We can’t prevent Boarding School Syndrome so we will just take away their smartphones

Just when children and early teens need more private contact with their parents, one school plans to give them less…

Surrey boarding school BANS mobile phones

A Surrey boarding school has banned the use of mobile phones for year 9 and 10 pupils.

Cranleigh School is said to be the first in the UK to prohibit the use of the device for  its first two year groups.

The co-educational school in Surrey, educates pupils from age 13 to 18.

Staff claims that the move has proved popular with parents and pupils alike.

Deputy Head (Pastoral) Dr Andrea Saxel says: “We were already on the stricter end of smartphone use but this academic year we have decided to limit use in those two-year groups completely.

“Pupils have plenty of opportunity to contact home via private landlines and e-mail. [Not the same as being able to call or message their parents in private on their own phones without boarding schools monitoring their telephone calls and email messages.]

“There is extremely compelling evidence to show that constant access to social media sites is damaging to children’s self-esteem and mental health. [There is also compelling evidence of damage to children’s self-esteem and mental health from Boarding School Syndrome and other abuse at boarding school.]

Eagle Radio

Feeling down? It could be the ‘September blues’

BBC News has a feature on the “September Blues”. The article talks about the shortening days, the return to routine and the changes in the weather. Seasonal affective disorder

For some former boarders and most boarding school survivors, September brings back memories of something else. The return to institutional life after the brief escape of the summer holidays. The feeling of abandonment for those send away to board at too young age…

If this resonates with you, feel free to check in with us at our Forum and share…

It’s still not home, is it?

As boarding schools in the UK tart themselves up and rearrange the deckchairs, they are just pricing themselves out of the domestic market. Why not just convert these schools to day schools to cater for local families. And no need to export Boarding School Syndrome around the world?

“That’s what they go to boarding school for! The VERY luxurious five-star dorms that boast sea views, gourmet food and gold taps in the loos

  • UK boarding schools have been enlisting the help of cutting-edge designers
  • Parents are paying up to £40,000 a year for their children’s education
  • …but facilities include luxury dorms, yoga rooms and designer furniture

But it’s still an institution…

Daily Mail

UK government commissioning research to help schools identify which mental health approaches worked best.

We wonder if this “research” will examine Boarding School Syndrome or the Strategic Survival Personality?

Both of these issues are well established, with Nick Duffell identifying the latter back in the 1990s and Professor Joy Schaverien identifying the former more recently. And the mental health issues of boarders and former boarders so often raised in the media?

Don’t hold your breath!

BBC News


Another pointless tickbox “outstanding” boarding inspection

What is the point of these Ofsted inspections that are mere tickbox exercises for boarding? Where are the social workers assessing why each boarder has been placed in care, away from their families?

The UK is a small country and we no longer have an Empire. There is no longer any need for children to be sent away to loveless institutions (regardless of how comfortable they are).

If a teenager chooses to board at 16+ and it is exclusively their decision, then we at Boarding Concern will support their decision (subject to proper safeguards). But there is absolutely no need in 21st Century Britain to send children and young teenagers away from home, given the disastrous history of British boarding.

Everything else is just pointless PR puff.

“Delight as Wymondham College earns ‘outstanding’ inspection grade”

Eastern Daily Press

Mental Health: boarders and former boarders

The BBC has been running a series of programmes and web features on the subject of mental health.

Something of interest to former and current boarders with the growing awareness of the problems caused by (early) abandonment and institutionalisation.  What some term Boarding School Syndrome or others call Strategic Survival Personality.  The rupturing of those early attachments and the disruption to healthy psychological progress through puberty.

Ten years ago, in an award-winning series, Stephen Fry first spoke about living with manic depression and began a national conversation about mental health.

A decade later, the BBC returns to the subject to understand where he and thousands of others diagnosed with bipolar (as it is now called) are now. As a society, do we need to do more for those with the illness? Is the treatment better? Has the stigma reduced?

In response, psychology Professor Richard Bentall, has sent an open letter to the actor which offers a differing perspective

Eating Disorders and Modern Boarding

We are aware that eating disorders are a major problem in today’s boarding schools and can impact all pupils.  Just as in the past.

Caroline Jones describes the “constantly vomit-flecked toilets” at her boarding school in her memoirs.  So much indeed for “modern” boarding…

The Guardian

The silent epidemic hitting top girls’ [boarding] schools

The Times newspaper reports on the epidemic of eating disorders in UK girls’ (boarding) schools. [Subscription required.]

Boarding Concern has long been aware of the problems of eating disorders and self-harming in UK boarding schools.  These are at rates in excess of exclusively day schools when the population sizes are balanced out.  Some boarding schools have instituted enforced weighing of boarders.

With the growth in the number of pupils from overseas, Boarding Concern fear that this problem will only get worse.  We also note that the schools have, in typical fashion, failed to respond to The Times on this worrying issue.