Boarding schools have been around for several hundred of years. There are a number of reasons for the existence of boarding schools.
Some areas are too deserted so there are simply not enough children to make a school functional. On some Danish islands there are less than 20 children in total. In Canada and Australia the population is too widespread, so higher education can only be provided if the children live at the school.
As every Danish exchange student know, a country like Denmark do not give credits from a year in a US high school. The education provided are too different and the US high school have no friday bars where the students can socialize over a beer or a glass of wine. Without the social aspect the curriculum is not complete.
So parents who work abroad send their children back home to their native country so they can get quality education.
The “Efterskoler” in Denmark tends to offer a gap year for the families who have the money so teenagers can use a year on art, music or sport. Abroad some of these specialized schools also exist. The organizations for the Danish Industries believe that this type of gap year is a waste of time and money, but opinions are different.
Before boarding schools some children were educated in monasteries. Some of the oldest boarding schools are over 1,000 years old like The King’s School in Canterbury, United Kingdom. Over the years several types of boarding schools were created each focused on meeting different needs for families. Reform schools is one such sub-category, therapeutic boarding schools another.
Recently over the last 10 years there have been some focus on the potential damage a boarding school can inflict on children like lack of social skills, the feeling of belonging to a family and the increased danger of sexual relationships between an adult and a child in care of the school.