UK boarding school (Intl student)

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typical.investor
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UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by typical.investor » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:36 am

Is anyone familiar with UK boarding schools (starting 9th grade) or with an advisor who can guide placement (including a guardian, Visa etc).

It’d be for a non-UK/non-EU student/second language learner.

Goal is to finish high school — not even sure what they call that in the UK.

Or Canada, New Zealand, Ireland or Australia? I’m familiar with the US but drugs and crime makes the parent worry (not my kid).

Valuethinker
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:04 am

typical.investor wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:36 am
Is anyone familiar with UK boarding schools (starting 9th grade) or with an advisor who can guide placement (including a guardian, Visa etc).

It’d be for a non-UK/non-EU student/second language learner.

Goal is to finish high school — not even sure what they call that in the UK.

Or Canada, New Zealand, Ireland or Australia? I’m familiar with the US but drugs and crime makes the parent worry (not my kid).
Ok

England and Wales have a different school system from Scotland or Northern Ireland. I shall speak to the former.

"Public schools" meaning fee paying or independent schools in UK include a group of centuries old Boarding Schools. Many are now coeducational or accept girls for A Levels (final 2 years). It is common in the UK to do your job to GCSE s (age 15) at a different school than your A levels (which are required for university admission). Some schools now offer the International Baccalaureate (different from the French one) which is a gold standard for international university admission.

Some of those schools are socially and academically so highly ranked that they can afford to maintain a balance between the children of the English professional classes, the children of the landed gentry and aristocracy, scholarship boys and foreign kids often from wealthy families or from royalty.

Those are Eton Harrow Winchester and Westminster. Most British Cabinet members and prime ministers have attended one of those 4 and Eton in particular. Winston Churchill attended Harrow. (Most at least for the Tory Party which has ruled Britain over half of the last 300 years).

Getting into those is a dream of parents all over the world and is very difficult. Each has their own personality and traditions. Academically among Boys schools St Paul's in London would rank among them. The Times and other newspapers publish annual rankings. Last time I checked they cost north of GBP 35k pa including boarding fees but there are many extras as well.

There is then another tier below that. Schools a traditions and personalities of their own such as Rugby. Rising tuition fees have put them out of reach of many British middle class parents and there has been a long run trend away from boarding and fewer parents stationed overseas in the military or diplomatic corps. To compensate many have large numbers of students from the Middle East China Russia Nigeria etc ie any country whose elites value this kind of education. They vary in academic strength, religious instruction etc.

Public schools all have certain core values: leadership (eg the prefect system), athleticism (games is compulsory for all boys, Saturday morning and early afternoon is given over to athletics, common for many boys to go home then for rest of weekend) including team sports especially cricket and rugby and athletics, disciplined hours (early to rise, study periods, lights out), religious worship (special arrangements for non Christian boys). Gordonston or Rugby you will do a lot of sport. Downside or Keeble (?) Are Catholic. Bedales has a very arty and slightly hippyish reputation.

Academic "hot housing" is really more the field of (still independent) day schools that live and die on their academic rank and success in getting kids into Oxford and Cambridge. These schools are ranked by that and general success at getting kids into the "Russell Group" of 20 or so elite research oriented universities.

The public schools are much less brutal than they were at mid century. Corporal punishment no longer takes place. Sexual sadism by teachers and older students is not permitted (but there are still cases of course). [Edited this took us too far off topic]. Many of the kids go home at weekends and Prep Schools (boarding from age 9 ) are no longer popular. Bullying is a lot less tolerated. There is no longer "fagging" (younger boys acting as servants to older boys). Girls at A Levels etc.

I should note at A levels most schools give a lot more freedom. Permitted to go off campus, more relaxed generally etc.

Girls schools are similar but different in the ways you would predict. The social ostracization can be a lot worse. The big names are Rodean Wycombe Abbey and Cheltenham Ladies College. The top women you meet in the professions often are Paulines ie old girls of St Paul's Girls School in West London. A "jolly hockey stick" is a public school girl who is quite sporty and field hockey in particular. I knew the first woman to fly Tornadoes for the RAF she is a bit of a hockey stick.

Beyond all this is a host of Independent ie fee paying schools. Mostly day only sometimes foreign students are boarded w families. And these include some very impressive places like Haberdashers Aske (the North London one) which has a strong Jewish and South Asian contingent. North London Collegiate (girls) which I think is even ahead of St Paul's Girls theses days. Don't underestimate how academically competitive these places are.

Confusingly Grammar Schools were once all state sector and now most are private. They often rank very highly academically and are usually somewhat cheaper.

I hope this helps the main thing is to get into the Independent Schools Association website and to start thinking about what you want from such an education? It matters a lot of the school is in or close to a big city etc. Also to check The Times and other guides to school rankings and to Independent Schools

I shall try to answer any questions if I can.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

Valuethinker
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:17 am

typical.investor wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:36 am
Is anyone familiar with UK boarding schools (starting 9th grade) or with an advisor who can guide placement (including a guardian, Visa etc).

It’d be for a non-UK/non-EU student/second language learner.

Goal is to finish high school — not even sure what they call that in the UK.

Or Canada, New Zealand, Ireland or Australia? I’m familiar with the US but drugs and crime makes the parent worry (not my kid).
Ireland the Protestant school is called Columba. Modelled on an English public school. The state system is entirely Roman Catholic.

New Zealand and Australia both have English style public (ie private schoolds). I used to date a woman from Woodford in New Zealand. These schools would have a big emphasis on sports.

Canada has a host of private schools like America. Upper Canada College is the most famous (Toronto). But there are many in all the big cities.

The academic key is the International Baccalaureate which is highly respected and internationally recognized by universities. Otherwise the English A levels are roughly where the US Advanced Placement are ie skip first year instruction.

Drugs? There is not a private school in any of those countries which has not had drug issues. Crime is mostly a threat outside school gates. You can get your mobile phone nicked in any country. Far more likely to be killed by a speeding car then shot by some maniac.

If the child is eg Chinese there are schools which make special arrangements for such students eg additional language instruction, accomodation and pastoral care (counseling etc).

If the child is an accomplished cricketer say up to County level then the world is their oyster. Most schools would probably be keen to have them (that's even true of girls schools now I imagine). So a Pakistani Sri Lanka n or Indian kid could have a huge opportunity. Same for many other sports of course.

typical.investor
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by typical.investor » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:22 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:04 am
Some schools now offer the International Baccalaureate (different from the French one) which is a gold standard for international university admission.
I didn't realize that program was availiable too.
Valuethinker wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:04 am
Getting into those is a dream of parents all over the world and is very difficult.
The target would be a good school vs a highly competitive one.
Valuethinker wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:04 am
Last time I checked they cost north of GBP 35k pa including boarding fees but there are many extras as well.
We've been quoted 41k to 70k which included a UK guardian. That had two layers of consulting fees (one local, one in the UK plus tuition, boarding and guardian), and I wondered if the multiple consultants weren't adding to the cost.
Valuethinker wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:04 am
There is then another tier below that. Schools a traditions and personalities of their own such as Rugby. Rising tuition fees have put them out of reach of many British middle class parents and there has been a long run trend away from boarding and fewer parents stationed overseas in the military or diplomatic corps. To compensate many have large numbers of students from the Middle East China Russia Nigeria etc ie any country whose elites value this kind of education. They vary in academic strength, religious instruction etc.
This sounds more realistic.

Valuethinker wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:04 am
I hope this helps the main thing is to get into the Independent Schools Association website and to start thinking about what you want from such an education? It matters a lot of the school is in or close to a big city etc. Also to check The Times and other guides to school rankings and to Independent Schools
OK will do. Thanks for the great info.

If anyone has suggestions on an Educational Consultant they'd recommend ...

jminv
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by jminv » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:12 pm

Take a look at the Swiss boarding schools before making a decision.

bpp
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by bpp » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:56 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:17 am
Drugs? There is not a private school in any of those countries which has not had drug issues.
I’d wager it might be a good rule of thumb that the wealthier the students are on average, the wider the range of drugs to which they have access.

bpp
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by bpp » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:01 pm

typical.investor wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:22 pm
We've been quoted 41k to 70k which included a UK guardian.
What is the guardian for? Somewhere to stay during school holidays? (Might be cheaper to have the kid fly home instead?)

typical.investor
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by typical.investor » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:30 am

bpp wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:01 pm
typical.investor wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:22 pm
We've been quoted 41k to 70k which included a UK guardian.
What is the guardian for? Somewhere to stay during school holidays? (Might be cheaper to have the kid fly home instead?)
It’s generally a required insurance policy that someone will be responsible for the minor (illness, disruption to travel plans, suspension from school, unexpected school closure for health or safety reasons ... whatever).

AlohaJoe
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by AlohaJoe » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:45 am

bpp wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:56 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:17 am
Drugs? There is not a private school in any of those countries which has not had drug issues.
I’d wager it might be a good rule of thumb that the wealthier the students are on average, the wider the range of drugs to which they have access.
I knew a (Singaporean) girl who attended boarding school in the UK. All of her friends had sex by age 14, drank, smoked cigarettes daily, and did drugs recreationally on a pretty regular basis. And that was 30 years ago; I imagine that things are much the same nowadays.

A friend used to be a teacher at boarding schools. He said there was a quasi-formal policy to knock on any door before entering any room. As in: getting a broom out of the closet? Knock on the door first. Entering the classroom at 7am to get ready for the day? Knock on the door first. Because if you didn't do that you were likely to (at some point) walk in on kids in flagrante delicto which the school (and the parents, really) didn't want to have to deal with, so it was best to take steps that you didn't see anything you'd have to act on.

bpp
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by bpp » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:14 am

typical.investor wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:30 am
bpp wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:01 pm
typical.investor wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:22 pm
We've been quoted 41k to 70k which included a UK guardian.
What is the guardian for? Somewhere to stay during school holidays? (Might be cheaper to have the kid fly home instead?)
It’s generally a required insurance policy that someone will be responsible for the minor (illness, disruption to travel plans, suspension from school, unexpected school closure for health or safety reasons ... whatever).
I see, thanks.

bowman
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by bowman » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:25 am

AlohaJoe wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:45 am

I knew a (Singaporean) girl who attended boarding school in the UK. All of her friends had sex by age 14, drank, smoked cigarettes daily, and did drugs recreationally on a pretty regular basis. And that was 30 years ago; I imagine that things are much the same nowadays.
Crazy exaggeration/sensationalism and gives a wildly inaccurate impression of life in these schools.

Went to boarding school in the UK from 8-18, had the time of my life.

For the OP: Check out www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk My parents used the (book) 30 years ago to find my schools. I'm afraid I dont have any advice to offer re consultants

Valuethinker
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:18 am

bowman wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:25 am
AlohaJoe wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:45 am

I knew a (Singaporean) girl who attended boarding school in the UK. All of her friends had sex by age 14, drank, smoked cigarettes daily, and did drugs recreationally on a pretty regular basis. And that was 30 years ago; I imagine that things are much the same nowadays.
Crazy exaggeration/sensationalism and gives a wildly inaccurate impression of life in these schools.
Ahh. Well. I could tell you stories from friends (and some personal experience) - they would not be permitted on this forum.

So no, not exaggeration. It varies by student and by school, and also by time.

Question is: don't ordinary public high school students in North America do these things?

Went to boarding school in the UK from 8-18, had the time of my life.

For the OP: Check out www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk My parents used the (book) 30 years ago to find my schools. I'm afraid I dont have any advice to offer re consultants
Ok so you are admitting that this was a long time ago?

My experience also is now quite old. Although in recent years I had a lot of exposure to graduates of same. To quote one (former) student of a school that has appeared in this thread "If I had not left, I would have been dead [edited] by now". He did go on to comment that he was in a bad year.

Boarding schools are horses for courses. They work for a certain sort of child and different schools work for different people.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

Valuethinker
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:30 am

bpp wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:56 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:17 am
Drugs? There is not a private school in any of those countries which has not had drug issues.
I’d wager it might be a good rule of thumb that the wealthier the students are on average, the wider the range of drugs to which they have access.
[edited]

Yes.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

bpp
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by bpp » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:43 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:30 am
(in Seattle, the drug they traced was ... caffeine ;-)).
:D

Isabelle77
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by Isabelle77 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:49 am

I went to boarding school in Canada, not UCC as mentioned above, cause I'm a girl :) But I went to what is now probably considered the "most elite" boarding school in Canada. It is largely wealthy international students now and starts at around 70K Can. these days. :shock:

I'm happy to PM you the name if you're interested. Insurance I believe is required but there isn't a "guardian" fee as far I know, the school is almost always open and there's a coordinator who will find a family for your student to go home with during longer breaks or there are trips that are run by the school for students who don't go home for an extra fee.

I graduated 23yrs ago and it is not the same place as when I went there, but I loved every second of it.

ETA: my experience in boarding school was not the drug-fueled orgy that seems to be the prevailing stereotype. Not at all. It was a lot closer to Harry Potter than Animal House.

Valuethinker
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:57 am

Isabelle77 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:49 am

ETA: my experience in boarding school was not the drug-fueled orgy that seems to be the prevailing stereotype. Not at all. It was a lot closer to Harry Potter than Animal House.
I would think a school would be so worried about getting sued that it wouldn't allow it to happen. The cost to UCC and other Canadian private schools arising from events in the 1970s has been huge ...

There were certainly people at my school, and girls from the corresponding schools, that partied as has been described -- this would have been the 1970s ... it's an age where people explore their sexuality, explore altered mental states, begin to define who they are ... I think the Romans defined adulthood for a male at age 14 and certainly marriage was quite common for a 13 year old girl of the upper classes ...

bowman
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by bowman » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:25 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:18 am

Ahh. Well. I could tell you stories from friends (and some personal experience) - they would not be permitted on this forum.

So no, not exaggeration. It varies by student and by school, and also by time.
Am I claiming that sex and drugs don't exist in UK boarding schools? Of course not. But what is an exaggeration is the impression that they are dens of inquitiy. I'm afraid a few posters in this thread prefer to impress people with dinner party anecdotes than give a measured guide.
Question is: don't ordinary public high school students in North America do these things?
Good point
Boarding schools are horses for courses. They work for a certain sort of child and different schools work for different people.
Agreed.

To the OP: I recommend you/your friend do your research elsewhere.

Valuethinker
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:35 am

bowman wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:25 am
Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:18 am

Ahh. Well. I could tell you stories from friends (and some personal experience) - they would not be permitted on this forum.

So no, not exaggeration. It varies by student and by school, and also by time.
Am I claiming that sex and drugs don't exist in UK boarding schools? Of course not. But what is an exaggeration is the impression that they are dens of inquitiy. I'm afraid a few posters in this thread prefer to impress people with dinner party anecdotes than give a measured guide.
AlohaJoe is a long time poster here - he is not just sensationalizing. It was a genuine experience of someone's kid. I think it's how one reads the anecdote because I read it as a data point not as a general statement.

Is this representative? I don't know. [Edited: comment re own experiences. The 1970s were a crazy time, even for private school boys]. If you think of the time ("for most people the 1960s happened in the 1970s") maybe this was inevitable. Conversely most people seemed to turn out OK with a couple of notable casualties. Sex (boy's school) there was of course far less of it than would have been desired ;-).

I encounter the products of English boarding schools professionally - -people who attended anywhere from 10 to 40 years ago (one on each side of my desk, in fact ;-)). And, again, the experiences really run the gamut.

I would say the schools have really eased up since I was 18, 40 years ago - the freedoms the kids are allowed are night and day, ditto there is far less tolerance of casual bullying and physical violence by teachers, prefects etc. Less character building ;-).

Isabelle77
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by Isabelle77 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:31 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:57 am
Isabelle77 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:49 am

ETA: my experience in boarding school was not the drug-fueled orgy that seems to be the prevailing stereotype. Not at all. It was a lot closer to Harry Potter than Animal House.
I would think a school would be so worried about getting sued that it wouldn't allow it to happen. The cost to UCC and other Canadian private schools arising from events in the 1970s has been huge ...

There were certainly people at my school, and girls from the corresponding schools, that partied as has been described -- this would have been the 1970s ... it's an age where people explore their sexuality, explore altered mental states, begin to define who they are ... I think the Romans defined adulthood for a male at age 14 and certainly marriage was quite common for a 13 year old girl of the upper classes ...
Yes, I agree. We definitely heard stories of "the good old days" and we all read Old Boys by James Fitzgerald when it came out. Of course, now my experiences are the "good old days," we weren't saints, definitely climbed out the window a few times to go to the parties off campus, once to a concert. When our housemaster would catch us, she would leave "gotcha" notes on our beds. Now they would probably boot you out of school.

bpp
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by bpp » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:50 pm

Isabelle77 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:49 am
ETA: my experience in boarding school was not the drug-fueled orgy that seems to be the prevailing stereotype. Not at all. It was a lot closer to Harry Potter than Animal House.
I don’t see the tone of the thread as being the promotion of an Animal House-like stereotype, as much as a warning that a UK (or Canadian, etc.) boarding school does not provide insulation against potential exposure to drugs, as the OP’s friend seemed to be hoping for.

My own limited experience is dated, like everyone else’s here, so the following anecdote may be similarly irrelevant to today’s situation, but before I went over, I was advised not to talk about any drug use that I might have been expected to be aware of given the time and place I was coming from, because the other students at my new school would have come from more sheltered backgrounds, and would be easily shocked. Of course, I later learned that they had been told the same thing in reverse about me.

Overall, though, I agree it was more like Harry Potter, or even Goodbye Mr. Chips, than Animal House. But there were certainly things happening below the surface.

Regarding sex, it was an all-boys school, and while a few boys had girlfriends off-campus, or boyfriends on-campus, in general it was a pretty barren place. Which actually was nice — took a lot of testosterone-fueled competitiveness out of the equation. Boys acted much more humanely towards each other as a result, I believe. I could recommend OP’s friend to seriously consider single-sex schools.

Valuethinker
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:54 am

bpp wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:50 pm
Isabelle77 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:49 am
ETA: my experience in boarding school was not the drug-fueled orgy that seems to be the prevailing stereotype. Not at all. It was a lot closer to Harry Potter than Animal House.
I don’t see the tone of the thread as being the promotion of an Animal House-like stereotype, as much as a warning that a UK (or Canadian, etc.) boarding school does not provide insulation against potential exposure to drugs, as the OP’s friend seemed to be hoping for.

My own limited experience is dated, like everyone else’s here, so the following anecdote may be similarly irrelevant to today’s situation, but before I went over, I was advised not to talk about any drug use that I might have been expected to be aware of given the time and place I was coming from, because the other students at my new school would have come from more sheltered backgrounds, and would be easily shocked. Of course, I later learned that they had been told the same thing in reverse about me.

Overall, though, I agree it was more like Harry Potter, or even Goodbye Mr. Chips, than Animal House. But there were certainly things happening below the surface.

Regarding sex, it was an all-boys school, and while a few boys had girlfriends off-campus, or boyfriends on-campus, in general it was a pretty barren place. Which actually was nice — took a lot of testosterone-fueled competitiveness out of the equation. Boys acted much more humanely towards each other as a result, I believe. I could recommend OP’s friend to seriously consider single-sex schools.
Wow. I would say the exact opposite. The lack of female students or teachers turned the place into the equivalent of a prison with all the associated hierarchies among staff and students. Lost track of the number of times I saw teachers slap students on the face or slam kids into walls.

I think a lot of that behaviour would not be tolerated now (by staff or students).

One thing that has become clear with recent news (I am going to leave it at that) is that the sort of unsupervised drinking etc. that went on then is just not the case now (is it?). This was at parents' homes, cottages, school dances etc. This was normal. Apparently that's not the case now - certainly my nieces and nephews had much more supervised upbringings, with planned activities, than we did. And the academic pressure is undoubtedly higher.

bpp
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by bpp » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:46 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:54 am
Wow. I would say the exact opposite. The lack of female students or teachers turned the place into the equivalent of a prison
I could certainly see how it could go that way, too. Maybe highlights the importance of getting reviews from recent students.
One thing that has become clear with recent news (I am going to leave it at that) is that the sort of unsupervised drinking etc. that went on then is just not the case now (is it?). This was at parents' homes, cottages, school dances etc. This was normal. Apparently that's not the case now - certainly my nieces and nephews had much more supervised upbringings, with planned activities, than we did. And the academic pressure is undoubtedly higher.
Things may well have tightened up. We had a student pub on campus, which could be freely frequented if over 18. Don’t know if it still exists, but find no sign of it online, at least. If one could plausibly claim to be Catholic, one could get permission to go to the Catholic church in town Sunday mornings instead of to the Anglican chapel on campus. From which it was usual practice to duck out early and hit a pub in town before heading back for lunch. Nothing was ever said, though must have been obvious from breath, especially if sitting at the housemaster’s table. Current published rules seem to be much more strict about doing stuff without specific permission like that. (Though how well they are enforced I don’t know.)

Valuethinker
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:54 am

bpp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:46 am
Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:54 am
Wow. I would say the exact opposite. The lack of female students or teachers turned the place into the equivalent of a prison
I could certainly see how it could go that way, too. Maybe highlights the importance of getting reviews from recent students.
One thing that has become clear with recent news (I am going to leave it at that) is that the sort of unsupervised drinking etc. that went on then is just not the case now (is it?). This was at parents' homes, cottages, school dances etc. This was normal. Apparently that's not the case now - certainly my nieces and nephews had much more supervised upbringings, with planned activities, than we did. And the academic pressure is undoubtedly higher.
Things may well have tightened up. We had a student pub on campus, which could be freely frequented if over 18. Don’t know if it still exists, but find no sign of it online, at least. If one could plausibly claim to be Catholic, one could get permission to go to the Catholic church in town Sunday mornings instead of to the Anglican chapel on campus. From which it was usual practice to duck out early and hit a pub in town before heading back for lunch. Nothing was ever said, though must have been obvious from breath, especially if sitting at the housemaster’s table. Current published rules seem to be much more strict about doing stuff without specific permission like that. (Though how well they are enforced I don’t know.)
This was in the UK?

US has a drinking age of 21 and Canada generally 19, both strictly enforced because the bar/ restaurant could lose its license.

bpp
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by bpp » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:11 am

Yes, UK.

Valuethinker
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:18 am

This thread has gotten sidetracked by our own experiences of such places. I accept the blame for part of that.

For the Original Poster:

- UK has boarding schools and they vary a lot. There are weaker schools which rely on their foreign students. That's not ideal as one wants a balance. Coming in at A Level offers the advantage that probably half the class is doing the same so existing friendships are not a barrier to integration

It's really important to align the choice of qualification (A Level, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureat etc.) with the intended post high school destination: university where? There are English-language universities in Continental Europe which accept A Levels, for example.

A friend's daughter transferred from an English university to computer science at Columbia -- I was stunned at the cost, but she is receiving a first class education. I think he said it was costing him something like $80-100k p.a. (so including living expenses). British universities for domestic students charge £9,000 p.a. but I have seen numbers for non EU students for London universities of £25,000 p.a. (this was an engineering programme at UCL).

- the failures in stewardship/ pastoral care that we discuss here are probably not representative of current conditions. That said, you cannot perfectly insulate your kids from the way kids are in the here-and-now. I doubt many kids now experience the Bacchanalia that some did in the late 1970s, say, or thinking Stanley Kubrick's fantasy movie "If" which perfectly caught the mindset of an outsider in an English boarding school (it's filmed at Stowe School). On the other hand, it's probably not completely monastic, either

- it's important to get as many information sources as possible. School ranking is a British obsession so there are a lot of lists out there. A visit by parents can be deceptive but I had one friend whose father visited a leading British boarding school (this was c. 25 years ago) where the housemaster who showed them round used a racial epithet to refer to non white gentlemen. He then visited Rugby school where the Deputy Headmaster was charming and welcoming, and his 2 sons attended there quite happily, one went to Oxford subsequently and worked in investment banking in London before joining the family business in the home country

Rugby is a sporty school which may not suit but I have had several friends whose kids have attended and they have been quite happy with the results (I knew one of the first girls at Rugby at A Level, again, early 1980s - she said it was quite tough socially but it well prepared her for a career in Finance).

- I don't know about the role of consultants but I am instantly suspicious and that may be inappropriate. What you want is someone who has had long experience teaching in those schools and/ or on the student recruitment side

- Canada, Australia, New Zealand and probably Switzerland have similar systems to the UK boarding schools. I would add a good international school in Singapore, say. Perhaps also other former parts of the British Empire but I do not know

- I would add one should consider the top American colleges, also. OK it's not "Dead Poets Society" but I suspect Andover, St. Paul's etc. offer really fine educations

- no one has mentioned Atlantic College (Wales) and Pearson College of the Pacific (Canada) - both part of the United World Colleges consortium. These offer a quite deliberate attempt to create "world citizens" - widest possible mixture of nationality of classmates, emphasis on your contribution to society etc. I am sure these offer a really different and positive approach to late adolescence

Lynette
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by Lynette » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:34 am

I was a house mistress in a girls public school in South Africa in the sixties at the age of 22 - just after graduation. It supposedly followed much of the British model. I had to take the children to an Anglican church on a Sunday, etc. It was a prison. The matrons would check that no girls were sleeping together! I could not take it more than a year so I escaped. It may have worked for some children. Obviously my experience is extremely dated.

typical.investor
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by typical.investor » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:59 am

Interesting discussion.

That said, for the student in question I think the bigger fear would simply be spending too much time on video games. Or finding the language gap too much...
jminv wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:12 pm
Take a look at the Swiss boarding schools before making a decision.
Funny, I just started listening to Valeska Steiner who is from Zurich but I can't sense any accent. She sang in Swiss bands before moving to Germany and only sings in English now. Hmmn ...?

Lynette
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by Lynette » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:17 am

typical.investor wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:59 am
Interesting discussion.

That said, for the student in question I think the bigger fear would simply be spending too much time on video games. Or finding the language gap too much...
jminv wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:12 pm
Take a look at the Swiss boarding schools before making a decision.
Funny, I just started listening to Valeska Steiner who is from Zurich but I can't sense any accent. She sang in Swiss bands before moving to Germany and only sings in English now. Hmmn ...?
Obviously conditions are going to vary greatly from school to school and my experience from the late sixties is obviously dated. At that time many of the British schools were single-sex. The school at which I was a house mistress was for the last five years of a girl's education - from about 13 - 18. The school always had excellent matriculation results. In those days names and grades were published in newspapers. Matric results were based entirely on public exams at the end of the child's career. Of course pros and cons - in my opinion a lot of rote learning.

These were some of the restrictions that the fierce head mistress placed on the girls and staff:

1. The children were only allowed to see their parents twice a term unless there was an emergency.
2. There was no privacy for the girls as they slept in dorms.
3. Girls could only see their brothers at the Boys High infrequently as the headmistress said that after 13, the children were not interested in their sibling's but their friends.
4. Saturday night was dancing - girls with girls. Afterwards the housemistresses checked that girls were each sleeping in their own beds.
5. As I mentioned I was 22 or 21? One weekend I was bored and the girls asked me to play hockey with them. I went to get my hockey stick but another house mistress told me not to be "familiar" with the girls so I put back my hockey stick.

The headmistress also lived in the hostel and set the tone for the school and boarding school. Obviously it was all white in those days and children probably came from quite wealthy farming districts where there were no schools or not on a level with this one. There was no physical punishment. I am not convinced that many of the "posh" boarding schools have changed much.

Also:

1. Children wore school uniforms and had uniforms for sport.
2. There was supervised afternoon study hours - obviously no video games but the headmistress would have outlawed those in a heart beat.
3. Teachers were assisted in enforcing discipline by "prefects". Children chosen by their peers - they were always in the 12th grade. I think those still exist.
4. Sport was compulsory.

Valuethinker
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Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:55 am

Lynette wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:17 am


Also:

1. Children wore school uniforms and had uniforms for sport.
I think it may be the policy (at least at some schools) that A Level students can wear "civilian" clothes. Maybe depends on school?

Yes re sports uniforms.
2. There was supervised afternoon study hours - obviously no video games but the headmistress would have outlawed those in a heart beat.
Yes. Still. That's what the parents are paying for.
3. Teachers were assisted in enforcing discipline by "prefects". Children chosen by their peers - they were always in the 12th grade. I think those still exist.
The emphasis on leadership is still there, the prefect system is an integral part of that. I assume the A level students are the prefects.

The good news is that it is enormously handy in professional life. If your child works in law, finance, accounting etc. then the social structure models itself on that impressionable phase of a young person's life. The skills of managing the teachers and the students as a prefect map nicely into how UK professional services organizations are managed (because many of the senior partners are from that background; the state grammar schools also use this system). One will instantly understand the culture and social hierarchy.

I believe, depending on the Prime Minister, that the UK Cabinet works very much in the same way. Tony Blair, David Cameron (& the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn) were all products of elite private schools (Fettes in Scotland; Eton; not sure re Corbyn but a private school). So is Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leading contenders for the Tory Party leadership if there is a challenge to Theresa May (both attended Eton). Michael Gove attended a private school in Scotland on a scholarship I think (he is a 3rd possible leader). George Osborne (previous Chancellor/ Minister of Finance to this one) attended St Paul's.

Theresa May (Prime Minister) attended a state grammar school I believe but I don't know anything about it.
4. Sport was compulsory.
Yes. Still. Even at A Level, I would imagine.

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