Here you’ll find a listing of books, videos, articles and other information resources on boarding school syndrome and the history of boarding.


‘Men’s Accounts of Boarding School – sent away’ shipping from February 24th.

23 Feb 2021

Available to buy from Routledge

Tony Gammidge animated tales courses February 20th and March 20th.

3 Feb 2021

‘Everyone has a story and anyone can make a film.’ Tony Gammidge, who specialises in creating animated tales about mental health, has courses that are accessible, experimental, lo-tech, and supportive. For more information go to

New bibliography.

13 Oct 2020

A new bibliography about the psychological issues associated with boarding schools. Prepared by Thurstine Basset. Read it below

ABC News: ‘…As adults they’re still dealing with the trauma.’

4 Sep 2020

ABC News website article as a follow-up to the radio interview:

ABC radio: the lasting effects of boarding school trauma.

24 Aug 2020

Christine Jack – author, educational historian and researcher at Charles Sturt University – is interviewed by Julian Morrow:

Newsletter 20.8.20

22 Aug 2020

         Boarding School Survivors – Support,  Newsletter – August 2020                                                                                                                           

Dear All
We have been wondering how all our former-boarder friends have been getting on with lockdown. We hope you have all stayed well, have avoided Covid and survived the changes we have had to make. Some of you, we know, have had really excessive amounts of work to do and we wish you well as things slowly return to normal.
For those of us who have retired some things have not changed a great deal, but loneliness has been around. I suspect each one of us has had more than one passing thought about our school days.
Thinking of all these things we have wanted to get this Newsletter out for many weeks but, in spite of seemingly having a lot of freed-up time, we have until very recently been busy with BSS-Support work: namely, The Book:
‘Men’s Accounts of Boarding School – Sent Away’ 
We have nineteen authors and five therapists who have all been very involved with this book and who are up-to-date with the ‘book news’, so we hope they will forgive the repetition as we tell the rest of you all about it.
Many years ago the book was first suggested to us by Rob Montagu. We started collecting stories, with Andrew Patterson in Sydney contacting the men who wrote in and Nikki Simpson taking on the women’s stories. In 2018, the women’s book ‘Finding Our Way Home’ was published by Routledge.
We continued the work on the men’s book and gained some more very valuable authors. Allison and I had many editorial discussions in Cambridge and, to our joy, Andrew was in London in June 2018 and we had a lengthy and very fruitful meeting which led to submitting the book in 2019.
After all this, I think you will understand the real delight of all the authors and those involved when the book was accepted by Routledge on 7th November 2019.
Some additions and changes had to be made and once these were submitted we spent time during lockdown on meeting all the publishing requests. The final draft was submitted 12th July and we hope it may be published around Christmas.
We will keep you informed about its progress and publishing date and any information we receive of pre-ordering.
Allison, Andrew and Margaret  
And now to Lockdown !
Lockdown has to be looked at, as we feel that being a BS Survivor will have had a part to play in how we each reacted to the unfamiliar days.
We would love to have your accounts of these last few months so, if you would like to send them to us, we will have another Newsletter in the making, when we can archive and share our experiences.
Here is what we have been up to: 

Sam Barber
The Corona Crisis might mean we are feeling on our own. A voice in our heads might be saying “Lockdown. You’re on your own now.” As survivors we know this feeling and we can lockdown on our own feelings. So, the crisis will have slowed personal growth for many, it has hindered stories of survival. However, during this crisis there could be more time to consider and be resolute. Even, I imagine, at the end of this crisis we can draw strength from a common sense of a crisis survived.
In my own story of survival, I am expecting to start a family in September. Like other parents to be, I’m excited and apprehensive. I’m full of hope for the new life. After quite a few years talking over my experiences and striving to be honest with myself, I hope I’m ready to help bring up another generation. One mistake I won’t be making: the thoughtless sending away of my child at eight to be cared for by boarding schools. 

Paul Fray 
When lockdown started in March, I felt quite anxious – as I expect most people did. What would it be like to live under restrictions not imposed since war-time? We had no idea of what we were in for, and that was reminiscent of being sent to boarding school.
The initial period of lockdown was three weeks, at which point there was to be a review. It brought back memories of my eight-year old self trying to frame the time between leave-out weekends. Three weeks was the norm: but sometimes it was two weeks, and sometimes it was four. Two weeks was manageable, three weeks was pretty bad: but four weeks was too awful to contemplate. The only way to make it bearable was mentally to divide four-week periods and make a sub-goal of reaching the half-way mark: then it was only two weeks to go.
During lockdown, I caught myself making mental goals, telling myself, “The first three weeks is nearly up…” and “Won’t be long before we’ve done eight weeks”. Survival instincts developed at boarding school soon came to the surface.

Margaret Laughton 
I went into total isolation simply because it seemed sensible. I have adult ‘children’ who were all very occupied working out their own lockdown problems and the last thing they needed to complicate things was a sick mother. Added to that I am “well old”, according to one grandson, so best all round to shut out the world… I suspect it was one of those times when most of us felt that many aspects of boarding had actually set us up quite well to do just that. The world out there is hostile, so stay away and cope alone.
I started out of with dozens of good intentions about time-tabling various activities into a daily routine but, a bit like writing a diary every year, that only lasted a couple of weeks. I did set up walking for about 30 minutes every day and I have not missed once. All else flew away – or rather, did not even get off the ground.
Some good new habits started, the nicest being keeping up with old friends. I contact some people once a year at Christmas, but it suddenly felt a good idea to have regular phone calls: and this seems to have been a general feeling, for I have had many people calling me. Perhaps that was about uncertainty of what life was going to be? Tapping into stability? Feeling it was never going to be the same again? Some sort of ending?
The weeks have come and gone in waves, which I have recognised as very similar to those at school: some weeks fully engaged and occupied and happy; and others with the feeling of endless void, knowing that everything was down just to me and that, with no external input, there was no one there to ‘rescue’ me but me.
As the weeks have gone by, the waves are calmer and I have been kinder to myself with lowering my expectations of all I ‘should’ be doing: so I am well and happy and reasonably organised!
I have always thought one of the most damaging things about boarding school is the lack of physical contact. Now I know I am right. Living alone, but usually seeing a lot of my family, I suddenly did not have a hug for months. This was thankfully broken when I visited some of my family who had also been in isolation. I was hugged with great regularity by them all which included two little children aged  6 and 7 (so boarding age) who know exactly everything that hugging means.
And my heart ached again, for us all…

Allison Paech
Part of the lock down for me involved putting the finishing touches on the manuscript for our book ‘Men’s Accounts of Boarding School – Sent Away’. Margaret, Andrew and I worked on a seemingly endless list of instructions to prepare the manuscript for submission to Routledge. 
Reading and rereading the submissions from contributors to this book filled me with awe at the immense bravery of the authors to tell their stories of being sent away and all that meant to them at that time and in their later lives. As I went for my long walks in lockdown, I revisited these accounts and, as ever, was cast into a space where I tried to imagine what it must have been like for these individual men with the horrible and sad reality of what they had experienced and what had shaped their worlds. The book is very sad; sometimes dramatic; and, above all, authentic in its depiction of men’s emotional landscapes at being sent away. It has been such a privilege to work on the project.
As a non-boarder who has never really been abandoned as a child or an adult, I additionally spent the lockdown surrounded by my family – eating meals and taking long walks together. From that point of view, we had a little ‘community’. In fact, I revelled in working on a couple of projects, but also the silence of the early lockdown and the complete freedom to do what I wanted. I experienced not loneliness but solitude; but that is because I was not left abandoned or isolated. I am always aware, working with BSS-Support, of how much pain people have experienced and how it can be dreadful being isolated. It is our hope that by receiving this newsletter, you don’t feel quite so alone during these uncertain times.

Carole Inman – Cornish lockdown 
Lockdown for many seems to be a creative worthwhile time, filled with fun and close family at home or maybe it is a quiet time to reflect and do the gardening. If this is so, I am glad for you. Because it is has not been so good for me.
Living alone isn’t easy at the best of times. In lockdown it’s been bad. Lockdown has meant … shutdown. Isolation. Bereavement. Separation – big time. Away from those I love near and far. It has meant “Stay at home, don’t go out, be safe”. Nothing in there about staying sane. Which I didn’t for a while. Why? Because my little girl inside was hurting.
I was born into an alcoholic family many years ago and was sent away to boarding school at five years old. My home was broken up, beloved pets given away and home became a bedsitting room in London with my mother. Add to that parents and grandparents living through two world wars, and there is a lot of deep seated grief, abandonment and separation. It is now known that these events stay in our bodies as generational traumas throughout the years, unless they are dealt with. So I feel it is not surprising that I shutdown in lockdown. It felt quite horrible.
My family was distanced from me.  Being a tactile person I want to be with somebody, see their face and feel their perfume, hug them and put a hand on their shoulder. Theirs on mine. Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime don’t do that for me. So for weeks I felt abandoned again. That little girl left alone crying in the corner – and I still feel that exclusion of old. Then, it was team sports and tea parties. Now not being able to go to the pub, art gallery or cinema: to see friends, laugh, have fun. To be excluded from study and travel. And of course not go into houses to share a basic cuppa or meal. Deep stuff.
The kindness of others kept my head above water. The deliveries of fresh food made me feel loved; and, of course, chocolate eggs at Easter – those wonderful gifted eggs. And smiles and conversations over and across a garden wall or lane made a huge difference and kept me going. Friends, too, chatting and listening over long telephone conversations. Good weather and countryside walks. Great village shops.
But sadly, none of that takes away the pain of childhood which lives on in me and in my adult reactions. As a child I had to do what I was told or I had a dunce’s cap put on me and was told to stand in the corner. Now if I don’t follow the rules and stay home, what will the punishment be? I still hold those voices and habits of long past. Stay home… so I did just that.
Remember the story of the Good Samaritan? Well I’ve struggled with this quite deeply. In lockdown we are told to cross over the road and pass by others on the other side. And that is exactly what the priest and Levite did in the story, which feels totally opposite to what the kind and good Samaritan did. Now re-reading that story after all this time I see it is about showing kindness “love our neighbours as ourselves”. So, maybe that kindness, that love, is in fact asking us to keep that safe distance between one another and follow good health-care practice.
I missed everyone: those social events I love so much and keep me connected to others and the world; I missed family; I missed lots. And while I know in my heart I live in a beautiful place, surrounded by kindness in a nice home with flowers and food and footpaths, the sadness is deep and I can sink low.
Bu the survival sprit remains alive: and things improved when lockdown lifted and I was able to hug my closest family and have them in my home.
Since then I have come up, and I am easing myself out of Shutdown; and in fact I can now say that I have really benefitted from the quiet time alone.  
Academically speaking…
Thurstine Basset
Back in September 2017, I was involved in organising and participating in a conference at the University of Brighton, where we brought together people who had been active in writing about and studying the psychological and social effects of boarding school.
Now that three years have passed since that very successful event, I thought I’d take a look at what has happened in the academic world since then – what has been published and what is being worked on.
Books Published
Two books have been published by Routledge. The first highlights the importance of the women’s perspective in relation to boarding, and the second book gives an Australian view and is written by an educationalist/historian: Nikki Simpson, Finding Our Way Home: Women’s Accounts of Being Sent to Boarding School, (2018)·      Christine Trimingham-Jack, Recovering Boarding School Trauma Narratives: Christopher Robin Milne as a psychological companion on the journey to healing,(2020).In addition to these, Routledge will be publishing a further book in 2021. This book has two Directors of BSS Support in the editorial team:Margaret Laughton, Allison Paech-Ujejski & Andrew Patterson. Men’s Accounts of Boarding School – Sent Away, (2021 – in press).It is a major achievement, which we can all celebrate, that between 2015 and 2021 Routledge will have published five books on our topic, with Joy Schaverien’s Boarding School Syndrome published in 2015 and Trauma, Abandonment and Privilege, written by Nick Duffel and myself, published in 2016.Articles/Papers PublishedIn addition to the growing number of books, I have found six articles/papers on the topic of surviving boarding school published since 2018. It is interesting to see the topic being written about from an historical and educational perspective as well as from a psychological one.Basset, T. (2018) Reflections of a Survivor, Self and Society.Cole, A. (2019) The History That Has Made You. Ego-Histoire, Autobiography and Postcolonial History, Life Writing.Khaleelee, O. (2018) Boarding School and Resilience, Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis.Murphy, D., Oliver, M., Pourhabib, S., Adkins, M. & Hogden J. (April 2020) Pedagogical Devices as Children’s Social Care Levers: A Study of Social Care Workers’ Attitudes towards Boarding Schools to Care for and Educate Children in Need, British Educational Research Journal.Trimingham-Jack, C. (2018) Lucky or Privileged? Working with Memory and Reflexivity, History of Education Review.Trimingham-Jack, C. & Devereux, L. (2019) Memory Objects and Boarding School Trauma, History of Education Review.Research/Doctorates
Researchers are also adding to the evidence-base with important doctoral-level research.
Juliet Brown at UCL (University College London) says of her work:
“My PhD by Film Practice in UCL’s Anthropology Department originally posed a question exploring if certain psychotherapeutic methodologies could be transposed into VR (Virtual Reality) to help heal broken attachments.
The funding the project has attracted since then came from Innovate UK and was an ‘Audience of the Future’ grant for a feasibility study to see how an audience tolerated different states of immersion.
The case study we used for the study told the story of a child being left at boarding school and then entering therapy as an adult. Within that study we were able to prototype one child-self/therapist interaction in VR. The Innovate UK feasibility study reached two conclusions. We could either pursue a health ‘tech for good’ route, or continue to develop the film as an immersive narrative experience. At that point we had also learnt that the barriers to entry, accessibility to the tech and the investment necessary to pursue either of these paths were considerable. Other learnings included that the health-tech approach would require working with an established VR therapy lab. Their work is still in its infancy focusing on vertigo and phobia research.
With Covid-19, shared VR headset use is not feasible at the moment. As a result of this I am recalibrating the project and considering what is viable given the circumstances.
The area where there does seem to be more funding available is in the immersive storytelling arena. As I am coming from a filmmaking background this does seem to be the most practical next step to pursue developing the narrative piece. I’ll keep you posted on progress as the PhD journey continues”.
We are also in touch with four other doctoral researchers, who are broadly working in our field of interest: Lolly Hernandez at the University of Hull, Cameron Meiklejohn at the University of Southern Queensland and Mairi Emerson-Smith and Alexandra Priestner, at the University of Essex.
In the next BSS Support Newsletter I will give more details of these other important research initiatives. 
Training and Education
Nick Duffell, working with Nicola Miller and myself, continues to run the specialist Diploma for psychotherapists ‘The Unmaking of Them’ and the third delivering of this post-graduate level training programme is planned to start in March 2021. 
Both Nick Duffell and Joy Schaverien are regularly involved in running one-day training events and speaking at conferences. (See and for details).
Tony Gammidge has produced a film ‘Norton Grim and Me’ and he contributes to training initiatives in relation to the social and psychological impact of boarding school. (See for more details).
There are probably examples of sessions being run as part of psychotherapy training across the UK. If you are aware of such initiatives or would like more information about the resources I have mentioned in this piece, please contact me at:  
Research Projects
We feel that being involved in research being undertaken on boarding issues is an important part of our work, in that it has two main aims: helping past and present boarders; and influencing and educating the boarding industry, and the public, into the many problems that arise out of the boarding system. These doctoral students are looking for participants in their research projects. Please will you contact them to find out more, and then hopefully volunteer to take part in one or both topics. We would really like to find as many volunteers as possible to assist and support Lauren and Alexandra in their projects.

Alexandra Priestner 
Exploring Eating Behaviour in Boarding School Graduates
Alexandra is a trainee Clinical Psychologist and is investigating the subject : ‘Has food or eating behaviour(s) been a problem for you in your life’?
The women and girls involved do not need to be diagnosed with ‘ eating disorders’, but can be anyone who feels she has ‘disordered eating behaviour’ – that could be over or under eating. 
The current project aims to explore the experiences and reflections of females who attended boarding school for a minimum of three years. 
If you would like more information on participation please contact Alexandra on e-mail:

Lauren Hernandez
How peoples’ boarding school experiences might have influenced them
Lauren is a trainee Clinical Psychologist and is investigating: ‘How peoples’ boarding school experiences might have influenced them and their relationships in later life.’ Participation is anonymous and voluntary and involves filling out an online questionnaire. If you have any questions or queries about this, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
If you would like more information on this project please contact Lauren on  
Some other thoughts and news…
The Boarding School Industry in a world with Covid
We have observed in the media that Boarding Schools, with their residential arrangements, would be facing difficult times during the pandemic, especially regarding overseas students.
In light of the uncertainties surrounding:the re-opening of schools on a full-time basis;the difficulties associated with social distancing;the restrictions associated with air travel; andquarantine,it seems that attracting overseas students to boarding schools is not very likely for the foreseeable future.
Added complications potentially exist with British students going to boarding school who would need to be socially distanced and kept apart from foreign students in quarantine.
How families would cope with weekly boarding or exeats while keeping themselves safe from Covid is another issue. There have been reports that some boarding schools have been unable to stay afloat during the Iockdown, due to the Iack of termly fees being paid.
Let us see what impact the pandemic will have on the boarding industry.    With around 32% of all boarders coming from overseas, we can but hope that this will cause a decline in boarding numbers in the long term.  
We are looking for some new ideas to vivify our website. A section for stories might be one of them, or a section for poetry, or a section for images. On the subject of images, if you have some that might specifically illustrate our experiences as boarding school survivors, we could use them as part of the design of the website and Facebook page. Any other ideas of what you would like to see and think might go onto the website will be gratefully received,
So – this is a call for those designers and website aficionados out there who share our experiences and want to help our cause to send your ideas to
The BSS-S Facebook page is where we post news about our events and we welcome comments here although currently the page is not the best place for the sharing of stories of boarding school survival. For this, Boarding School Action or Boarding School Survivorsare better.  
BSS-Support is at present run by four voluntary directors and a small group of supporters to help former borders and those close to them. We provide a website, an annual conference and links to a range of resources. We publish newsletters regularly and we assist research. We personally reply to all letters sent to us, answering enquiries and giving individual advice.
We are very grateful to all the supporters who send us donations, some on a monthly basis. An annual donation of about £20 would help to meet our costs and so provide support and information to those who seek it. Every penny you give is spent in support of our work.
Donations can be made as follows:
Bank transfer (preferred – no fees)
Account name:       Boarding School Survivors – Support 
Account number:   63019381
Sort-code:                20-57-76
Reference:               DONATION
PayPal (OK, but we are charged a fee)
Payable to:   Boarding School Survivors – Support 
Send to:        Boarding School Survivors – Support
                        2 Lansdowne Road, Cambridge CB3 0EU   
As many of you will know we usually plan to have a conference every 12 to 18 months … last year it was in November.
As with all else, we are in limbo as we wait for the time when it is safe to plan for one again. Meanwhile we will be exploring how we could maybe have a lecture and question and answer session via Zoom. Let us know your thoughts and suggestions!
We will of course let you know as soon as we have any plans.  
Thoughts on boarding and the family
Henry Lawson
Henry was a boarder at an all-boys school which was founded “firmly within the Christian ethos”. He has been a supporter of Boarding Scholl Survivors – Support for many years and has regularly attended our conferences.
It is one thing to understand the Platonic philosophy* of boarding schools but it is another matter to see the serious effects it has on family life and the emotional life of the child.
One of the most serious things for me was the drowning of vulnerability and having to lose the feeling that it was all right to be vulnerable. I think now that many in my peer-group were doing exactly the same thing, as we all learned to develop a hard exterior in order to survive. I later managed to regain contact with one of my school friends and we were able to compare notes and to understand the loss we both felt. In that understanding, we were able to come to terms with it and I gained the acceptance which I had lost as a teenager of ‘me’ as a person. I find this acceptance is very important.
I thought that Christianity was meant to honour the family, and I feel that clearly those boarding schools which are based on Christianity do not do that. One of the key effects of being sent away – and for me the most serious – was the dislocation from family life which I suffered as a teenager and the dishonour to family life which that entailed. In the last ten years of childhood, the family plays a major role for boys and girls in the transition from childhood to adulthood with healthy rituals and ceremonies. Boarding school dispenses with all of this.
Being in an all-boys’ school, one main feeling I had as a teenager was the longing for my home and the variety of people I grew up with. The most important thing for me now is to renounce the ‘sending away’ and to make sure that care and understanding exist in my own family life. I take seriously the feelings of those around me because of the dismissal of feelings and the drowning of them which I experienced as a teenager. It is also accepting, and loving the home I came from as the place where I was nurtured.
Coming to terms with my boarding days, life now feels it is about the important basics of love, family, acceptance and being with those who share my values.

*Alastair McIntosh (2004) Boarding school and Platonic pedagogy: public school and the platonic ideal
Alastair McIntosh is a remarkable man born on the remote Scottish island of Lewis, a scholar-philosopher and eco-activist, author of a highly recommended book, Soil and Soul (Aurum Press, 2001), and a former director of the Centre for Human Ecology in Edinburgh. Although not a BSS [Boarding School Survivor], he is a great supporter of our work who describes The Making of Them as “the most important book I have ever read on the inner anatomy of establishment power in Britain”.
He sees the in the BS system the refinement of the pro-rational, anti-life and elitist philosophy that is responsible for the alienation within our society and for the disrespect we bear for the planet.
In this article he shares a brief meditation on the philosophical underpinnings of the separation of children from their parents in the cause of elitism – Nick Duffell.   
For many people, September and the autumn are sad times with memories of   their first day at boarding school… and the repeated returns to school each year after the long summer break.

Paul Welcomme ‘Forever Autumn’
It’s rules ‘n rules and I don’t know the game,
I feel rubbish today, scared and very tame.
I’m a quiet boy, who struggles to write,
I’m lonely, worried, especially at night.
I’d ask for help but I don’t know the name
I can’t do it all, I feel such shame!
I try to be good but I feel quite bad,
I try to laugh and play but inside I’m sad.
I wish you were here to dab my tears,
hug me, love me, take away my fears.
I miss your voice, your face, your eyes,
I still believe you didn’t tell lies.
But it’s sport today. Oh what fun!
another bloody cross country run.
I’m angry and raging and want to be healed,
I’ve been thrown about on the rugby field.
So, I punch and fight, but feel so alone
‘cos, I  know now, I’m on my own.
I shrink on the inside become very small,
I become someone else, I’m no longer Paul.
It’s best I think if I’m not your son,
it feels a little victory, I’ve somehow won.
So when I see you next it will all be fine,
So you can feel comfort with your whisky and wine.
I’ll drown my sorrows much late in life
with broken relationships and divorcing wife.
I’ll create my own world, live in my shell.
I’ll say that it’s heaven when it feels like hell.
So I’ve lived so falsely all of these years,
all I can do now is heal with my tears. 
Copyright © 2020 Boarding School Survivors Support, All rights reserved.

The Making of Destructive Leaders – a live webinar with Professor James Gilligan, Professor Joy Schaverien and Dr Felicity de Zulueta.

28 Jul 2020

A live webinar on July 31.

A letter concerned about National Boarding Week.

22 Jun 2020


We, a growing group of healthcare professionals, can see no reason to celebrate National Boarding Week, but instead we would like to highlight the damage to the health and wellbeing of young children that can be caused by sending them to boarding school.

The adverse psychological and social effects of this practice are well documented. This evidence should be acknowledged and the time is surely right to ‘follow the science’.

During the current worldwide pandemic, all parents are now weighing up the benefits and risks of sending their children back to school. For most parents this relates to a 6-hour day but parents of children at boarding schools have to consider that their children are at school for 24 hours a day.

In the UK we can see the impact of a culture that is fostered in boarding schools and is very apparent in social and political contexts. This culture is one that values the social status of a privileged education above the emotional security and healthy development of young children.

Sam Barber, Director BSS Support

Frances Basset, Psychotherapist

Thurstine Basset, Author

Nick Duffell, Psychotherapist and Author

Pippa Foster, Psychotherapist

Marcus Gottlieb, Psychotherapist

Darrel Hunneybell, Psychotherapist

Gordon Knott, Director Youth Counselling Service

Margaret Laughton, Director BSS Support

Sam Milford, Psychotherapist

Nicola Miller, Psychotherapist

Alex Renton, Journalist and Author

Joy Schaverien, Psychoanalyst and Author

Allison Ujejski, Director BSS Support

Sara Warner, Psychotherapist

Joy Schaverien interviewed by Confer.

4 May 2020

The interview is part of a series entitled ‘Holding the frame and sense of connectedness during the pandemic.’

It can be viewed at as part of Confer’s series of interviews found at

James Scudamore’s new novel tackles public beatings, toxic teachers and sexual abuse in boarding schools.

27 Feb 2020

The article – from the Telegraph Magazine – covers the work of Joy Schaverein, Nick Duffell, and Alex Renton. The novel is called English Monsters.

Director, Margaret Laughton, appears on BBC Radio 5 live Stephen Nolan’s show.

10 Feb 2020

Hear Margaret from 1h.20. The issue of boarding school is debated in the preceding minutes as well.

For therapists: 12 June, ‘Boarding School Syndrome: The Psychological Trauma(s) of “Privileged” Children’ with Joy Schaverien.

7 Feb 2020

A training workshop for therapists. For more info see here

For therapists: 22nd February, ‘Working with Privileged Abandonment’.

3 Feb 2020

A conference for therapists. See flyer here

New edition of Joy Schaverein’s ‘The Dying Patient in Psychotherapy: Erotic Transference and Boarding School Syndrome’

28 Jan 2020

This 2nd edition with the title extended to include ‘Erotic Transference and Boarding School Syndrome’.

Available from Routledge at

Rupert Everett on his boarding school experience.

7 Jan 2020

From min 13.18 on Desert Island Discs and the Evening Standard elaborates here.

‘Recovering Boarding School Trauma Narratives’ by Christine Jack and published by Routledge out in May.

7 Jan 2020

This link to Routledge’s website has more information.

A bibliography aimed at anybody wishing to study/learn about the topic of surviving boarding school.

17 Dec 2019

Click here to view document

Boarding schools warp our political class – I know because I went to one. George Monbiot

18 Nov 2019

Click here to read the pdf

8 Oct 2019

‘Reflections of a Survivor’ by Thurstine Basset

11 Sep 2019

 This article is a personal reflection on being able to tell a story through writing a book about surviving boarding school. It pays tribute to ‘Self and Society’ in its role of publishing innovative work. The author makes a plea for ‘home sickness’ to be renamed as ‘school sickness’ and for boarding issues to be incorporated into the training of therapists and counsellors. 

Download PDF of article here

Nick Duffell and Thurstine Basset (2016) ‘Trauma, Abandonment and Privilege: A guide to therapeutic work with Boarding School Survivors’. Routledge

29 Aug 2019

Trauma, Abandonment and Privilege discusses how ex-boarders can be amongst the most challenging clients for therapists. It looks at the effect on adults of being sent away to board in childhood and the problems associated with boarding.

It is divided into three parts: Recognition, Acceptance and Change. It aims to help readers understand the emotional processes of boarding and the psychological aspects of survival. The book also explores how ex-boarders frequently struggle with intimate relationships and offers interventions and strategies for those working with ex-boarder clients.

Nick Duffell interviewed on radio in New Zealand

27 Aug 2019

Britain’s elite-school problem in de Spiegel

27 Aug 2019

Joy Schaverien in Tatler, ‘The Modern Toff’s Guide to Parenting’

30 Jul 2019


Was Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Inspired by an Edgar Allan Poe Story?

30 May 2019

“Cutting Edge – series 8 episode one: ‘Leaving home at Eight” Channel 4

2 Apr 2019

‘Following four eight-year-old girls as they adjust to a new life away from their parents and their homes; the parents have decided their children will be better off boarding in a private school, in this instance Highfield, one of the best in the UK.’

“The whole thing – watching these sweet little people as they are gradually institutionalised – was so peculiar, so old fashioned, that it made for quite fascinating viewing.” The Telegraph

Jane Barclay

5 Mar 2019

Jane Barclay is a former director of Boarding Concern.

  • (2011) The Trauma of Boarding at School, published in Self & Society, Vol 38, No 3. PDF download (110KB, 6 pages).
  • (2007) I Can’t Get No-o…Satisfaction, published in Self & Society, Vol 34, no 5.
  • (2003) To Smack or Not To Smack, published in Self & Society, Vol 30, no 6.
  • (2002) Class, Prejudice and Privilege, published in Self & Society, Vol 30, no 4.

Exposure: Boarding Schools: The Secret Shame (ITV 2018)

5 Mar 2019

Focussing on child sexual abuse, this programme followed journalist Alex Renton, who was himself abused as an eight-year-old by his teacher, as he investigated how much schools knew about what was going on behind their closed doors.

“It was impossible not to feel outrage and anger on the victims’ behalf. Most of these grotesque acts and systematic failures were “historic” but there was no room for complacency, as Renton wondered if boarders are safe today. The answer wasn’t entirely reassuring. Safeguarding standards vary wildly between schools and reporting of abuse allegations is still not legally mandatory. But the documentary was a thoroughly researched and righteously angry film about a deeply worrying issue.” (The Telegraph)

“Wounded Leaders: the Psychohistory of British Elitism and the Entitlement Illusion” by Nick Duffell, Lone Arrow Press.

5 Mar 2019

In this controversial essay – brimming with politics, history, psychopathology, neuroscience, anecdotes, passion and humour – Nick Duffell, psychotherapist, psychohistorian and author of the acclaimed The Making of Them, argues that the British national obsession with sending the children of the well-heeled away to school has a major impact on our society, our institutions and our attitudes. Tracing the development of what he calls the Rational Man Project through the colonial period, he proposes that a cherished national character ideal, eschewing vulnerability and practising a normalised covert hostility based on bullying in the dorm adversely affects even those who did not have the privilege of such an education. It leaves Britain in the social and emotional dark ages, led by “the boys in the men that run things.”

The UK Council for Psychotherapy

5 Mar 2019

The UK Council for Psychotherapy advises how to find psychotherapists and counsellors