State boarding for care children
A new range of Academy boarding schools would be created by a Conservative government to improve the life chances of looked-after children in England.
Mr Gove said he wanted to set up new state-funded academies so that academy providers could open schools with a residential facility "so that children in the greatest need can secure a placement which offers them the very highest standards of education and care".
This idea is a bit horrifying to me, but I find the concept of boarding school appalling anyway. I simply can't imagine why loving parents would send their adolescent or younger children away to school and only see them on occasional weekends and holidays, unless it were for drug treatment or some other psychiatric residential treatment program.
I read a report that the number of children sent to boarding school is booming in the Commonwealth and is seen as a springboard to future success. If you are coming from that perspective, sending foster children away to boarding school would seem magnanimous.
The article mentioned "state funded boarding schools." I'm not clear if that would mean a voucher system for private boarding schools or that the government would actually run the schools. If the government sets up boarding schools for foster children (which sounds suspiciously like orphanages), nothing good will come of it. Years ago when the United States and Canadian governments tried the same tactics with children from Indian reservations, the reports of child abuse were staggering.
I suppose that a motivated foster child might do better academically in a well-run (private) boarding school, away from a negative family environment. But, it still sounds pretty cold and lonely to me.
On the education/parenting continuum, homeschooling is at one end and boarding school is at the other. From where I stand at my end of the continuum, I can't imagine what that would be like. However, in the next few years as my children leave for college, I will get a glimpse of it.
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