History of Boarding schools

Boarding schools have a long history that covers more than a thousand years. Here we provide a brief overview of the boarding schools evolution which will give you basic information if you are willing your children to apply for a boarding school.

This history begins in Europe, The King’s School named Canterbury was the first boarding school, it was founded in early mediaeval times around 597 AD. Families used to send boys to monasteries in order to be taught and discipline by clergymen. These schools were called Cathedral schools or Monastic schools which were dissolved together with the monasteries around the 12th century under Henry VIII reign.

During the British Empire in the 19th century Boarding schools started to be more and more important and the concept of students living and studying at the same place began to grow.

Even some upper class members, who served in the government and military and were sent to other countries, started to bring their children into a boarding school. As a result many boarding schools were opened around that time.

West Nottingham Academy in Maryland was considered the first boarding school in United States. Below a list of the first American Boarding Schools:
  • 1744 - West Nottingham Academy

  • 1746 - Linden Hall School for Girls

  • 1763 - Governor Drummer Academy

  • 1772 - Salem Academy

  • 1778 - Phillips Academy Andover

  • 1794 - Phillips Exeter Academy

  • 1792 - Fryeburg Academy

  • 1794 - Cheshire Academy

  • 1797 - Deerfield Academy

  • 1798 - Milton Academy
In America and England the earliest private schools were exclusively for white, wealthy, Christian boys. The majority of these boarding schools had religious origins. They were found by religious orders like Moravian School and St. Paul's School.

Boarding schools also were practical for parents who, although were wealthy people, found transportation difficult for their children. So being in a boarding school was easier.

At the end of the nineteenth century the governments of United States established a policy about Native American education, in which Native Americans were demanded to assimilate American culture by attending into boarding schools generally run by Christian churches.

Later, with the help of some Native Americans testimonies there were discovered that most of these schools were places for torture. Native Americans students were forced to forget their culture, forbidden to speak their language so they can assimilate USA customs.

Through time, boarding schools were getting more established within the American educational system.  At first, most of them were just the product of religion cult that offered discipline and good education.

But what attracted more the parent’s interest was boarding schools practicality. Many families had de difficulty of daily transportation to school so living at school became a good solution.

Everything changed after the industrial revolution; it carried important facts, such as wealth redistribution, a better transportation, etc. As a result, people weren’t that different anymore so boarding schools, which were only for wealthy people, started to serve the upper middle class.

Then, while cities started to grow and become more dangerous, corrupt and risky; parents wanted their children to escape the city and reside in a healthier atmosphere. A place influenced by strong educational figures, values, a place that can molds their moral, intellectual and physical characters and this was offered by a boarding school.

In 1990 a new kind of boarding schools came out, they were created for problematic teens who had problems at home, school or neighbourhood. These boarding schools helped many teenagers with their problems, making them more friendly and confident.

Nowadays Boarding schools are considered a good option for education, they are generally private schools that offers students preparation, personal growth, self confidence and independence.

They still offer practicality for parents that sometimes don’t have enough time to take care of and protect their children, but still want the best for them.