The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation Impact Assessment: Year 2

Suzanne Straw

02 November 2015

NFER has been commissioned to undertake an evaluation of The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation (SpringBoard) between 2013 and 2018. This year two report presents the findings of the second year of the evaluation.

SpringBoard was established in 2012 to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people through the provision of full bursaries at state and independent boarding schools. A total of 123 pupils have joined SpringBoard to date. The first cohort of 25 pupils started at ten boarding schools in September 2013, 36 pupils started at 20 boarding schools in September 2014, and 62 pupils started at 29 boarding schools in September 2015. Pupils join the programme between Year 7 (aged 11) and Year 12 (aged 16).

Key Findings

Evaluation evidence suggests that SpringBoard is positively transforming the lives of pupils, as well as achieving wider impacts. In particular:

  • Pupils are benefiting from tripartite support from SpringBoard staff, partner organisations who recruit and provide ongoing support, and boarding schools
  • Pupils and staff report SpringBoard pupils’: improved academic progress and attainment; raised aspirations, broadened horizons and enhanced future prospects; improved communication and social skills; increased confidence, independence and resilience; and development of extra-curricular interests and abilities. In many cases, these impacts have been realised as a result of pupils boarding within a stable and secure school environment
  • wider impacts are being seen in terms of, for example: 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.