Discussing the mood of his stepson Henry, who is in the care of Rob while Helen is in prison with Ursula, Rob said: “I told him to keep his chin up – the same as you told me every time you dropped me off at prep school.” Private school pupils generally make excellent wives and husbandsBarnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council The apparent criticism of Rob’s upbringing as a boarder in the programme was dismissed by Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council, as “ridiculously unfair”. He told The Telegraph that, rather than ending up as abusive spouses who get stabbed by their wives, “private school pupils generally make excellent wives and husbands”. Mr Lenon, a former headmaster of Harrow School, said: “In the UK the divorce rate is higher amongst those who did not go to private school than those who did. “All I can say is that in the real world I have known hundreds of parents who sent their children off to prep school and who commented on how much nicer the child became as a result – less self-centred because he had to learn how to function in a community away from rather indulgent parents.” Robin Fletcher, chief executive of the Boarding Schools Association, added: “We have every sympathy for anyone in the past who went through a boarding experience that was not great and it was not the right solution for them and they had an unhappy experience as a result. “Today’s environment is a very, very different one. I don’t think you find any cases now of children being sent away to school. “Families are hugely sensitive to that, schools are hugely sensitive to that – because there is no point in having a child who is unhappy or for whom boarding is not going to be the right answer.” A BBC Radio Four spokesman said: “The Archers is a fictional drama. Knowing Rob’s character and his motives as our listeners do, I’m sure they will treat his comments with a healthy dose of scepticism.” Later, after being asked by Ursula to move to live with his parents in Hampshire, Rob said: “I stopped being a Hampshire boy the day you shipped me off to school.” In an earlier episode, when challenged about why Henry appears happy to go away with Helen’s parents, Rob replied: “Children often hide sadness behind a smile.” Rob Titchener is now the most-hated man on radio Credit:BBC Listeners are preparing for Helen’s trialCredit:BBC Private schools have criticised the scriptwriters of the BBC Radio Four’s The Archers drama for suggesting that abusive husband Rob Titchener’s troubles lie in the fact he was sent away to board. It is the second time that boarding schools have crossed swords with the programme after a plotline earlier this year in which Rob and Ursula discussed how to send his stepson Henry to a boarding school without the knowledge of Helen, Henry’s mother. Mr Lenon said boarding schools like Harrow can make children “much nicer” In recent episodes Rob’s character has referred to his own dismay at being sent away to school against his will as a child during tense discussions with his mother Ursula. Listeners to the programme – the world’s longest running soap opera – are preparing for the trial later this month of Rob’s wife Helen, who has been charged with attempted murder and wounding with intent after being provoked into stabbing him earlier this year. Bullying Rob has become the most hated man on radio because of the plot which has drawn more than five million listeners with its gripping storyline of domestic violence, revenge and attempted murder. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.