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Budget boarding - bridging the gap?

5 August 2013

State boarding schools, combining free 8am-4pm education with paid-for accommodation, wrap-around pastoral care and extra curricular provision, regularly top the league tables for both achievement and parental satisfaction. But does a reduced fee mean a reduced experience for students?

With fees of £10,000+ per year for a state boarding school, many parents are struggling to afford the cost and the idea of lower fees may initially appeal. Organisations such as the proposed Durand boarding school claim that boarding provision can be offered for as little as £1,300 per year, with other costs being met by the school itself. In exchange for the reduced fees, parents will have to accept that the opportunities offered will be less than those offered by other state boarding schools – no swimming pool or golf course for instance.

Parents will need to decide whether the loss of the 'frills' will essentially affect the outcome for their child – does the lack of a swimming pool outweigh the benefits of after-school homework support and extra-curricular clubs?

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