State boarding schools endorsed by parents in survey

Studying in one of the boarding rooms at Steyning
Studying in one of the boarding rooms at Steyning

PARENTS have given a huge positive endorsement for state boarding schools.

Results of the largest-ever survey of parents of state school boarders were revealed by the State Boarding Schools Association last week.

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

Parents said the strengths of state boarding included the UK curriculum, value for money and a broader mix of children, including international students.

Raymond Njoku, head boy of boarding, is in his final year of four at Steyning. He said: “I made the choice to come here and I have not regretted that choice. It’s been the best experience of my life.”

Christopher Nixon, deputy head boy, joined Steyning Grammar School from Northern Ireland in year 12. He said: “Boarding is great. It prepares you for later life and higher education. It has influenced me in a really great way.”

Many parents and students said they chose boarding because it offered an environment where students could excel.

Miss Danielle Cook, director of boarding said: “This is certainly true at Steyning Grammar School, with boarding students achieving a 100 per cent pass rate at A-Level and 84 per cent of the subjects taken by boarders at A-Level achieving grades at A* - C.

“Steyning Grammar School provides students with a real ‘home-from-home’ experience. Students quickly develop independence, build friendships and networks which last a lifetime.”

Parents also spoke of Steyning’s boarding facilities as ‘a home away from home’ and said boarding encouraged maturity and independence. There was also great staff support.

Anna Donavan, head girl of boarding, said: “I always wanted to experience boarding and when I arrived, I found something unique about Steyning,

“I was drawn by the ‘whole family’ environment and wanted to be part of this community and involved in all the enrichment and community activities.”