Somebody was complaining in ‘The Daily Telegraph’ 1st September, about £100m being spent on Civil Servants who undertake overseas postings and take their families with them. Well, that is a small sum compared to what it was, as its aim has been largely fulfilled in the public sector. In the early 1900’s, Britain sent out its brightest Civil Servants to the outposts of the Empire and they would train up the locals to do his job and then they would be posted somewhere else.
Is the Telegraph saying that the families do not deserve somewhere to live, roughly appropriate to their English accommodation? That their children do not deserve to be educated? With education, doing well is a question of consistency in the way a child is taught and familiarity with that style will continue when they reach England again. The child is given a private education to provide stability through three-yearly contracts. To my knowledge that was primarily in the military or teachers or the airlines.
Fifty years ago and more, the private sector in Britain wanted its Executives to have overseas experience. My husband and I went to Portugal for three years. This meant that suddenly grandparents did not see the beloved grandchild for months and going out there was their only other option. Uprooting from families and friends is something that you have to do, so companies will compensate with material things like paid flights home three times a year. My expatriate life revolved around children and making new friends.
New people came out all the time as everyone revolved around the world, yet the friendships have lasted almost 30 years. You need it to accustom yourself to a new life and I loved it all.
So £100m is good value for money. It is much better to have children with you than sending them off to boarding school at seven years’ old. Some of those girls suppressed their emotions so much in order to blend in that they found it difficult to have children. Thanks Dad for coming home when I reached five. I would have been an entirely different person if I had had to go to boarding school.