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What makes a successful boarding bursary placement?


The right boarding school placement will allow a child to flourish, fulfilling their potential and happily enjoying their studies, hobbies, and time with friends. The Headmaster, Martin Priestley, met Old Leysian Jonathan Taylor to discuss what elements make up a successful boarding bursary placement.

Jonathan has a wealth of experience in this field, as former Principal of Wymondham College and now CEO of the Sapientia Education Trust, which oversees a network of schools in Norfolk and Suffolk. Wymondham is one of 41 state-maintained boarding schools in the country and rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. At present, they have 25 pupils on Royal National Children’s SpringBoard Foundation funded bursary placements, and many more have gone on to success at university and in vocational careers.

Royal National Children’s SpringBoard Foundation (RNCSF) are the UK’s leading boarding school bursary charity, bringing transformational opportunities to young people by carefully matching them with an institution at which they can thrive. Their process is careful and child-centred. It begins with a close relationship with community partners like youth groups, schools, and Local Authorities, to identify young people with the potential to thrive at boarding school. Taking into account a child’s interests, talents and personal situation, RNCSF will then investigate possible placements, giving the child and their family the opportunity to visit schools and meet staff until the right home-from-home is found.

With 96% of the young people they match completing their placement as planned, RNCSF have a proven track record of success. Of course, their success is also made possible by the motivated and friendly young people they work with, and the exceptionally high pastoral standards of the accredited schools in the RNCSF network. Jonathan and Martin also discuss the importance of a school’s ethos for a successful bursary programme, some of the potential challenges to consider, and what makes The Leys such a special place.


“It's the opportunity to develop resilience and independence to go on to develop a successful adult life.“
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