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Is boarding school better than day school?

There’s one thing that all parents agree on. THEIR children are precious and matter the most!

Common ground on other topics is much harder to find. Particularly when it comes to the best education paths for each individual child. Even within the same family, children can develop at their own pace and need different forms of support.

For generations, some families have naturally - and with great pride - sent their offspring to boarding schools. While other parents don’t even consider this an option and feel the best start in life is in the right day school. 

Are you currently on the fence? To help you, this article explores the pros and cons of choosing a boarding school or a day school.

Evening activities and engagement

For some families, evenings after school are a time for joint pastimes and being involved in their local community. Having their children at home and enjoying this to the full is an important part of those formative years. 

For other parents though, the rich diversity of activities that boarding schools offer outside the classroom is a “game changer”. They send their children to board knowing that they will be stimulated, entertained and encouraged to be social during fun-filled evenings.

There is the added benefit of knowing that additional tuition and coaching for schoolwork is all part of the boarding school ethos.

Either choice leaves families with weekends and school holidays to enjoy.

Emotional context

Sometimes, the thought of being away from their children for even one evening is anathema to mothers and fathers! There can also be a concern that “sending them away” to boarding school would upset their youngsters.

Those families who believe in the value of a boarding school education take a different standpoint. Having young people exposed at an early stage to a diverse range of fellow boarders, not to mention an extensive programme of extracurricular opportunities, provides vital life skills.

This includes a level of resilience, resourcefulness and self-confidence that prepares them best for adulthood.

Boarders at Rendcomb College certainly feel no less “loved” than their peers who attend during the day. Any moments of homesickness are dealt with empathetically and with family-like support, just as staff handle the emotional needs of day pupils with expert care.

Uncertainty about how a child will “cope”

This links to the point above. Some parents select day schools due to an unwillingness to place their child in a “community” of learning. For example, they feel their child is too shy or too much of an individual to mingle well at boarding school.

However, many boarders love the independence and social atmosphere of their school life. Particularly at Rendcomb College, where education and care are highly personalised to each student. Parents of Rendcomb boarders report seeing their children “blossom” in this close-knit and supportive environment.

The same young people residing at home all week could spend a lot of time in their rooms, or glued to electronic gadgets! Whereas at boarding school, the distractions and activities are most definitely the healthy kind.

Convenience factor

One of the lesser, but still substantial, influences in making the choice between boarding vs day schools is the importance of practical arrangements.

For example, if both parents work, particularly in careers involving travel or round-the-clock commitments, boarding school is the ideal solution. They know their child is being taken care of in a safe, caring and nurturing environment.

They get all the joys of family time at weekends or school holidays, with no “guilt” for passing children from pillar to post during the week.

If one or more parents has abundant time to spend with offspring after the school day finishes, then boarding school becomes more of a developmental, rather than a pragmatic decision.

The final decision, boarding or day school?

Rendcomb College is in the fortunate position to be able to offer parents and students the best of both worlds. We provide boarding and day education to a very high standard. 

Significantly, our day students still have access to many evening and weekend sport and interest activities too. This enables parents to make their decision based on the individual needs of the young person, and their own priorities, without any concerns about limiting their potential.

So, it’s up to you! We would be happy to discuss both options in full and show you around our classrooms and boarding facilities.