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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 April 2007, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Boarding schools: A family's story
Why do some parents decide to send their children to boarding school, and if they do, how do they find out which is the right one? Francine Bravo and her son Jordan shared their experiences.

FRANCINE'S STORY

We decided to send Jordan to boarding school as I was receiving constant telephone calls from his comprehensive secondary school, regarding his behaviour, not doing his homework and his attendance.

I would get in from work and he would be strolling into the house between 6pm and 7pm. Temper tantrums etc.

Francine and Jordan Bravo
...he is worth every and last penny that we have
Francine Bravo

We had always threatened him with sending him to boarding school if he didn't start to shape up but I guess he didn't believe us.

However, the day came where he was either going to be excluded again or expelled and we decided the best place for him to be is in a boarding school as we knew what the end result would be.

I went on the internet and got a list of all the state boarding schools. I selected and requested some prospectuses. Once received I reviewed the school results and fees. I completed and sent off the applications for availability of places for his year at these schools.

I received only a handful as most school places for his year were full. I was invited to attend an interview at De-Aston School in Lincolnshire. Their position on the league table was very good. We loved the school, the atmosphere and the children. We were offered a placement in April 2006 for September 2006. Jordan started his new school in September 2006.

I see him every half-term, but I miss him terribly. I'm lonely but it is a sacrifice I had to make to ensure that he received an education and not become another statistic.

At times money can be a bit tight, and I can't do the spontaneous clothes and shoes shopping I once did.

However, he is worth more and I am grateful to God that we are in the position to be able to afford it, and he is worth every and last penny that we have.

My son and I have become closer than ever. He is more understanding, more like a little grown adult. He seems more responsible and caring, not so self-centred and a lot more understanding. We work as a team and no longer fight with each other. He still has his temper tantrums which are to be expected, but these are quickly and easily resolved.

JORDAN'S STORY

When I found out I was going to boarding school I felt deserted, all alone, hurt and unwanted. Quite tearful at times.

I do feel I have changed and for the better though. I am calmer and don't feel so frustrated.

The world is my oyster
Jordan Bravo

I'm more athletic now. I play football after school most days.

There is so much more to do, I socialise with children from all levels of life. We often go to the cinema. We go on day trips into town or Lincoln on the weekends or Grimsby football stadium. My vocabulary is so much better. I have no time to be bored and there is always something to do. And I always do my homework now.

I am closer to my parents now, and I know that they love me or they wouldn't have sent me to boarding school. I'm very grateful.

Now I am concentrating on passing all my GCSEs to become an entrepreneur. The world is my oyster.





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