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In many countries, boarding is well established and is a central element of education. For well over a thousand years, families have sent their children to be schooled away from home. In Europe, a tradition of sending boys to be educated by literate clergymen began in medieval times with young men dispatched to monasteries or great households. Access to education was limited and so this was considered a great privilege.
The expansion of the British Empire coincided with a growth in British boarding schools. Colonial officials abroad wanted their children educated in a British culture at home in the UK. In time, the same privileges were extended to local rulers so that the indigenous population was gradually educated in British ideals and customs.