Benenden School has become the final girls’ boarding school in the UK to move away from offering full boarding only, with plans in place to welcome day boarders from September 2021.
Day boarders attend on a daily basis rather than boarding, having meals at the school but sleeping at home. This often helps parents who work late. Day, weekly and flexi boarding have been widely adopted across the independent education sector in recent years.
Benenden headmistress Samantha Price said there was “a strong demand” from families living locally to join as day boarders.
Price said: “In many ways this is an historic moment for Benenden – and a very exciting one for the school. We have planned this approach very carefully indeed and are confident that our day boarders will integrate seamlessly into our wonderful, happy boarding community. Benenden has always been a boarding school – and it will continue to be a boarding school, just with a small number of day boarders in addition.
Benenden has always been a boarding school – and it will continue to be a boarding school, just with a small number of day boarders in addition
“We considered delaying the announcement due to the current situation but ultimately decided that it made good sense in the circumstances to continue with the launch as planned, to benefit those families who are so keen on this opportunity for their daughters.”
The school will be limiting the number of day boarders to a handful of girls joining in the lower fifth (year nine) and six one (year 12) to ensure they can be smoothly integrated into the school.
Day boarders will be joining existing boarding houses and, along with their boarding peers, will be attending lessons and sports matches on Saturdays as well as major school events on some weekends. They will also be encouraged to participate in some of the 150 co-curricular activities available outside of lesson times, including in the evenings.
Anne Wakefield, deputy head – boarding and pastoral care, said: “Our intention is to help as many families as possible to benefit from the complete education that we offer.”