b'IntroductionWhy boarding? Why indeed. Almost no other educational topic provokes such vehement and polarised opinions. Popular cliches about boarding schoolsgood and badendure, but over the last few decades a quiet revolution has taken place and todays boarding schools look nothing like they did 40 or 50 years ago. Traditional full boarding schools remain, albeit in much reduced numbers, but for many children boarding now means staying at school a couple of nights a week. Heads tell us that the boarding family prole is much more varied than it used to be. Its likely that both parents are workingsometimes abroad or a long commute away. Boarding is still a tradition for some, we have visited schools where two or three generations have been members of the same house (though not under the same house master or mistress!), but more families are coming to it for the rst time.The decision to board is undoubtedly a big one that will involve children as much as parents, and the reasons that lead up to each familys choice will be different. For instance, if a child has a particular aptitude, then there are boarding schools with the facilities and specialist staff on hand to develop sporting or musical talents. Families with several children may opt for exi or weekly boarding because its preferable to hours in the car on multiple school runs. Sixth-form boarding is particularly popular and a great preparation for universityalthough some may nd the accommodation at university a little less salubrious than school. Sometimes a small, nurturing boarding school can provide stability and a haven for a child with an unhappy home life. Forces personnel posted abroad have always been a core group for whom boarding schools are essential. The allowances have become considerably less generous in the 15'