Boarding schools: No place like home?
While Harry Potter turned the educational spotlight on boarding schools, the real-world equivalents of Hogwarts are facing difficulties that even wizards cannot resolve.
Many boarding schools have top-quality facilities and all claim to provide a genuine home-from-home where students can thrive academically and mature emotionally. Learning to be independent and self-reliant is a lifelong asset, and is fostered by a boarding environment.
But at the same time, today’s boarding schools also face a range of issues1 . Rising costs have led to some of them converting into day-schools, as they could no longer afford the 24-hour care cover that boarders require. Meanwhile, parental fears about bullying, along with concerns about their children becoming isolated and depressed, have gradually reduced the numbers of boarders over the years.
However, there can be real career benefits for students later in life from attending a prestigious boarding school, and their practicality still appeals to wealthy parents.