Lasting impressions of a boarding faculty schooling | Letters

Although Henrietta Heald (Letters, 19 December) is suitable in declaring that ladies by and significant are not admitted to Eton, that is not to say that becoming feminine necessarily spares you from the trammels of the unbiased boarding school method. In the 1970s, I expended six years at Wycombe Abbey, a girls’ general public college in Buckinghamshire. My mother and father thought that by purchasing a “good” education and learning for me, they were being performing in my most effective passions.

Homesick, ineffective both of those at lacrosse and tennis, anarchic – “Why shouldn’t I go purchasing in my no cost time? It is what each individual standard 16-yr-aged does,” I when argued to my dismayed housemistress – and endlessly at war with the totalitarian routine of the position, I was an unsatisfied sq. peg in a spherical hole. At university, I lost my way poorly – I scraped a 3rd-course degree and feel to have put in the relaxation of my life seeking to recover.

Admittedly, only a moment proportion of the population attends residential faculties. Some could even assert to appreciate the boarding encounter. But for numerous – ladies as nicely as boys – the boarding surroundings can be a supply of lifelong insecurity and despair. Let us hope that Richard Beard’s Sad Small Gentlemen will make its mark, and that well-to-do dad and mom uncover a little something significantly less detrimental on which to expend their income.
Victoria Owens
Lengthy Ashton, Somerset

Although I concur with Henrietta Heald’s view, not everybody who was despatched absent to school – in my scenario at 8 – turns out to be the Sad Tiny Gentlemen described in Richard Beard’s ebook. I do not protect the method – there is much erroneous with it and I endured some pretty unpleasant experiences.

Nonetheless, contrary to expectation, I really don’t find link and real empathy a problem. That would have severely hampered me in my get the job done as a psychologist, a psychotherapist and an personnel of a charity working for 30 many years with disadvantaged people from a broad range of backgrounds.

How did I regulate this? Partly, I suspect, since there have been some instructors geared up to supply a correcting point of view on our condition. They introduced individuals like me, who ended up fascinated, to analyses that challenged the institution of which we have been meant to be a component.
Nick Barton
Templecombe, Somerset

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