The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation Impact Assessment: Year 4

Suzanne Straw

12 January 2018

NFER is undertaking an evaluation of The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation (SpringBoard) between 2013 and 2018. This report presents the findings of the fourth year of the evaluation.

Established in 2012, SpringBoard aims to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people through providing full bursaries at state and independent boarding schools. The evaluation focuses on 123 pupils who joined 35 SpringBoard member schools in Cohorts 1, 2 and 3 between September 2013 and September 2015. Pupils join the programme between Year 7 (aged 11) and Year 12 (aged 16). It is worth noting that SpringBoard merged with The Royal National Children’s Foundation in June 2017. The merged charity is named The Royal National Children’s SpringBoard Foundation and all SpringBoard trustees and staff joined the merged charity.

The evaluation includes pupil baseline and follow-up surveys, pupil interviews and an online consultation with boarding school staff. The final report in December 2018 will also include an analysis of National Pupil Database data comparing SpringBoard pupils’ GCSE and A-level examination results to those of pupils from their original schools.

Key Findings

SpringBoard continues to positively transform the lives of pupils, as well as achieving wider impacts. In particular:

  • the tripartite and ongoing support from partners, member schools and SpringBoard is central to the success of the programme, enabling pupils to quickly settle and thrive at boarding school.
  • pupils are experiencing impacts in four key areas: academic progress and attainment; raised aspirations, broadened horizons and enhanced future prospects; improved social skills and interactions and increased awareness of social diversity; and increased confidence and well-being. Many of these impacts are a result of pupils benefitting from a stable and secure environment.
  • wider impacts include: the development of the knowledge, skills and personal satisfaction of boarding school staff; raised awareness of social diversity within schools and SpringBoard pupils acting as positive role models; and other young people in SpringBoard pupils’ home communities aspiring to follow in their footsteps or having raised aspirations.

Sponsor Details

The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation