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influencing change

We are passionate, not only in supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people, but also in ensuring that the impact of our work leads to lifelong transformational change for the pupils as they move towards adulthood, and for the communities in which they live.


We engage with politicians from all the main parties, both at national and local level, and influential think tanks that focus on social mobility.  Our CEO, Ian Davenport, takes an active role in advising the Department for Education (DfE) on the role of boarding school placements in supporting the lives of genuinely deserving children, using the evidence that we have of our positive impact to play our part in the national social mobility debate.  In addition, he is the bursaries' advisor to the Independent Schools' Council, and in this capacity, he has written papers for the DfE on Looked After Children in both boarding and day schools.

With a long and well-respected history of working with vulnerable children on the 'edge of care' and Looked After Children, as well as contributing our knowledge and expertise to help shape national policy, we also provide advice to Local Authorities and schools on the issues to consider in placing Looked After Children in boarding schools.  In addition to Looked After Children that we have placed directly into our boarding school network through our bursary programme, we have also helped to broker boarding school places for a number of others.


We work with the Independent Schools' Council to promote 100%+ bursaries; those that not only cover the fees, but also contribute to additional costs such as uniform, books and trips.  As bursaries become increasingly means-tested, we need to be sure that those from significantly deprived backgrounds don't fall through the net - and that means we must keep pushing for more 100%+ bursaries.  Although, in 2018, more than £1bn was spent by the independent sector annually in fee remissions, and one in three pupils was found to be on some form of fee assistance, only a small percentage of means-tested bursaries and scholarships were on 100%+ bursaries.

For families that are not eligible to be considered for a Royal SpringBoard bursary, on behalf of the Independent Schools' Council, we operate a Grants Advice line.  This provides advice and support to around 500-600 families per year, signposting them to a range of options for financial assistance to support the payment of school fees.

… our young people return to their communities refined, formed and inspired…

- Carol Murraine, Pastoral Manager, Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy

Watch Carol's Video

Developing relationships with communities

Our aim is not just to provide disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people with access to first-class education, but also to raise the aspirations of whole communities. 

All of the disadvantaged children and young people that we place with our partner organisations are actively encouraged by those partners to act as role models and mentors, spreading the message of what is possible to other members of their family, their friends and in their old schools.  In 2018/19, 73% of pupils whose bursary placements were set up with one of our partner organisations have been involved in activities to raise awareness in their home communities. We have numerous reports of eyes being opened and aspirations being raised, including parents, who didn’t complete their school career, returning to education.

Creating greater understanding of our work across disadvantaged communities is reaping positive results.  We estimate that more than 4,000 children and young people have been indirectly affected to raise their aspirations and work hard to achieve good academic results, thanks to hearing about the journeys taken by pupils on Royal SpringBoard bursaries.

"Schools like Blacon that have embraced the bursary programme have used its impact to build a sense of pride, expectation and self-belief across the whole school.  We see every day that providing a boarding opportunity to one child is changing those of the whole community.  When we arranged for a minibus to take a number of Blacon High pupils to Eton to understand what a boarding school might offer, the whole of the outside of school was filled with their, and many other, parents lined up to wave them off.  It shows the need for hope in our communities."  Sue Yates, Headteacher, Blacon High School