Letter: Benefits of boarding school for parents and children

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The Independent Online
Sir: If the 'Writing (is) on the wall for boarding schools' it has obviously not been interpreted clearly (leading article, 27 April). A closer look at the statistics would reveal that although some boarding schools have been hard-hit, others continue to flourish. Of course, recession has turned many away from boarding and it may be more accceptable for some parents to claim that they do not approve of boarding rather than admit that they cannot afford it but, if you ask children they will tell you that customer satisfaction is high.

Boarding numbers at this school stand at their second highest in a decade, at least partly because so many day children choose to board in their last year or two. 'Traditional' boarders at age seven or eight may be a vanishing species but children know what they want and many parents are still prepared to pay for what they perceive as a different and special type of education.

In a buyer's market perceptive parents look carefully before they make a choice of school and there is a new realism in most independent schools: value for money is a concept no longer ignored by the successful survivors in a 'market' that may be shrinking but is far removed from terminal decline.

Yours faithfully,

H. DAVIES JONES

Headmaster

St Andrew's School

Eastbourne

East Sussex

27 April

(Photograph omitted)

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