The decision to send your child to boarding school is a complex one, as every student has distinct motivations and desires. With plenty of different aspects to consider, the subject requires a more sophisticated approach than a basic pros and cons list to decide if boarding is the right call.
There are currently 189 boarding schools in Australia, 94 of which are co-educational, while 54 cater exclusively to girls and 40 exclusively to boys. Some boarding schools are based in a metropolitan setting, giving students access to the various resources of urban life, while rural boarders reside in regional environments for a more holistic experience.
Weekly boarding allows students to return to their homes on the weekends and is seen as a bridging option for parents trying to decide if boarding suits their child.
Top reasons parents choose a boarding school
A lack of parental supervision allows your child to take greater personal responsibility for their actions, encouraging them to manage their time regarding study and social life. Learning to make their own decisions and deal with the repercussions helps students become more independent from a younger age.
Boarding schools tend to place a greater emphasis on personal development than day schools, given they play a large role in setting the environment in which the students develop their world view. This can come in the form of extracurricular activities (sport, performing arts) and student services (counselling, study assistance).
The relationships between boarding students can be exceptionally strong due to the cohort spending so much time together. Students face similar challenges to their peers and get to know each other on a deeper level than day students.
There are plenty of things to consider, from the cost (some boarding schools can be quite expensive) to whether you will be able to deal with being away from your child for such long periods of time.
Will your child get homesick? How will they handle a rigid schedule? Will their interests be honed at this particular school? These are all important questions but the overriding consideration should always be whether your child actually wants to attend boarding school.
Ultimately, boarding school isn't for everyone and it really does come down to the individual.