Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert visited Steyning Grammar School to meet boarding students on Tuesday October 7.
Steyning Grammar School recently expanded its premises with the addition of Bolton Boarding House, a state-of-the-art sixth form boarding facility. Mr Herbert supported the school in their bid for funding in 2011 to help achieve the expansion.
The MP met the school’s headteacher Nick Wergan and Danielle Cook, director of boarding. They talked to students in an informal setting over breakfast, and saw the start of a typical day for the boarders.
Mr Herbert was also given a tour of the four boarding houses, three of which have recently been refurbished. The school is now able to offer boarding for 124 students.
Mr Herbert was invited following the publication of a report from the State Boarding School Association (SBSA) which found that 95 per cent of parents across the country would recommend their children’s school and boarding.
The SBSA report, the largest ever parent survey of state school boarders, was welcomed by Mr Wergan. He said: “This research is a major affirmation of the work and potential of a boarding provision like ours at Steyning Grammar School, and it endorses our own positive experiences of why parents and students might choose our boarding option – access to excellent academic and social enrichment, and support in developing the confident and independent skill set to be successful young adults. For many families this is the perfect solution for enabling their children to achieve their full potential.
“We are as proud of our students as they are of their boarding community.
“We are focussed in supporting all our students in developing the grit and resilience to succeed, and our boarders embody that positive mindset.”
Anna Donavan, head girl of boarding, said: “I always wanted to experience boarding, and when I arrived I found something unique about Steyning.
“I was drawn by the ‘whole family’ environment and wanted to be part of this community and involved in all the enrichment and community activities.”
Mr Herbert said: “I can see that the boarders benefit hugely from this experience personally and academically.
“The atmosphere at the school is one of friendship and there’s a real sense of community amongst the boarders. This new research report has really brought to life the positive attributes of state boarding provision.”