Making school a second home

6th July 2001 at 01:00
Matron Haileybury, Hertford

Matron is a word calculated to strike a chord with any Tristram, Nigel or Crispin. She's either an all-enveloping mother figure or a hatchet-faced sadist; at one incarnation Hattie Jacques, the next Rosa Klebb; one minute dispensing soothing cough mixture, the next confiscating teddies.

Haileybury, an independent secondary which takes about 600 day pupils and a few boarders, is looking for someone with warmth and enthusiasm to undertake supervisory duties in the lower school boarding house. The successful applicant will have up to 24 boys and girls to look after.

Fees at the Hertford school are around pound;4,000 - that's per term, for anyone imagining that it sounded remarkably cheap. For that amount of money there is, presumably, a really smart outfit to wear. But does a matron have to be a gel? Admittedly there could be problems appointing a man, not least with the bonnet, but there are male nurses after all.

It is comforting that the independent sector has resisted all the possible aliases: houseparent, pastoral care manager, junior residents' lifestyle coach, that sort of political correctness. Matron is so much more I evocative.

So, how has the role developed in the 21st century? Does the modern matron still use cod liver oil or does tender loving care nowadays take the form of aromatherapy and personal counselling? What kind of training is expected? Is there a bedtime NVQ with performance criteria for story reading?

Applicants who would like to find out should telephone the school on 01992 706204.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a TES/ TESS subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


Get Tes online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to Tes online and the Tes app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off Tes Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the Tes online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order today