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Schools as communities in the widest sense

– Mark Wallace, Principal of Lincoln Minster School
Schools today have a much wider focus within their communities. Whether that is because they want to be seen simply as a 'good neighbour' or they actually want to make a contribution or difference is down to the leadership. Certainly, independent schools, and particularly those with a boarding element, take their responsibility to the community very seriously, both internally and externally. A wide international mix of pupils helps to broaden horizons in the classroom and in the boarding houses, and small 'sleepy villages' can come alive during term-time with the mix of pupils passing through the local shops.

A rich environment

Schools like Lincoln Minster benefit wholeheartedly from the experience of a multi-faceted microcosm of our global society. The classroom environment is far richer and far more laden with opportunity and discovery than ever before, both for teachers and pupils. Consider the environment in which a boarder at an independent school will grow up. It is much more than the 'long sleepover'. Taking responsibility for their own space and tidiness, initiating activities or games and planning outings and trips are just some examples of how boarding gives leadership opportunities to pupils as well as a sense of self-worth.

The activities that extend beyond the usual curriculum are often augmented for boarders who will spend less time in front of a screen than their peers who go home every night. And the activities are different too – these are often discussed and then initiated by the pupils at their Boarders Council meetings. Examples initiated at LMS include polo, a trip to the 'Clothes Show' or even the finals of the British Basketball League. Because these opportunities are presented to boarders, the demand in weekly and flexi boarding is on the rise.

An active role in the community

More and more boarding schools are playing an active role in their communities whereby they are adopting a local charity to support over the course of an academic year through visits and fundraising initiatives. I know a school where during a particularly harsh winter, the boarders borrowed a number of shovels from the maintenance team and then cleared the snow from their neighbours’ driveways. The local newspaper loved this story as did the neighbours!

Far from being disadvantaged by missing out on family life, boarders reap huge advantages from the opportunities offered to them – they are, in essence, part of another large family. They are engaging with others, not just in school but in co-curricular clubs, sharing interests, experiences, curiosity and having new adventures. They learn what it is to be a member of a group, of many groups, and they are forming friendships for life. It is little wonder that these young people develop into self-sufficient, confident young adults who are poised to make a difference in this ever-changing world.


Mark Wallace became Principal of Lincoln Minster School in September 2015. His previous leadership roles have been at Kingston Grammar School, where he was Principal Deputy Head as well as Acting Head for a period of time, and Caterham School (part of the same United Learning Group as LMS), where Mark was Head of Boys' Boarding and Head of Sixth Form. Mark's academic background is Mathematics and he had a spell working in the banking sector. He enjoys all sports, in particular golf and hockey, and has held a number of Board positions of local associations and societies including Chairman. In hockey, Mark has enjoyed regional, provincial and national levels of representation at all age levels. Mark enjoys charitable fundraising and has been in the Guinness Book of World Records on two occasions. Mark is married to Cathriona and they have three children.

Boarding at an independant school
School Address Phone Type PR Weblink
Dean Close SchoolShelburne Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. GL51 6HE01242 258044Bo(7-18), D, M, 13-18 
Wycliffe CollegeStonehouse, Gloucestershire. GL10 2JQ01453 822432Bo, D, M, 2-18 
Rookwood SchoolWeyhill Road, Andover, Hampshire. SP10 3AL01264 325900Bo(8-16), D, M, 3-16 
St Lawrence CollegeCollege Road, Ramsgate, Kent. CT11 7AE01843 572931Bo(3-18), D(3-18), M(3-18), 3-18 
Kingham Hill SchoolKingham, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. OX7 6TH01608 658999Bo, D, M, 11-18 
Erskine Stewart\'s Melville SchoolsQueensferry Road, Edinburgh, Scotland. EH4 3EZ0131 311 1000Bo(10-18), D(3-18), B(3-18), G(3-18), M(3-12), 3-18 
Wellington SchoolWellington, Somerset. TA21 8NT01823 668803Bo, D, M, 11-18 
Holbrook, Ipswich, Suffolk. IP9 2RX01473 326136 Bo, D, M, 11-18
St Davids CollegeLlandudno, Conwy. LL30 1RD01492 875974Bo, D, M, 9-19 
Windermere SchoolWindermere, Cumbria. LA23 1NW01539 446164Bo, D, M, 3-18 
King's College TauntonSouth Road, Taunton, Somerset. TA1 3LA01823 328204Bo, D, M, 13-18 
Queen\'s CollegeTrull Road, Taunton, Somerset TA1 4QS01823 340830Bo(7-18), D, M, 0-18 
Denstone, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. ST14 5HN01889 590484Bo, D, M, 11-18
Stonar SchoolCottles Park, Atworth, Wiltshire. SN12 8NT01225 701741Bo(9-18), D(2-18), M(2-18), 2-18 
Iwerne Minster, Blandford Forum, Dorset. DT11 8LL01747 812122Bo, D, M, 2½-18
Bucknell, Shropshire SY7 0BG01547 530303Bo(9-18), D(4-18), M(4-18), 4-18
Warminster SchoolChurch Street, Warminster, Wiltshire BA12 8PG01985 210100Bo, D, M, 3-18 
Moyles Court SchoolMoyles Court, Ringwood, Hampshire. BH24 3NF01425 472856Bo, D, M, 2-16 
Pangbourne Reading RG8 8LA+44 (0)118 9767 416Bo, D, M, 11-18
Hailey Lane, Hertford, Hertfordshire. SG13 7NU+44 (0) 1992 706353Bo, D, M, 11-18
Green Lane, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG2 9JP +44(0)1423 566358Bo(8-18), D, M, 3-18
Rossall SchoolBroadway, Fleetwood. FY7 8JW01253 774201Bo(7-18), D, M, 2-18 
Penn Road, Wolverhampton. WV3 0EG01902 341230Bo(11-18), D(4-18), M(4-18), 4-18
Blundell's SchoolBlundell's Road, Tiverton EX16 4DN01884 252543Bo(11-18), D(2-18), M(2-18), 2-18 
Shiplake CollegeHenley-on-Thames, RG9 4BW0118 940 2455Bo(11-18), D, B(11-18), G(16-18), 11-18 
Taunton SchoolStaplegrove Road, Taunton, Somerset TA2 6AD01823 703703Bo(7-18), D(0-18), M(0-18), 0-18 
Cheltenham Road, Burford, Oxfordshire OX18 4PL 01993 823303Bo, D, M, 11-18
High Street, Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire WS15 3BW01283 840232Bo 8-18, D, B, 3-18
The Settlement, Ockbrook, Derby, DE72 3RJ01332 673532Bo(11-18), D(2-18), M(2-18), 2-18
The Old Palace, Palace Green, Ely, Cambridgeshire. CB7 4EW01353 660707Bo(8-18), 1-18
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