Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Education News

Children at risk 'should get boarding place'

Vulnerable children are missing out on the life-saving chance of a boarding school education, a headteachers' leader has warned.

A government plan to encourage both state and private boarding schools to accept pupils at risk of being taken into care has so far only seen a handful of places funded – despite the fact 70 schools are backing the plan.

"There remain too many people in the system who reject on the basis of ignorance or prejudice the very idea that a child might thrive at a boarding school," said Melvyn Roffe, chairman of the Boarding Schools Association.

He told the BSA's annual conference: "Too many others mean well but find themselves incapable of doing the right thing for a child because of time-serving bureaucratic procedures which, while purporting to serve children's interests, too often condemn them to an ever-diminishing circle of failure."

Mr Roffe, head of Wymondham College in Norfolk, called on the main political parties to back plans to pay £10,000 towards the fees of every vulnerable child who won a boarding school place. Even if 1,000 pupils were offered places it would cost only £10m, he argued.