Our tiny town is being ruined by posh students – they make too much noise when they go partying | The Sun

FUMING residents say their tiny town is being ruined by posh students who make too much noise when they go partying.

The village of St Donat's in the Vale of Glamorgan is home to £67,000-a-year Atlantic College, the "Hippie Hogwarts".

Pupils including European royals live in the 12th century castle which houses the school – and at the weekend they head in droves for St Donat's Horseshoe Inn pub.

An elderly farmer said: "They’re a blinking nuisance. Every Friday evening, they pile out of school in huge, noisy gangs and march off to the local pub, the Horseshoe Inn.

"They’re quite a spectacle because the school makes them wear these high-vis yellow vests whenever they leave the premises.

"But even so, if you come round a corner in a tractor you’re on them before you’ve time to hit the brakes.

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He added: "It’s made driving round these lanes absolutely nerve-wracking.

"And the buggers are so noisy, especially on the way back after they’ve had a load of beer.

"I’m an early riser so I try and get to bed by 9pm, but they always wake me up on their way back to the school with their racket."

Anthony Morrison, 53, a head teacher at a state primary school, said locals are fed up with the late-night din from posh students at Atlantic College.

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He said: "The older locals who have lived here all their lives are not so positive about them.

"When the older students head for the Horseshoe Inn in groups of 30 or so, they can make a bit of noise and that upsets some of the locals.

"They also complain about the loud music and noise coming from inside the school when they put on events, such as celebrations.

"I’m aware that quite a few of them are from European royal families.

"We were in the pub with a few of them on graduation day – someone said to one of the parents of a student 'What do you do?' and the guy replied 'Oh, I’m just a prince'."


Former pupils at Atlantic College include the Spanish heir Princess Leonor de Borbon, Princess Elisabeth of Belgium and Princess Raiyah of Jordan.

King Felipe VI of Spain and Queen Letizia visited St Donat's, home to just 500 people, for Leonor's leaving day in 2020.

The ultra-posh school boasts 122 acres of coastal woodland and offers courses in Tibetan literature and the "theory of knowledge".

German educator Kurt Hahn founded the school in 1962. He was also responsible for Gordonstoun, attended by Prince Philip and King Charles.

Explaining its appeal, Louise Callaghan, a journalist who is also an alumna, wrote in The Times: "It is a bit like a hippie Hogwarts: full of oddballs who think they are fighting the forces of darkness.

"There are also ghosts. Lady Stradling haunts the history tower, and the smell of lavender and a lilac mist precedes her apparition."

Lady Stradling's family began the development of the site and held it for 400 years.

She added: "The ethos is, broadly, that people from all over the world can get along if you shove them together in a castle. That much we proved, some very passionately.”

Louise said UWC Atlantic is unlike any other British boarding school, adding: "There are no matrons or cold baths or housemasters. Instead, there are vegans and houseparents… the aim, broadly, is world peace.

"The thing about Atlantic College is that it forces you to get very used to being around, and getting along with, people who are nothing like you."

UWC has 18 campuses across four continents and teaches 10,500 students each year from 155 countries.

There are only 360 students studying at the Welsh campus – all specifically chosen for their diversity.

Many of them are granted scholarships, while the rest, like the royals, pay fees.

According to Tatler, a two-year International Baccalaureate course there will set parents back £66,000 – but those fees are scrapped for scholarship holders as some are refugees or come from war-torn countries.

Classes are said to end at 1pm to give students the chance to enjoy activities such as Tai-Chi, Zumba, basketball, tennis and floorball.

If that doesn't sound appealing enough, they can always opt for kayaking, paddle boarding, archery or caving.

They can also choose to partake in knitting, media production and the Amnesty International Annual Headshave, where students go bald for good causes.

Two of Malala Yousafzai's friends were beneficiaries of scholarships around the time she was shot by the Taliban for advocating the education of girls in 2012.


UWC Atlantic said: "Our current students have been back on campus since last week after going on summer break in May and June and as yet have not left campus whilst they take part in orientation.

"When allowed off campus, they have an 8.30pm curfew, which is confirmed by staff every evening.

"We have 380 students based in a rural setting and we work hard with our neighbours, local community council and PCSO’s to ensure a harmonious living environment for all.

"Our neighbours and community tell us that they are proud to have the college based here and we continually work with our students to manage their impact.

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"Our students do a large amount of work in the local community including litter picks and weekly service activities including restoring a local nature reserve, providing food for local food banks and singing in care homes to help alleviate the symptoms of dementia.

"Over the last 12 months we have had 2 complaints for noise and these were followed up by the leadership team at the college and resulted in more education with the students on their impact and being mindful of our neighbours."

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