One of the most famous and prestigious UK Boarding Schools is Eton College. It is very hard to get into and you will need specialist help. Rest assured though your child will get one of the finest educations that money can buy, and this will set them up for Oxbridge in ways that a standard Comprehensive education could not hope to achieve. Getting in can be a lot easier with a visit to http://www.andersoneducation.co.uk/uk-boarding-schools as they can advise and guide you. Eton is one of the oldest and well respected. Let us look at its history.
Although it is very much the place to educate the upper classe’s children it was not always thus. King Henry VI was the founded of the school and it was originally set up for seventy poor boys in 1440. These boys would then go on to Kings College Cambridge also set up by the philanthropist King. This acceptance of poor boys doesn’t feature anymore unless they can pass the interview and exam required to get in. To this day 70 boys are Collegers and the rest are called Oppidians (that’s Latin for town by the way showing they didn’t lodge in the college). Henry put endowments on the place to keep it going but after his murder his successor Edward IV decided to plunder the wealth of the college and it was down to the staff to keep it going so it became a paid for school.
Life in early Eton was very different to what it is like today. Records only go back to the sixteen hundreds but it seems that Pupils were up at 5 in the morning to a nice bit of prayers and then it was off to the first morning lesson of Latin at 6 am. They were allowed some play time, for an hour, and it seems that football was the most popular choice as Rugby and Hockey hadn’t been invented yet. Nor did they have the extremely complicated Eton Wall game. They did get Christmas and the summer off which must have been a relief seeing as they didn’t finish until 8pm every night.
Things are a little different now. For example the Top hat and cropped coat uniform are gone (lamentably so for some people) but the black tailcoat, waist coat and black trousers remain. The school has been responsible for producing more British Prime ministers than any other school. The Duke of Wellington was one and he is thought to have said that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the training fields of Eton. He didn’t say that at all. He was commenting on the need for boys to play field games and sports but it stuck and the reputation of the school grew with it. It now costs about £40k per annum to send your child there. There are bursaries and scholarships available and the amount of boys receiving help to study there on ability alone is rising.