The Royal National Children’s Foundation (RNCF) and The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation (SpringBoard) hosted an event today in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal, to announce plans to merge and form the UK’s leading boarding school bursary charity.
HRH The Princess Royal – who was previously Patron of the RNCF – will act as patron of the new charity, which will legally launch on 1 July 2017 (the charity’s name is still being finalised). As a result of the merger, more than 600 disadvantaged children will be able to attend UK boarding schools from September 2017. There, they will be given the opportunity to fulfil their true academic and personal potential.
The move unites two charities with exceptional experience of transforming children’s lives by enabling their education at boarding school. 2015 research by the RNCF showed that 94% of vulnerable children supported by the charity completed their boarding-school education and went on to lead full and safe lives. Similarly, the work of SpringBoard was praised in a November 2016 report by the influential National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), which highlighted that 96% of children supported by SpringBoard complete their boarding-school education.
Ian Davenport, Chief Executive of the new charity and current Chief Executive of SpringBoard, said: “With bursary school charities facing a record demand for the support they offer, the new charity will focus on building on the great work of the Royal National Children’s Foundation and The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation. The aim is to increase the number of children currently supported by RNCF and SpringBoard, taking the figure from 600 to 1,500 within the next five years. In doing so, the new charity will transform many lives and fulfil the boarding sector’s ambition to play a leading role in enabling social mobility.”
The new charity will continue to support the nearly 400 vulnerable children previously supported by the RNCF and the nearly 200 disadvantaged children previously supported by SpringBoard.