Boarding Concern to keep younger children out of such schools to avoid lasting mental and emotional damage.
Many psychologists are now convinced that children who are suddenly wrenched out of their customary family environment and left to fend for themselves among strangers with only a passing interest in them suffer emotional injury that hampers their entire adult life.
They can suffer a host of negative emotions that are never properly dealt with. They can feel abandoned, betrayed, neglected, demoralised, bewildered, shocked, angry, sad, vulnerable and distressed. But nobody takes any notice. They're just expected to bury their misery, toughen up and pretend everything's fine.
The family members who would normally validate their feelings and give them the support they need aren't around, and the school staff are unwilling or unable to step into their shoes.
The result is that many boarders leave school emotionally repressed, and permanently distrustful and insecure. All that leads to serious problems with relationships and personal growth. Over and over again, the spouses of such ex-boarders (usually wives) comment on their inadequate personalities and emotional illiteracy.
Personally I can vouch for that. Although I'm much more in touch with my own, and other people's, feelings than I used to be, I'm still far from emotionally fluent and I still have a lot of trouble expressing what's going on inside me.
The staff at my school never showed any interest in my emotional well-being and left me to sink or swim in an atmosphere of rugged masculinity.
I'm glad the psychological pain of boarding is finally being recognised and I hope fewer children will be exposed to it. But it's depressing to learn that right now boarding schools are as popular as ever and just as many thoughtless parents are dumping their children into these destructive institutions (around 74,000 at the last count). They seem to be wilfully blind to the emotional harm that's being done to innocent hearts and minds.