MP learns about life as Steyning boarder

MP Nick Herbert (centre) with Miss Danielle Cook, director of boarding, and Mr Nick Wergan, head teacher
MP Nick Herbert (centre) with Miss Danielle Cook, director of boarding, and Mr Nick Wergan, head teacher

BOARDING students were given the chance to discuss their school life over breakfast with an MP.

Nick Herbert, Arundel and South Downs MP, visited Steyning Grammar School last Tuesday to find out what life is like as a boarder at the school.

The visit came days after results of the largest-ever parent survey of state school boarders were issued by the State Boarding School Association.

Steyning Grammar, the only state boarding school in Sussex, was one of 29 state boarding schools to take part, out of the 35 available.

Head teacher Nick Wergan said: “This research is a major affirmation of the work and potential of a boarding provision like ours at Steyning Grammar School, and it endorses our own positive experiences of why parents and students might choose our boarding option.

“We are as proud of our students as they are too of their boarding community. We are focussed in supporting all our students in developing the grit and resilience to succeed, and our boarders embody that positive mindset.”

Mr Herbert was instrumental in supporting the capital bid for monies allocated by Lord Adonis in 2011 for boarding expansion and Steyning’s £5million state-of-the-art Bolton House opened to boarders in September that year.

Having seen how the boarders start a typical day and talked to some of the students, Mr Herbert said: “I can see that the boarders benefit hugely from this experience professionally and academically.

“The atmosphere here is one of friendship and there’s a real sense of community amongst the boarders. This new research report has really brought to life the positive attributes of state boarding provision.”

Boarding is available for 124 students at Steyning Grammar and Mr Herbert was given a tour of the four boarding houses, three of which have recently been refurbished.

Places are offered on a weekly or full-time basis for years nine to 13.

Mr Wergan said the school, which is celebrating its 400th anniversary, maintained its strong ethos.

“Steyning Grammar School is a unique, successful and dynamic learning community, built on traditions of excellence and highest expectations.

“The school has always had boarders since its beginning in 1614, and now supports many more students from the local community as well as further afield.

“The boarding community adds enormously to the dynamic learning environment of the school.”

Tours of the school and boarding facilities can be organised by calling boarding registrar Mrs Suzie Plimmer on 01903 817601.

Boarding taster days are also offered so students can experience life as a boarder.