Jane Palmer discusses whether boarding school is a place of privilege or of sanctioned persecution. In Joy Schaverien's latest book on the psychological trauma of the 'privileged' child, she uses her experience as an analyst with ex-boarders to illustrate how ex-boarders can make extremely difficult clients. Many theories of child development evolved from a number of perspectives - educational, cognitive, humanistic, maturational, behavioural, psychodynamic and so on. Most people would accept that the fundamental role of parents is to love and protect their children while gradually nurturing their independence, so that by the time they reach adulthood, they can begin to make their own way in the world. They adhere to a socialisation doctrine perfected in mid-Victorian England, whereby the normal process of child development is interrupted by a dramatic and drastic change in which family attachments are deliberately broken.