sport have been made worldwide in recent months.

Werdenigg, the 1975 Austria downhill champion, did not reveal any names in her interview with the daily Der Standard. She alleged assaults and sexual violence by coaches, supervisors, colleagues, service staff at a Tyrolean boarding school for ski racers.


Vatican opens probe into sex abuse at boarding school for young boys

The Vatican has opened a new investigation into possible sexual abuse committed before 2013 at a private school in Rome for children destined for the priesthood.

The probe will be centred on “a former student of the pre-seminary Saint Pius X”, who later became a priest, according to a statement from the Holy See.

“Following several reports, anonymous or not, investigations were conducted from 2013 on several occasions, both by the superiors of the pre-seminary and the Bishop of Como (north)”, the diocese where the teachers are attached, the statement said.

The allegations concern pupils, “some of whom were no longer at the institution at the time of the investigations”.

The opening of a new investigation follows the “recent appearance of new elements”.

In a book published a few days ago The Original Sin, Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi discusses the allegations.

The book alleges that in a Vatican palace, a seminarist sexually abused at least one high school student aged 17 or 18 in 2011-2012.

A witness, Kamil Tadeusz Jarzembowksi from Poland, was living in an institution in the Vatican City, where children and adolescents from around the world plan to become priests.

According to him, a former pupil who was allowed to stay in the palace came very often at night – up to 140 times – to have sex with his roommate.

The boarders attend a private school in the centre of Rome and participate as choir boys at Masses celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica.

South China Morning Post

Jon Snow: C4 News presenter abused at Ardingly College aged 6

The Channel 4 News presenter, Jon Snow, was abused by a domestic servant at his boarding school when he was around six years old, in 1953.

It took him years to talk to anyone about his experience: ‘It is very, very difficult to do. But it’s an essential thing to do’.

BBC News

How do the parents of boarders treat their child’s teachers?

‘Workload issues may differ between state and private schools, but its effect is equally malign’

We need to create a more realistic working environment for teacherstheir mental health and general wellbeing will improve as a result, and that will trickle down to their pupils, writes one celebrated head

Well, the honeymoon’s over.  The start-of-term energy and optimism are wearing thin. Books are piling up, older pupils’ first major pieces of work awaiting marking.

No one goes into teaching assuming it’ll be easy. But now it’s getting darker earlier, the light’s shorter while days become longer: and half-term’s too far off yet to be counting down the hours.

Teacher workload is a problem, and teachers’ representatives are rightly more exercised about it than ever, while politicians largely ignore their concerns.

Having spent nearly all my career in private schools, I’m often asked how the independent sector tackles workload issues. My customary answer is that it’s much like the maintained sector: some schools manage them well, others work their staff into the ground, and all should look at the (frequently excessive) demands made of teachers.


Parents sometimes assume a right to contact their child’s teachers at any time they choose. Boarding-school staff, in particular, live in dread of the late-night (too frequently alcohol-fuelled, alas) email or phone-call expressing anger, accusation – even abuse. Many schools nowadays publish protocols in an attempt to protect their teachers from such exchanges.

TES News