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For many service personnel, taking families with them when they are posted overseas may not be their preferred option. Parents may be concerned about the disruption that their children are likely to experience due to frequent postings, and therefore decide on boarding school in the UK.
The Boarding School Allowance (BSA) is provided to enable families to have the continuity of education that is so important for young people, particularly at secondary school level.
Boarding school offers a safe, stable environment within which children can thrive. Parents can relax, knowing that their children are happy and well cared for during the formative years of their young lives.
From their first day, boarders begin to develop independence. They are expected to look after their own possessions, organise their time effectively and plan their studies carefully. Living with others teaches important life skills: how to co-operate with others, become a good team player, build positive relationships and make the right personal choices. Friendships made can last a lifetime; boarders become adept at supporting others and becoming tolerant of those who may come from a variety of backgrounds and different cultures.
First and foremost, Prior's Field is about people. It has a special character and ethos which was recognised in the ISI Inspection of March 2011 where inspectors commented that "Rigour, underpinned by kindness, sets the tone of the school." Our boarders see themselves as members of an extended family where they spend quality time with each other and with the experienced boarding staff who look after them. Relationships are strong and expectations are high. The girls enjoy living and working together in a structured environment which provides plenty of opportunities for independence and fun. The junior boarding house offers continuity of care and staffing throughout years 7 - 11. Pastoral provision is a priority, ensuring that each girl achieves her potential academically.
Boarders have an exciting programme of weekend and evening activities to keep them stimulated. Prior's Field places huge emphasis on building confidence and developing self esteem. For many girls, achievement in activities beyond the classroom is an important way of developing their sense of worth and personal ambition. Staff recognise, encourage and reward participation and success in activities and whole school events.
The strength of the boarding community at Prior's Field is best summed up by one of the girls:
"Life in boarding is an exciting adventure. My friends are great, there's loads to do and the house staff are caring if I have any problems, I love it here."
Pupils who have a parent serving in the armed forces are eligible for a 10% discount on the fees (20% for 2013 entry onwards). Serving personnel should be aware that they can apply for MOD and foreign office boarding school allowance under certain criteria. This currently allows for a total of £6,074 against boarding fees.
ISI Inspection: Pupils are enthusiastic about boarding and appreciate the support they receive: they feel well cared for and report that they are very happy together."