The Instigator
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The Contender
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This House would send its children to boarding school

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/19/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,487 times Debate No: 32679
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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I will be arguing in favour of sending one's child to boarding school and I seek an opponent to argue against. This is an actual debate so no trolls please!

The format of the debate will be:
First Round: Acceptance only.
Second Round: Definitions and substantives.
Third Round: Substantives and rebuttal.
Final Round: Rebuttal and summing up.

BOP is shared, each side should seek to make a convincing substantive case as opposed to merely picking holes in their opponent's case.

Sources do not need to be cited in the first instance. They can, however, be cited when your opponent questions your reasoning in order to shore up your reasoning.

I hope for a respectful, lively and interesting debate.


I choose to accept this argument of NOT sending ones child to a boarding school.
Debate Round No. 1


I'd like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate. In this first speech we hope to do three things: I shall give a declaration that I had meant to give in my first speech, then I shall define the parameters of this motion, and then I shall contribute our first two substantives.

I wish to declare, for the purpose of clarity, that I am a student at a boarding school in the UK. I started at this boarding school in September 2012 and will leave in June 2014 when I go to university. Before this I was at a day school. Therefore, I shall be drawing on research and my own experiences and those of the people around me throughout this debate.

Parameters of the Motion
We have strict guidelines on what we have designed this motion to mean and we expect the Opposition to abide by these, else they will forfeit the debate.
1. This debate envisages a scenario where a parent is asked by their child if they can go to boarding school.
2. This is within the financial means of the parents and the child is making the choice to go to boarding school and is NOT being forced.
3. This debate, therefore, is about weighing up the pros and cons of attending a boarding school as opposed to a day school.
4. It is NOT about the moral dubiousness of sending one's child to boarding school against their will: the Proposition is NOT in favour of this.

I hope the Opposition will accept these terms: they are now set in stone and will be cited if the debate strays off-topic. Moving onto my two substantives arguments.

Substantive I: Boarding Schools are more time-efficient
Living at a boarding school gives young people a wealth of opportunities that they simply do not gain by going to a day school. The vast majority of these opportunities stem from the fact that the pupils live on-site, in a safe environment, within easy reach of most of their teachers and facilities. Because pupils live on site, more time can be spent on lessons and extra-curricular activities. The commute to school is equalised for all pupils (as opposed to situations with day schools where pupils have variable journey times to and from school) and this means that lessons can start earlier, as the journey from front doorstep to classroom is miniscule. Because of the safe and well-observed environment, and the small journey times, lessons and extra-curricular activities can also extend later into the evening - teachers do not need to worry about the weather getting darker. Because of this, many boarding schools have lessons or organised activities from 9am in the morning until 6pm in the evening, as opposed to 9am until 4pm (the norm for day schools). This allows more to be done each day. In many boarding schools, this removes the necessity to have lessons every afternoon, which builds in more time for sport and other activities such as music and drama. Simply put, by living on site you can get an awful lot more done in a day. This increases academic attainment, as there is more lesson time, but this is also down to the fact that pupils live in closer proximity to their teachers and it is easier for them to get extra contact or teaching time should they want/require it. The increased amount of sport done in boarding schools - be that competitive or recreational - creates healthier young people who have a sporting routine instilled in them for life. Childhood obesity rates are lower in boarding schools for this reason, as there is more sport and - because teenagers live on site - there is greater facility for them to engage in communal sporting activities in their own time.

Substantive II: Boarding Schools have better pastoral expertise
This is only logical and can be verified by most parents who have sent their children to boarding school. An experienced housemaster at a boarding school will have years of experience of dealing with hundreds of teenagers, each with their own nuances and problems. Teenagers do not come with an instruction manual and - in many cases - experience beats instinct. We can all remember from our youth that no child likes to have his or her parents constantly meddling in their affairs - it makes for an awkward and turbulent relationship. By having an experienced housemaster involved in the welfare management of these teenagers, we can avoid unfortunate misunderstandings, arguments, and overuse of the words "I hate you". Adding in an experienced housemaster makes it easier for parents and teenagers to work through problems as there is an experienced mediator who knows the young person involved and has great experience of what makes young people tick. When problems develop in young people - such as, for example, anorexia nervosa or depression - the role of the housemaster combines the best of both worlds: a detailed knowledge of the teenager, combined with a lot of experience of dealing with issues in adolescents and also a certain neutrality. To summarise this point, we believe that sending one's child to boarding school adds an extra pair of eyes and ears to oversee the adolscent's personal development and an experienced voice who can help to resolve any problems.

Summary of the Second Speech for the Proposition
We have demonstrated two key things in the argument for sending one's child to boarding school. We have shown that, in a boarding school, time is managed more efficiently and this creates healthier, well-rounded young people who have the opportunity for more contact time with their teachers. We have also shown that the experience provided by senior pastoral leaders at a boarding school makes them equally as well placed, if not better placed, than the parents to help the young person with personal problems and this can only be to their benefit.

With that, I urge you to vote for the Proposition. Opposition, make your case.


effimero89 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


It's really irritating when people take a debate, wait three days, and then don't fight it. I only take one debate at a time and expect better than this.

Given that my opponent has failed to respond to my opening speech, I shall assume that my definitions and substantives have been carried through, as the Opposition has yet to present a case against them.

*Insert 3,500 characters of rebuttal here - oh wait...*

With all that rebuttal out of the way, I now have plenty of time for some more substantives.

Substantive III: Young people are herd animals
This argument is particularly valid for only children, or those with much older siblings who have moved out of the family home. The fact is that young people prefer to spend time with people of their own age who they consider to be more entertaining, better value, and consistent. It is only natural that teenagers would prefer to be nearer to their friends, and essentially have them on tap. In general, this is an experience that only a boarding school can offer. Especially for more social teenagers who want the proper boarding experience, with the opportunities to grow close to their friends and develop relationships which will last a lifetime, boarding school offers something that no parents can. Equally, surely it is more healthy and socially normal for teenagers to spend their evenings and free time with people of their own age than consistently being bored by their parents, spending time with them purely because there's no better company in the immediate vicinity. The benefits of spending time with people of one's own age are increased confidence and social skills: this is a trend which can clearly be seen when boarders are compared with day pupils. This will create young people who are adept, socially aware, and have experience of forming closer relationships. Above all, it teaches the lesson of having to get on with people, regardless of whether or not you are similar people.

Substantive IV: Boarding schools prepare young people for life
This seems obvious, but it is a solid argument for sending one's child to boarding school. Many students, when they go off to university, find themselves stranded with very little idea how to fend for themselves. They've never had to cook, they don't know how to look after their money, and many don't know how a dishwasher works. All of this comes because the present gap between day school and university is simply too large. Sending one's child to boarding school is, in the Proposition's opinion, a happy medium. Young people start learning how to fend for themselves in a controlled and monitored environment, without having their parents constantly watching over them. It teaches the valuable skill of time management, something many students struggle with when they go to university. The final key thing it teaches them is moderation and self-control: how much they can drink without going over the edge. In a sense, it means that the usual catastrophes of student life, by which time young people are out on their own with nobody watching over them, take place while the adolescent is still in a monitored environment.

Summary of the Third Speech for the Proposition
I have now put forward all four of my substantive arguments, and the Opposition has put forward nothing against them. This system is better than day schools because young people have friends on tap 24/7, as opposed to constantly relying on their parents, which makes them better socially adapted and aware. It also teaches valuable lifeskills such as time management, which makes the first few years of university run more easily and smoothly.

There is - literally - no case against this.

And a quick word to the Opposition...
If you're not going to take part in this debate, at least simply submit a third speech saying "I concede", so this debate wraps up and I can debate with someone who is actually going to put forward some arguments.

Vote Pro!


effimero89 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Rant II
My opponent has clearly ignored my plea that he actually participate in this debate, and has simply chosen to forfeit again. This is why we can't have nice things, people. It is simply rude for someone to accept a debate and then forfeit on every round. I could have had a good debate with someone who actually cared in the last week, but unfortunately I've simply been waiting for responses which never arrived. WHY CAN'T WE ALL BE NICE, PEOPLE?! *facepalm*

Now, in line with my previously indicated structure I shall move on to the summing up of my case. There are two key points of clash (PoCs) in this debate.

PoC1: Are boarding schools better suited for dealing with youngsters?
We have put forward an elaborate and convincing argument for why boarding schools are better suited for young people. We have pointed out their heightened ability to deal with pastoral issues, in comparison with day schools. Housemasters have a wealth of experience of dealing with young people as they go through puberty, and children do not come with a manual, so this experience is helpful. Opposition drops this point, so I win it.

PoC2: Are they beneficial?
Yes, we have demonstrated they are, as they prepare young people for later life. As with all my points, Opposition drops.

So, I don't think there's much left to tell you. Opposition has not fulfilled their part of the burden of proof, or rebutted on any of my substantives, or indeed said anything since Round One.
Vote Pro. It's literally your only choice.


effimero89 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by orangemayhem 3 years ago
SO annoyed.
No votes have been placed for this debate.