Eton – after a socialist revolution

I’ve quite enjoyed racing through News from Nowhere, William Morris’ account of England a generation after a socialist revolution. I’m sure everyone was worrying… “but what would happen to Eton?” “Up yonder are some beautiful old buildings, which were built for a great college or teaching-place by one of the mediaeval kings – Edward the Sixth, …

The moral training of young children

I recently read a piece in The Guardian about the introduction of financial education in our schools from next September, intended to teach children to “solve money related maths problems and learn about public finances, pensions and how to budget”. Worthwhile behaviour this of course is, and the priority given to such lessons is a growing trend …

Towards Understanding

How far a motto describes the ethos of a school is a matter of some debate, but I rather liked the crest I saw on a recent visit to Shaw House School: “Towards Understanding.” Humble, unambiguous, purposeful, it perished with the school in 1985 when the buildings were discovered to be unsound. The land was passed to Newbury …

Private Schools – Inflation of Fees

Last month, I wrote about about the affordability of independent schools. I am often asked how much private schools fees have risen in the past few decades. I have been looking for a good account for a while, and just recently came across this one in Dominic Carman’s Heads Up: Comparing 1971 incomes with today …

Mini-Essay: Why Boarding?

The symptoms of what we call being a Boarding School Survivor are varied and complex. They include difficulties in relationships and parenting, workaholism, inability to relax, isolation, being experienced as a bully, substance abuse, a sense of failure, as well as physical, sleep, and sexual problems… (http://www.boardingschoolsurvivors.co.uk) Such is the trauma allegedly caused by attending …

Daisy Christodoulou on Educational Myths

I was delighted to see that the magnificent Daisy Christodoulou, who featured quite a lot in my recent mini-essay on the curriculum, contributed an article to last week’s Spectator. Her point that some of the trendiest education ideas are actually rather old hat was very well put: “…one popular buzzword at the moment is ‘21st-century …

Roger Scruton on knowledge, the curriculum and the state’s contribution to education

In a recent BBC Point of View broadcast, intellectual heavyweight Roger Scruton  gave a fascinating history of education since the nineteenth century. It is well worth a read. Having just written a mini-essay on the curriculum, I was especially struck by this thought: The state inherited well-funded, long established and dedicated institutions and a tried …

Making independent schools affordable

If there is one concern that privately-educated friends of mine with new-born children all share it is that they will not be able to afford the education that they themselves were lucky to receive. I predict that this topic will come to dominate UK boarding schools over the next decades. Andrew Adonis commented on the inflation …

Mini-Essay: The Curriculum

In almost a decade of answering questions from parents about boarding schools, I have never been asked about a school’s curriculum. And yet it is hard to think of a feature that has more of a bearing on a child’s education. This short essay makes a case for why the curriculum is quite so important, …