Finding Our Way Home : Women's Accounts of Being Sent to Boarding School book cover
1st Edition

Finding Our Way Home
Women's Accounts of Being Sent to Boarding School

Edited By

Nikki Simpson

ISBN 9781138479531
Published June 4, 2018 by Routledge
158 Pages

USD $29.95

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Book Description

Finding Our Way Home: Women’s Accounts of Being Sent to Boarding School shares the personal stories of sixteen women, all of whom were sent away to board at an early age. Their accounts delve into the depths of long suppressed emotions and feelings, and the lifelong impact that the early separation from their families has had.

Much has been written about the impact of ‘boarding school syndrome’ on male boarders, but less about their female counterparts. This book is the first to explore the experience from a purely female perspective, and offers an intriguing insight into the world of boarding schools and the upbringing of girls born in the mid-to-late 20th century.

Finding Our Way Home is a book for everyone who ever attended boarding school, as well as psychotherapists and counsellors working with boarding school survivors.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Joy Schaverien


Nikki Simpson

Chapter 1: On Becoming a Boarder

Louise Sinclair

Chapter 2: Skinny Dipping in the Rhine

Frances Den Hollander

Chapter 3: My Story

Natasha Wilson

Chapter 4: Being Sent, Then and Now

Caroline Giddens

Chapter 5: Finding My Way Home

Nikki Simpson

Chapter 6: Memories From My Formative Years

Marianne Simpson

Chapter 7: Give and Take

Alison Higgs

Chapter 8: The Story of a Little Girl Lost

Colette Knight

Chapter 9: Paradise Lost

Isobel Henderson

Chapter 10: Sometimes

Jo Trotter

Chapter 11: Boarding School Musings

Margot Oakenby

Chapter 12: Privileged Deprivation

Marcia Turner

Chapter 13: Coming in From the Cold

Susanna Hoare

Chapter 14: Severe Housemistress

Patricia Morris

Chapter 15: The Trunk

Margaret Laughton

Chapter 16: Whispering Walls

Elizabeth Routledge


Jane Barclay

Afterword: A Psychotherapist’s Reflections

Pippa Foster

Help and Support/More Information

Editor’s Note and Acknowledgements

Nikki Simpson

View More



Nikki Simpson is an accredited person-centred counsellor working in private practice with adults and adolescents. Prior to training as a therapist, she worked for Social Services in the Adoption Support Team. She has a passion for photography, nature and mindfulness and lives in Stroud with her partner.


The stories in this volume contribute women’s voices to the more well known ones of men who suffered in boarding schools.

A compelling read; each individual history adds to the picture of the trauma inflicted on children by the separation from their families.  These tales from different generations build a picture of the ubiquity of the enduring emotional damage of this tradition.    

Professor Joy Schaverien Author of Boarding School Syndrome: The Psychological Trauma of the ‘Privileged’ Child.   

‘Finding Our Way Home’ is a wonderful resource for those wanting to know more about how boarding school affects people when they are in an institution and what happens to them in life beyond.  The evidence provided by these stories very much enriches our understanding of females who have boarded in the last 60 years and more recently.  I would highly recommend it to anyone researching this field and who seeks authentic voices of those who have lived through this experience.

Allison Paech, Educationalist, Cambridge

Every child has the right to be small, dependent and living with their loved ones at home. In this collection of women’s stories each one evokes the voice of her young self as she writes about her boarding school experiences. This can help us gain some insight into the ‘madness’ and at times, unspeakable cruelty that boarding means to many. . .                                                                   

By speaking out, these women will hopefully move and inspire others who seek to understand why their symptoms of being a boarding school survivor will not simply go away. 

Nicola Miller, Psychotherapist & Boarding School Survivors Facilitation Team