Do the three children in my book attend a private boarding school?
Uppingham School Theatre
In the UK the subject of private school education can be quite a divisive one, and I thought it might be useful to consider whether the children in Stuck (in time) are at private or state schools. I'm avoiding using the term 'Public Schools', because outside the UK a public school is often what we refer to as a state school
It's not really a plot spoiler because the book begins with Robert, James & Lucy sitting in the reception of their school waiting to spend their Easter vacation staying with their Uncle. Actually, nowhere in the book does it state it is a private boarding school, perhaps the reader will presume that it is, simply because it is a historic building. There are state boarding schools too of course in the UK https://stateboarding.org.uk/ and it is interesting that Hogwarts wasn't a feepaying school (tuition fees were paid by the Ministry of Magic).
Boarding School? There are two factors here. Firstly I wanted to write the kind of book that I would have enjoyed reading as a child. Lots of the books that I read as a young boy were set in boarding schools, a strange fantasy land where boys referred to themselves by their second names - Jennings, Venables, etc. However, my books (I say books because the second one has been written - needs a little editing), are not essentially about school life and not, for the most part, set in school. Perhaps there is a little 'contrast & compare' of the education they receive with that of children in the 1940s in this first book but it is looking in general at present day education, not any comment on any perceived benefits of the private sector.
This brings me on to the second factor as to why a boarding school; it is because I wanted to create a situation where the children did not have the same degree of guidance or supervision from a parent or guardian as perhaps you or I did, so it would be easier for them to have adventures. I certainly wouldn't have let my own children go off gallivanting around the country on their own, never mind wandering off back into history!
I was very happy with the education that our children had at our local state school - Uppingham Community College. They all subsequently went on to university. I appreciate that we are fortunate to live where we live, and many people, especially those living in inner-city areas are faced with a dilemma when the nearest state schools do not perform well
So this is an issue that will be at the back of my mind for a while, and maybe addressed in a future book. There's no reason why it shouldn't be a state boarding school. The reason they are at a boarding school anyway is apparent in the first paragraph - they are orphans.