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National Boarding Achievement Award
 to have 14 listed buildings, but re-establishing some of these into modern boarding facilities was not economically viable.
It was also interesting to note that what had been acceptable boarding provision some 30+ years ago was certainly not adequate today! The school eventually found an idyllic home for boarders in the form of a magnificent Georgian mansion,
a former country hotel – it’s a pretty 20-minute drive down tree-lined lanes. We discussed whether a site away from the school’s main campus would work but we also recognised that the school is predominantly a day school, and as such the main site is empty at the end of the school day.
We felt international students would want to ‘go home’, just as day pupils do, and as homestay international students currently do. Staying on in an empty school did not seem essential provided that the ethos of the boarding house is right and the commute is logistically viable.
New home, old ethos and values
We are privileged to have residential staff with substantial boarding experience. They have been recruited from our existing teaching staff and have a deep understanding of the ethos
of Hereford Cathedral School.
Overseas pupils are integrated with sensitivity so that the quality of their own academic, pastoral, spiritual and social experience is enhanced. A rich cultural programme of weekend activities is in place, which should help a friendly boarding community to develop.
Our housemistress Mrs Pippa Fowler, formerly of Rugby School, will reside here with
her husband, young family and their Springer Spaniel – whom I believe adores boarding because of his endless cuddles! The new boarding house will initially have capacity for 31 pupils but the site can expand to at least double this. With our target of 10 boarders in each year from 13+, the residence can easily cater for 50 boarders, as well as flexi-boarding.
We know that British education
is highly valued overseas, and that Hereford Cathedral School has much to offer international students. Our new overseas pupils will feel welcomed and valued
for who they are and be warmly invited to engage in a wide range of extracurricular activities. And while our outstanding teaching staff will guide them towards their university dreams we recognise that our international students will also enrich the lives of our own pupils.
Felsted School, Essex, Matron, Margaret Baverstock, fondly known as ‘Madge’, has won the British Boarding School’s Association (BSA)’s Stephen Winkley Boarding Achievement Award for her long and dedicated service to boarding at Felsted.
The award celebrates someone who has made a significant contribution to the boarding environment. Madge has worked at Felsted for 33 years, working in the boys’ boarding houses Deacon’s and Gepp’s, and has made a huge difference to the boarding experience of over 1,300 boys in her care.
The judges commented that Madge has “clearly made a huge difference to all the boarders under her care and is a highly deserving winner of the award. She is the epitome of great matron-ship, compassion, humour, forgiveness, and a legacy of care.”
The award was presented to her by author Jojo Moyes at Speech Day (pictured).
Mr Charlie Knightley, current Housemaster of Deacon’s House comments; “Since 1985, Madge has committed fully to the lives of the boys who have passed through her care. The affection shown by the boys over many school generations is testament to her compassionate, non-judgemental attitude, forgiveness and humour”.
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Independent Schools Magazine 51 06/09/2018 10:07

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