The thought of sending your child off to board can be a hard decision for parents. With many experts arguing it can strenghten the family unit, as well as provide a more rounded education, our speakers, Mike Buchanan, Head of Ashford School, Marina Gardiner Legge, Head of Heathfield School, and Sid Inglis, Headmaster of Elstree School, will provide you with all the facts to decide if boarding (full, flexi, or weekly) is the right solution.

Some of the top senior schools are boarding schools, however many would recommend to start boarding before this point. It is difficult for parents to let go of their children at any point, but it is argued boarding in fact strengthens the family unit. The speakers will talk about the relative merits of boarding and whether it is for everyone.

Marina Gardiner Legge

Heathfield is a full boarding and day school for girls aged 11-18, with weekly boarding being introduced from September 2017. The school is nationally renowned for its prowess in the Arts - winner of five Good Schools Guides Awards for the Arts – and is an official partner of the London College of Fashion.

Oxford English Language and Literature graduate, Marina joined Heathfield in 2013 after eight years teaching English at a boys’ school in London, where she also became Pastoral Head of Year. She began her career in marketing and advertising and went on to head a charity in Paris, before discovering a love of teaching while helping disabled children learn how to ride in Hong Kong. She went on to train as a teacher, receiving the top prize in her year group for her PGCE in English, before joining an all boys’ school in South West London.

Marina’s vision here is to inspire confidence in her pupils, encourage them to aim high and imbibe them with a love of learning. She was brought to Heathfield to spearhead a drive to raise academic standards. This year, the school has celebrated record examination results with 43% A*- A grades at A level – and has just been named in the Telegraph’s Top Ten of Small Independent Schools by exam ranking for the first time. Heathfield girls also scored a record 47% A*- A at GCSE.

Marina, who has travelled and lived around the world, said: ‘I boarded in the UK from the age of 10 and I am a passionate supporter of the boarding system.’ 

Mike Buchanan

Mike Buchanan is a quiet Australian who is fiercely proud of his school and equally determined to ensure that every one of its pupils has a challenging school career. Over the past thirty years he has worked with both boys and girls in outstanding independent schools in London and Surrey. Mike Buchanan is a governor of several schools and a children’s charity.

He is a Registered (Lead) Inspector for the ISI and has recently been elected by 300 of his peers to the Chair of the Headmasters' and Headmistress' Conference (HMC). His own daughters attended Ashford School and his wife works in London. His personal passions are rugby, music and leadership.

Sid Inglis

Sid Inglis was appointed Headmaster of Elstree School in September 2013.  The school of around 270 children comprises of Home Farm, Elstree's Nursery and Pre-Prep, and Elstree Prep School. From Year 4, Elstree caters for boys only as boarders, flexi-boarders and day boys. Sid is fully involved in all areas of the school and teaches Latin in the senior part of the school. He has a real passion for music and sport; he sings in the Elstre choir and coaches sport when time allows.

Educated at Radley College and Newcastle University, Sid spent two years teaching English in Chile before moving to Ludgrove to teach Classics in 1995. He was appointed Assistant Head in 2004 and Joint Headmaster in 2008. As the Joint Headmaster at Ludgrove, Sid was jointly responsible for the academic and pastoral welfare of the boys, and he had particular responsibility for advising parents and preparing boys for life at public school. 

With his strong background in boarding, both full and flexi, Sid is in an excellent position to advise parents about the right time for their children to start boarding. Sid is married to Olivia who is also fully involved in the pastoral care of the boys at Elstree and together they have taken the boarding numbers to an unprecedented level, with waiting lists in all year groups. They have three children, Eliza, Johnny and Tom.