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.
Many governments have over the past centuries tried include groups of people from sub-cultures into the mainstream society by forcing the children from the sub-cultures to attend schools where the children were subjected to teaching into the norms of the mainstream culture also, so the children will forget their originally sub-culture.
Australia, Canada and the United States tried to integrate the originally population with disastrous results. Many children died and some children became lost becoming a kind of hostage caught belonging to neither of the cultures.
Denmark tried to educate a new elite of children from Greenland by taking them to Denmark so their knowledge about the world could be improved. Also those children ended up caught between the cultures and never got any impact on the politics of Greenland which is now ruled by a small drunken group prompting even the United States to become concerned about the future of the country.
In Denmark some parents of immigrants sent their children back to their originally country due to the parents concern about their children embracing the Danish youth culture where the children were subjected to abuse. Countries like Somalia and Pakistan have closed schools down where the children basically were hostage of an culture which were alien compared to the upbringing they enjoyed in Denmark.
Some parents in Denmark also sent their children to strict Christian boarding schools known as “Efterskoler” due to the increased attention from the Danish authorities towards parents living in Denmark who exile their children abroad. Parents in Denmark can get two years in prison if it is discovered that they have exiled their children abroad.
In Ireland the present society are still trying to overcome the dark spot of their history where the government allowed strict Christian boarding schools to abuse a massive number of children in the name of God. Many graves belonging to children who died in the care of those boarding schools have been located.
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.
- Boarding School Survivors (Organization in the United Kingdom trying to help victims)