Boarding in Australian Schools – Home away from Home!

The purpose of this article is to assemble a current picture of boarding in Australian schools, with a precise focus on the challenges showcased by the role of staff in their responsibility to create a home away from home for the young people in their care. Boarding schools are structured and monitored communities for the education and overall development of residential students. These institutions hold a charm, especially for those who have not had the ‘privilege’ of feeling this unique experience, and graduates are typically depicted in promotional material as independent young people well equipped with the courage to deal with the complexity of their life beyond the school gates. Famous Australian political leader such as Robert Menzies, as well as, business giants, Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch are the alumni of elite boarding schools.

Research on boarding

This topic has always been a sub-focus of research into private education and data is seldom accessible as part of larger education of non-government schools. The main reasons for boarding were identified as geographical isolation, availability of specialised courses, parents’ employment, disrupted family circumstances, and for structure and character building. There are opportunities for day students in Brisbane and other rural areas in regional Queensland for boarding schools. There are separate boarding schools for boys and girls as well.

Roles and Responsibilities

Firstly, boarding schools are bound to child protection legislation to safeguard children from harm and to prevent them from physical, psychological, and emotional abuse. The staff of boarding schools are not only mere guarantors of children safety but as importantly, they are among the best type of parents or guardians for them. The members of the staff function as a team to take the best of care for the children. The staff should possess ample of the skills, qualities, knowledge, and ability to diffuse the same in children. The personal qualities such as kindness, empathy and respect, emotional regulation, communication, knowledge of first aid, crisis management and legal issues should also be possessed by the staff member to handle children in a very well manner. The staff should be able to convert the boarding environment like family environment, with a view to promote the development of young people by teaching them a range of skills including practical skills such as culinary skills, ironing clothes, to skills that emphasise on emotional and social competence like controlling emotions, behavioural sense, communication and handling responsibilities. Staff should interact with young students in order to develop a healthy environment and make them free to ask questions and discuss their problems. However, boarding community members occupy challenging boundaries between the need to develop vicarious relationships and the requirement to maintain the appropriate distance.

A child’s personal systems are divided into primary personal system signified as family or home, and a secondary system signified as a school or university. The overall development of children is the product of the lessons and learning the child gets from both these systems. Due to the huge size of Australia, there will be an ongoing demand for a place in boarding schools. However, the boarding schools that offer warmth, safety, and can cater to the academic, physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of the adolescent.

This article is a presentation of the comprehensive description of QLD leading boarding schools. The boarding schools offer the students who are best suited to enjoy the benefits of living for a certain period within the school environment.


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