Welcome to Boarding School Partnerships, a new information service designed to make it easier for you to access information and expertise about boarding school placements for vulnerable young people.

For the past 40 years or so, a group of children’s charities have built up considerable expertise in supporting vulnerable children and young people at state and independent boarding schools throughout the UK.

These young people are seen to have benefitted from the structure, sense of community, pastoral care and individual attention that many boarding schools can offer. Many of the outcomes have been very impressive and show that, after a short period of settling down, these young people thrive at boarding school and make the most of the opportunity to transform their lives and prospects.

Some of these beneficiaries are looked after children, but many more are young people ‘on the edge of care’, the young people whose challenges you are dealing with all the time.

That is why the Department for Education is proud to launch Boarding School Partnerships, in collaboration with the Boarding Schools’ Association, Buttle UK, Reedham Children’s Trust, Royal National Children’s SpringBoard Foundation, King Edward’s School Witley, and the Royal Alexandra & Albert School.

This new service enables you to access the expertise and support of these organisations and boarding schools throughout the country whenever you might need it.

The service will include a conference, an Assisted Boarding census, and Annual Awards to recognise success with boarding placements. But, more than anything else, Boarding School Partnerships is all about creating a network of local authorities, charities and schools to help create opportunities for young people who need our support. We want to provide practical advice and support for local authorities everywhere.

I am a strong believer in the potential of boarding school to transform the lives of many vulnerable, disadvantaged young people. It will not be appropriate for all young people, whether vulnerable or not. But experience shows that – for the right young person, at the right school, and at the right time – boarding school really can help transform lives and prospects.

I urge you to support Boarding School Partnerships, make the most of all that it offers, and encourage your colleagues to familiarise themselves with the potential of Assisted Boarding.

I look forward to following your progress over the coming months and years.

Thank you for your support.