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13 Jan
BSA virtual day seminar: Taking on a new Boarding House
13 Jan 2021 - 13 Jan 2021




BSA virtual day seminar

Title: Taking on a new Boarding House


Date: January 13, 2021
Time: 10:30 - 12:30 and 13:30 - 15:30
Speaker: Mark Robinson, Senior Consultant, BSA
Audience: Boarding staff, Head of Boarding


Taking on a new Boarding House can be a daunting experience, especially alongside all the other duties that are part of a busy school life. This seminar aims to help prospective Houseparents get ahead of the game and make the first few weeks in post less stressful and more productive for all concerned. 

Boarding students need continuity of care and a consistent approach to school processes. Schools need boarding staff who are happy and will stay in post for a good amount of time. A positive start for a Houseparent encourages longevity of service and gives confidence to students, and their parents, alike.

This seminar will explore the many factors and issues associated with taking on a new Boarding House. Promotion to Houseparent and additional responsibility for running a House is exciting, but it can also be stressful. The training day will provide an opportunity for delegates to think about the ethos for their new House, review and consider key issues relating to students, staff, policies and procedures as well as the demands of managing the physical building itself. The day will finish by looking at the elusive work life balance and ways in which this can be achieved during a hectic life in a busy boarding school.

In advance of this session, it would be helpful for delegates to have an overview of the schools' policies and procedures, and those of the Boarding House they are moving into if they differ from the schools'. Delegates are recommended to reflect in advance on what values they want particularly to promote to their boarders.

Training day breakdown:

  • The ethos of your new Boarding House - this session will explore how to develop an individual identity for your new Boarding House that fits within the overall ethos of the school
  • The perfect House, Team and Boarder - in this session the group will focus on ways to develop all aspects of a Boarding House to achieve the best possible results for all concerned; students and House team
  • Managing the Team - in this session the group will look at ways to effectively manage the various stakeholders within and alongside a Boarding House
  • Developing a good work life balance - some hints and tips on keeping yourself healthy, safe and enjoying your new role of Houseparent!



Speaker: Mark Robinson, BSA, Senior Consultant
Mark has a Product Design Degree from Brunel University and a PGCE. His first post in independent education was as Assistant Master at Christ’s Hospital in Horsham where he held several positions including Assistant Housemaster to a junior boy’s boarding house. After five years he moved on to Ardingly College in West Sussex as a Head of Department and Housemaster to a joint day and boarding house. Mark has been an inspector on boarding inspections, an Assistant Housemaster to a girls’ boarding house and fully involved in teaching up to ‘A‘ Level.

In 2002 Mark gave up teaching to set up Mentor Education Services Ltd, a business offering education-related consultancy services to the independent sector, initially training, interview coaching and professional development but also marketing and pre-inspection to schools both in the independent and maintained sector.

Mark was appointed as Assistant Director of Training for the Boarding Schools’ Association in 2010, where he continued offering training and consultancy to independent and state schools both in the UK and around the world. In 2017 he was appointed as Deputy Head Pastoral at Collège du Léman in Switzerland, a large international boarding and day school. After gaining some further, valuable international experience, Mark returned to the UK to continue his training and consultancy in the Independent and state school sectors.


Virtual day seminar