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Boarding schools 'need financial backing'

26/11/2013 Joanna
Significant investment is required in order to guarantee the long-term future of state boarding schools. 

This is according to Roy Page, chair of the State Boarding School Association (SBSA) and headmaster of the Royal Grammar School High Wycombe, who believes more funding is required for the sector to be successful. 

He welcomed the announcement from the Department for Education that a deal is set to be finalised that will see £52,000 handed across to help support the training of SBSA staff, as it shows the department has recognised the need to fund this area. 

However, Mr Page is calling on more to be done, with a specific reference on improving the quality of buildings in boarding schools, as many are no longer fit for purpose. 

Capital investment is a serious problem for these education centres - although the government has suggested they can court charitable donations to manage any shortfall in their budgets. 

"Some of our longest established schools, run by experienced heads, are desperately anxious about the survival of their boarding houses," Mr Page stated. 

The official added boarding schools - and those employed in teacher jobs at the sites - are responsible for some great work. For example, he pointed out they provide support for vulnerable children and hard-working families.

"We prioritise families where one member of the family is serving in the armed forces. And we listen to, support and care for pupils at every level. Boarding, especially in the sixth form, prepares students not just for university but also for life after school," Mr Page remarked. 

The development comes after the government announced financial backing for a project that will seek to introduce a military ethos into schools. Staff in education jobs are always looking for ways to boost attainment and it is hoped the scheme will instill values such as teamwork, discipline and leadership in pupils. 

Posted by Alan Douglas ADNFCR-2164-ID-801665003-ADNFCR
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