Kerry Martin, Suzanne Straw, Susie Bamford
23 November 2016
NFER has been commissioned to undertake an evaluation of The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation (SpringBoard) between 2013 and 2018. This report presents the findings of the first three years 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. The evaluation is focusing on 123 pupils who joined SpringBoard in Cohorts 1, 2 and 3. Twenty-five Cohort 1 pupils started at ten boarding schools in September 2013, 36 Cohort 2 pupils started at 20 boarding schools in September 2014, and 62 Cohort 3 pupils started at 29 boarding schools in September 2015. Pupils join the programme between Year 7 (aged 11) and Year 12 (aged 16).
The evaluation includes SpringBoard pupil baseline and follow-up surveys, pupil interviews and an online consultation with boarding school staff. Future reports will also include an analysis of National Pupil Database (NPD) data comparing SpringBoard pupils’ GCSE and A-level examination results to those of pupils from their original schools.
SpringBoard is positively transforming the lives of pupils placed in boarding school, as well as achieving wider impacts. In particular:
- the tripartite and ongoing support from partners, member schools and SpringBoard appears to be central to the success of the programme, enabling pupils to quickly settle and thrive at boarding school
- impacts are being realised for pupils 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 have been achieved as a result of pupils benefitting from 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.