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Eton Head Master: Regulatory pedantry threatens boarding schools October 26, 2010

Posted by Alex, Managing Director in Independent Education, Magazines.
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The autumn 2010 issue of Boarding School magazine has landed on our desks here at the John Catt offices and will currently be flying around the country to subscribers and all member schools of the Boarding School Association.

Editor Dick Davison has put together another fantastic issue, including a lengthy feature from Tony Little, Head Master at Eton College, analysing the “regulatory pedantry” that threatens to undermine Britain’s boarding schools.

In an edited version of the address given at the 2010 BSA Heads’ Conference, Tony writes: “There are two fundamental truths to school life: that young people learn at least as much outside the classroom as in it; and that young people learn more from each other than they do from adults. As a society we have lost sight of these central truths, preferring instead to believe that management is a more effective alternative to nurturing relationships.

“Top-down approaches lack roots; they do not grow and flourish. What the experience of boarding school life shows us is that a virtuous circle is created when time is given to the nurturing of relationships – pupil-to-pupil, adult-to-pupil. From these relatationships everything that is valuable and long lasting will grow: and this flows from the vocational commitment of well-chosen and well-trained staff. It is what we might call the primacy of love.”

Elsewhere, Dick also interviews Jan Scarrow, Headmistress at Badminton School and BSA Chairman 2010/11; Ampleforth’s first director of health and safety tells us how he is attempting to bring more focus on safety in boarding schools; and the Headmaster of Campbell College, Belfast, describes how boarding in Northern Ireland offers a distinctive alternative to both independent and state boarding schools in Britain.

Boarding School magazine is published twice a year, in spring and autumn, and costs £5 per copy. Click here for more details.

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