Boarding school scheme shows signs of positive impact on young lives
4 February 2015
Disadvantaged young people placed at boarding schools by the SpringBoard Bursary Foundation say their lives have changed ‘for the better’, according to NFER research published today.
SpringBoard was set up in 2012 with the stated aim of transforming the lives of pupils from low income families and disadvantaged backgrounds by providing them with full bursaries to attend state and independent boarding schools.
NFER found that in its first year of operation, SpringBoard made impressive progress towards fulfilling this aim, identifying a range of important impacts on the first cohort of 25 pupils that suggest its unique model of three-way support - from SpringBoard itself, partner organisations and boarding schools - is proving effective. Even at this early stage, benefits to students include:
- Academic and extra-curricular achievements - access to a wider range of subjects, quality teaching and high expectations is helping pupils achieve their potential. Greater variety of extra-curricular activities provides opportunities to excel in areas such as sports or the arts, or to become a representative on a Student Council.
- Broadened horizons and enhanced prospects – pupils said that attending boarding school has changed their lives for the better by, for instance, improving their prospects, changing their perspective on life and, for some, taking them away from negative influences in their home communities or schools. Pupils have higher study and career aspirations
- Development of personal and social skills - pupils have developed more self-confidence and improved social skills through having to adjust to a new environment and making new friends. They have also grown in independence and resilience as a result of adapting to life away from home.
Commenting on the findings, Spring Board Chief Executive Ian Davenport said: “ We are delighted that the early evidence provided by the NFER supports our unique model which provides life-transforming opportunities to deserving children, the effect of which resonates through their families and local communities."
Read the key findings and full NFER interim evaluation report here.