19th April 2018
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Too many parents put their children’s health and happiness bottom of the list of priorities, and academic success firmly at the top, according to the headmistress of a leading prep school.
Helen Lowe, head of Bute House in west London, also said that the prevalence of private tutoring risked sending the message to children that they were not up to scratch, undermining their confidence. Instead, parents should spend more time with their offspring, sharing meals and having discussions, she suggested.
A place at the girls’ school in Brook Green is seen as a “golden ticket” into some of the most academic secondaries in London, including St Paul’s Girls’ School and Godolphin & Latymer.
Mrs Lowe said that parents naturally want their child to fulfil their potential, and for many this means that their offspring will work hard, do their best and be “supported wholeheartedly” at home.
“But for some parents this is not enough,” she wrote. “They fear that if they do not give their child extra help, usually in the form of group or individual tutoring, their child cannot achieve; their reasoning is that if everyone else is doing that then they must too or they are letting their child down . . . The children are in danger of being given the message that their own hard work and efforts are not quite enough.”
She urged a rethink on the use of tutors. “Parents need to be reassured that supporting their child at home and spending time with them is far more powerful than any session with a tutor,” she said. “There is plenty of research about the power of simple things, such as discussion and shared meal times.”
New head appointed at St Peter’s School, York
Jeremy Walker, Principal and Headmaster at King’s School Rochester since 2012, has been appointed as Head Master of St Peter’s School, York.
Jeremy takes over leadership of the UK’s third-oldest school from Leo Winkley, who is joining Shrewsbury School in September.
Jeremy will join St Peter’s on the 1st January 2019. Dr Alastair Dunn, the School’s Senior Deputy Head, will be acting Head Master for the Christmas Term.
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