Very interesting to find how anxious the Glenalmond College community was on Tuesday – when I was there for the whole morning for a meeting of the Committee of Council [see ‘What do you do all day?’ No 125] – because of the screening on BBC2 Scotland of the first of three ‘fly on the wall’ documentaries about the school. Why was I there? Because Glenalmond College is episcopalian in its foundation – and in daily chapel – and I’m written into the Constitution. Well, I could easily digress into significant issues like the £24000 fees – given that my most recent school involvement in Northern Ireland was as Chair of Governors at Killicomaine Junior High School. But I think that the key thing about the Glenalmonds of this world is the quality of what the staff give to the pupils – and I suspect that sometimes the parents may not quite see that. But it was there in the programme – Charlie the housemaster, for example
I spent an evening last year with one of the staff and a group of senior students discussing ‘the social or moral issue of my choice’. So we tackled human sexuality. It was a good evening. I listened to the staff member who was with us – just one of the extra things he does – gently teaching them how to discuss and debate – ‘Why are you saying that – what is your evidence for that statement – what do you mean when you say ??’ Beyond price in training for life. I do that for free. Any school that asks.
Just time to see the programme before heading for the sleeper and a meeting in London – a day which included also Peterborough and Cambridge. Today we celebrate my mother’s birthday and her three children are all going to be in the same place at the same time.