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Sunningdale School

Statement of Boarding Principles and Practice.


At Sunningdale, we aim to

The pastoral care of all our pupils at Sunningdale School is seen as a priority. Boarders receive a high level of care from a committed team of staff in both boarding time and during the school day. We recognise that the School cannot fully replace a child’s home but we try to make Sunningdale as homely as possible.

overriding principle on which we operate is that everyone has the right to live a peaceful and happy life, without fear and anxiety. It is expected that everyone will be treated with respect and common courtesy and that boarders and staff alike will develop an increasing awareness of, and tolerance for, people of different views, beliefs or cultures. The school has a Christian foundation and our chapel services play an important part in the moral and spiritual guidance the children receive. Through playing and working together we try to build a strong community spirit within Sunningdale and the wider community. We aim to develop within our boarders a sense of personal fulfilment, responsibility, a respect for themselves and others and the independence, confidence and social skills necessary to prepare them for their future lives.

Admission to Sunningdale is not based on any form of selection test. The Headmaster meets the parents and, a year or two before they arrive, the boys and both parties agree the suitability of Sunningdale as a school for each individual boy. At Sunningdale we believe in having a broad range of ability, be it academic or otherwise, in order to foster an atmosphere where all boys are accepted as themselves and do not have to conform to type.

The boys sleep in spacious dormitories until they reach the top end of the school when they are allocated a ‘cubicle’. This is an individual space within a large room which allows the boys privacy while maintaining the security of being surrounded by their friends.

Responsibility for the School and the happiness and welfare of all who live in it lies with the Headmaster. He is assisted in this role by all other members of staff. The Head
of Boarding and Head Matron have specific responsibility for the boarding area. They are assisted by a deputy matron, a senior assistant matron and two assistant matrons who usually spend a year at the school.

With the exception of the Headmaster and the Deputy Headmaster, the only members of staff who enter the boarding area are the Head of B
oarding, the Matron, her team and the Housemasters. The children are allowed to dress, undress and wash free from unnecessary staff intrusion, although washroom areas are discreetly monitored for health and safety reasons.

Within the school there is a diverse, and often conflicting, range of wishes and desires expressed by the children. They have opportunities to make their feelings known at any time through discussions with staff or through representatives at the School Council meetings, there is also a suggestion box for boys to enter suggestions. All suggestions are accepted, although not all can be acted upon quickly and some not at all. A diverse range of activities and trips is arranged for the weekends.

The Headmaster of Sunningdale School is the school’s child protection officer. Each child also has access to useful telephone numbers, such as
Childline and the school’s independent listener.


Restricting access to Boarders and the School Premises.

Access to the School is restricted in a number of ways:

It is the School's responsibility to take all reasonable care to ensure that the child is safe from third parties who enter the school premises during the school day.   The School should ensure that all procedures relating to the signing in and out of the school buildings are adhered to and that they apply to all visitors to the school.

i)                No unauthorised visitor should be allowed to walk through school to

collect children. All visitors are to report to the school office during office hours and to the Matron at other times.

        ii)             Visitors to the school are issued with a badge once they have signed    into the visitors book.  School staff should be encouraged to challenge visitors who have no badge and report any incidents to the Headmaster. Children should and are taught to report a visitor with no badge to a duty member of staff or the school secretary.

iii)          Pupils are strictly reminded not approach anyone that is not known to them.

Children's safety during their free time e.g. break times, during the lunch break and during games is always an added concern.  All points about unknown visitors should apply.  Furthermore, all staff who supervise children at break or during games should receive training related to this supervision, for example:

i)        agreed procedures for challenging unauthorised persons on the

        School grounds should be in place and adhered to

ii)        access to the School should be monitored and restricted where


Procedures for staff to follow in the event of any unauthorised visitor gaining access to the School grounds.

Staff are encouraged to approach anyone and challenge them if they feel that they are an unauthorised visitor. If a member of staff is uncomfortable or feels potentially threatened by the prospect of challenging an individual they are to report directly to one of the following:

  1. The Headmaster
  2. The Deputy Headmaster
  3. The member of staff on duty

If there is any perceived threat to pupils or members of staff then the police will be notified immediately. A fire alarm will be rung and the school will assemble in the School’s Chapel where a roll call will take place. The school will remain there until the matter has been dealt with appropriately.

Access to the boarding accommodation.

Access to the boarding accommodation is strictly controlled. Access is restricted to the boarders, the matrons, the Headmaster, the Deputy Headmaster, the Evening Duty Master and the Head of Boarding. No other member of staff is permitted upstairs. Access to the boarding area is controlled by a system of coded locks.

There are some exceptions e.g. visiting prospective parents, the school doctor, parents at the beginning and end of terms, maintenance workers – however during these occasions there is always be a member of the Pastoral Boarding Staff present in the boarding accommodation.

Having taken measures to respond to these dangers, the Headmaster and the Senior Management Team continually review the policies.  Such measures are monitored so that modifications can be made if other or greater risks become apparent or foreseeable.  If a procedure is in place and it is failing to meet its objective, then a reassessment of the current scheme will take place.  The duty of care owed by the School to its pupils may affect the balance between retaining the ethos of a school, a fortress mentality and a tolerable and workable regime.  Being prepared to monitor and act on the outcomes of review should result in a school being deemed to be doing all that is reasonably possible to ensure the safety of its pupils and staff.

Revised ACD 19/01/2018                                                                /