b'State boarding schools If you think your child would benet from a boarding school education, but are put off by the high fees and consequent limited social mix of a typical independent boarding school, you may nd that a state boarding school is the answer. These have seen a surge of popularity in recent years, partly due to increasing numbers of families with both parents working long hours. We all work hard during the week, and get together at weekends, said one father. Its much less stressful than trying to oversee homework and music practice after a long day at work and travelling, and my daughter is happy to spend week nights at school with her friends. Those schools offering full boarding are popular with families working abroad, in the Forces, the diplomatic service or with international companies.What do they cost? State boarding schools are comparatively cheapmostly somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 a year in boarding feesbecause the government foots the bill for tuition. The majority of pupils in most state boarding schools are day pupils, but many stay for after-school activities alongside the boardersa boarding experience minus the bed, as one school put it. Some of the schools, such There are 34 state boardingas Gordons in Surrey, levy a day schools in Britain with 5,000boarding fee of several thousand places. Some offer full boarding,pounds to all day pupils to cover after-others only weekly or sixth form school activities (though bursaries are available for low-income families). Others, such as Hockerill Anglo-European, have free day places for normal school hours attendance, but charge a day boarding fee to those who wish to arrive for breakfast and stay for activities, supper and homework.36'