Factors influencing the recruitment of primary and intermediate aged boy boarders
Scrymgeour, David Ross
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Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/1615
The research project explored trends in three areas of primary/intermediate school boarding that may have an effect on the recruitment of boy boarders. The areas of; leadership, curriculum/programmes and parental/family expectations in a boarding context were chosen, as they were recurring themes in data gathered from an interview with an expert on boarding, completed as part of an earlier study by the researcher. These themes were also evident when reviewing literature most relevant to the research topic. A multi-method qualitative methodology was employed for this research using a questionnaire and focus group as the main research tools to gather data. Once data gathered from the questionnaire was collated and analysed, issues identified as needing further exploration were discussed in a focus group situation. Twenty one boarding families responded to the questionnaire and twelve boarding parents participated in the semi structured focus group session. The key findings of the research revealed that the modern day boarding house leader needs to be; manager/administrator, instructional leader, pastorally adept and aware, communication savvy and focused, and an innovative visionary – effectiveness as a communicator appears to be essential. The quality of the school’s programmes and the quality of staff involved in these programmes, appear to be the two key reasons why modern day families chose a particular school – these aspects seem to be more important than where the school is located or what type of school it is. Finally the reasons families send their sons boarding does not appear to have changed much over recent years, what seems to have changed are parental attitudes, particularly with regard to being separated from their primary/intermediate aged son. The findings led to the recommendations that boarding school leaders and governors review aspects of current leadership practice, the quality of programmes and staffing, and the attitudes and expectations of prospective parents toward boarding at the primary/intermediate level.