June 5, 2023



Lasting impressions of a boarding school instruction | Letters

While Henrietta Heald (Letters, 19 December) is correct in expressing that girls by and massive are not admitted to Eton, that is not to say that becoming woman always spares you from the trammels of the independent boarding faculty program. In the 1970s, I put in 6 yrs at Wycombe Abbey, a girls’ community school in Buckinghamshire. My parents considered that by obtaining a “good” education for me, they were being acting in my most effective passions.

Homesick, worthless each at lacrosse and tennis, anarchic – “Why should not I go buying in my free of charge time? It is what just about every typical 16-calendar year-previous does,” I when argued to my dismayed housemistress – and endlessly at war with the totalitarian routine of the position, I was an disappointed square peg in a round hole. At university, I dropped my way badly – I scraped a 3rd-course diploma and feel to have expended the relaxation of my lifetime hoping to get better.

Admittedly, only a moment share of the population attends residential universities. Some may well even declare to get pleasure from the boarding expertise. But for quite a few – girls as effectively as boys – the boarding atmosphere can be a resource of lifelong insecurity and melancholy. Permit us hope that Richard Beard’s Unhappy Tiny Men would make its mark, and that well-to-do moms and dads uncover a little something less detrimental on which to commit their cash.
Victoria Owens
Lengthy Ashton, Somerset

While I concur with Henrietta Heald’s view, not all people who was despatched absent to school – in my situation at 8 – turns out to be the Unhappy Tiny Adult males described in Richard Beard’s e book. I do not protect the process – there is significantly mistaken with it and I endured some extremely disagreeable ordeals.

Nonetheless, opposite to expectation, I really do not discover connection and authentic empathy a challenge. That would have severely hampered me in my get the job done as a psychologist, a psychotherapist and an worker of a charity doing the job for 30 decades with disadvantaged people today from a wide vary of backgrounds.

How did I regulate this? Partly, I suspect, because there were some teachers prepared to offer a correcting point of view on our scenario. They launched those like me, who have been interested, to analyses that challenged the establishment of which we were being meant to be a component.
Nick Barton
Templecombe, Somerset

Have an opinion on anything you have browse in the Guardian now? Remember to electronic mail us your letter and it will be considered for publication.