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SpringBoard bursaries transform the lives of disadvantaged young people in boarding schools

2 November 2015

The second interim evaluation report of The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation (SpringBoard), completed by NFER, reports a wide range of positive impacts on disadvantaged pupils as a result of them being placed in independent and state boarding schools.

SpringBoard was set up in 2012 with the 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. The evaluation, which runs between 2013 and 2018, has so far seen a total of 123 pupils, between Year 7 (aged 11) and Year 12 (aged 16), joining SpringBoard. The findings from the impact assessment are very positive, with pupils making a successful transition to boarding school as a result of the effective tripartite support provided by SpringBoard, member schools and partner organisations.

Pupils have experienced a range of positive impacts including: improved academic progress and attainment; raised aspirations, broadened horizons and enhanced future prospects; improved communication and social skills and increased awareness of social diversity; increased confidence and independence; and the development of extra-curricular interests and abilities. Many of these impacts have been achieved due to pupils benefitting from a stable and secure school environment.

Staff have also benefitted in terms of: the development of their knowledge and skills as a tutor and key worker; personal satisfaction, increased collaboration; and improved communications and skills in working with parents. Impacts have also been seen in pupils’ home communities, where they are acting as positive role models and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.

Commenting on the findings, SpringBoard Chief Executive, Ian Davenport, said: “I am delighted that this second interim report supports, and indeed strengthens, the conclusions of the first report. It is clear that SpringBoard pupils are making the most of their opportunities and, in so doing, are having a profound effect on their families, communities and their boarding schools. This report is the first objective research project across the boarding school sector which measures the impact of the life transforming opportunities on the bursary pupils. It is a powerful affirmation that boarding schools are changing lives, helping the pupils raise and meet their aspirations and, in so doing, playing a strong part in developing social mobility. I am looking forward to the conclusions from the next report."

Key findings and full NFER evaluation report

More information about The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation can be found, or you can follow SpringBoard on LinkedIn or Twitter.