The Spring Board needed

The Spring Board needed

01 August 2016 by Alex Hanratty in Education, Employment & Enterprise.

‘Thank you for the life-changing opportunity you provided me with; I have not only received a top class education, but grown as a person and made life-long friends along the way. Two years ago I could only dream of being in the position I’m in today.’

These are the words of one of our SpringBoard pupils from Croxteth, Liverpool, who is now studying medicine at St Andrew’s after achieving 4 As at A-level. Another SpringBoard pupil, a care-leaver, achieved 2 As and 1 B at her SpringBoard school and is now studying Geography and Anthropology at the University of Sussex. Considering that only 6% of Care-Leavers at 19 are in Higher Education (compared to 49% nationally) this is a phenomenal achievement.

The detrimental impact of inequality and lack of social mobility in the UK is becoming increasingly worrying. Much, much more needs to be done.

The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation is playing its part: we’re a nation-wide charity offering children, including those in the care of the state, the opportunity to attend independent and state boarding schools on fully funded bursaries. Set up just over four years ago under the vision of Patrick Derham, Headmaster of Westminster School, and CEO Ian Davenport, both recipients of boarding school bursaries, SpringBoard has so far placed nearly 200 pupils into 45 boarding schools with the aim of having placed over 1,000 pupils in ten years’ time.

Why do we exist?

Because all the evidence shows that boarding school can be a life-transforming opportunity for those for whom life, through no fault of their own, has thrown high and often insurmountable barriers before them. We understand that boarding school is not right for every child and we offer a careful selection and matching process to ensure we crucially find the ‘right child.’ We passionately believe that boarding school should not just be for those lucky enough to be born into affluent families. With the majority of our alumni securing places at their first choice universities and with a 98% retention rate, we feel confident that the provision of full bursaries for deserving children is absolutely the right thing to do.

Our annual fellowship event draws all of our pupils together and they are encouraged not only to achieve for themselves, but to inspire and encourage their communities. We have heard numerous examples of this ‘ripple effect’ where pupils are working harder as they start to realise what might be possible for themselves, parents returning to education and how, for example, ‘every street’ in Blacon knows about the opportunity offered by SpringBoard to the children of their community. Our boarding schools have been unrelentingly enthusiastic about SpringBoard and commit to SpringBoard’s accreditation and training programme.

The National Foundation for Educational Research is conducting a five year evaluation of SpringBoard. The evidence has shown that the majority of pupils have settled in very well, made firm friends, managed well the transition between school and home life, improved academic attainment and social skills, have raised aspirations & enhanced future prospects. NFER also highlighted the importance of SpringBoard’s model in linking partner organisations with the schools to provide an additional and invaluable network of support for the pupil and family. SpringBoard partners are typically mentoring organisations which are based in the pupils’ home communities, local schools/academies or Local Authority Virtual Schools. A key factor is the strength of the relationship built between the partner and the boarding school.

Please get in touch to find out more or how to become one of SpringBoard’s partners.

‘It has been really exciting to begin a partnership with Springboard Foundation that has led to 8 young people from our area being given the chance to study in independent boarding schools from September. Springboard’s ethos, vision and commitment are exemplary and we love working with them.’ The Revd John M. Wood MBE. Director, Hope in Tottenham

Alex Hanratty

Alex Hanratty

Alex is the Director of Partner Relationships at The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation

View all posts by Alex Hanratty

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