Congratulations to Patrick Dare and Nicola Bradshaw, who have been awarded the Boarding School Association’s highest level of accreditation, recognising boarding staff who make a personal commitment to best boarding practice.
Both Mrs Bradshaw, Housemistress of Dolman House, and Mr Dare, Housemaster of Fenwick Smith House, have become Level 4 Accredited Practitioners. This award recognises staff who have worked in boarding for 12 years or more, met several key commitments such as safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, completed relevant qualifications and have made a significant contribution to boarding beyond their own setting.
Martin Davies, Head of Pastoral Care, said: “This is a well-deserved recognition of Patrick and Nicola’s expertise and long-standing commitment to boarding. There aren’t many people in the country yet to have achieved this, and so we are delighted that they, and the great work they and their teams do, have been acknowledged in this way.”
Headmaster Toby Seth added: “I have been so impressed by the standard of all our boarding staff and Nicola and Patrick are outstanding in their commitment and enthusiasm. It takes a special person to juggle the many responsibilities of heading up a boarding house and their popularity among the pupils in their care, as well as parents and staff, is a reflection of how successfully they fulfil their roles. Well done to both Nicola and Patrick.”
Mr Dare has been Fenwick-Smith Housemaster since 2012, having previously served there as a non-resident house tutor for 10 years. His co-curricular interests include the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), particularly the RAF Section which he has managed for a number of years, and rugby coaching and refereeing. He is a French teacher, and over the years numerous pupils have enjoyed his European school trips and French Exchanges.
He said: “The Resident Housemaster role is in many ways one of the most tiring and most demanding roles in education, it is also by far the most rewarding and fulfilling. Indeed, I am lucky that I love my job and I am still just as passionate about my role as when I first joined the teaching profession in 1989.”
He added: “I was extremely pleased to be recognised with the level 4 Accredited Practitioner Status. Boarding has been very much part of my life here at school having been actively involved and doing duties in the boarding houses for 17 of my 18 years in school.”
Mrs Bradshaw worked at Dolman House as resident Boarding House Tutor before being appointed Housemistress in 2017. She previously served as housemistress and matron at a boarding school in the Midlands, and before that at an international boarding school in India, alongside staff and students from 40 different countries. Mrs Bradshaw trained as a higher level teaching assistant, working with students who had autism and behavioural problems, and has a diploma in counselling.
She said: “My boarding ethos is to provide a safe, nurturing environment for all students in our care. Establishing a close, trusting relationship with parents is also key and I never lose sight of the privilege and responsibility of looking after others’ children.”