Support for Boarding

We have been supporting boarding places for young people for more than 65 years. We have seen that boarding can support a child’s developmental needs through providing routine, increased stability and emotional and social support. The level of aspiration offered by a boarding education can also help to raise a young person’s educational attainment.

Applications to the boarding programme for the 2022-23 academic year closed on 16 January 2022. We are not accepting any new applications for this year or future years.

Boarding criteria

The children and young people that we support through boarding are facing such significant challenges at home that there is a serious risk of family breakdown. This is sometimes described as being on the ‘edge of care’.

We fund a limited number of places each year and seek to fund the most vulnerable cases. Every case is assessed individually.

Our eligibility for boarding support is as follows:

  • Children and young people growing up in financial hardship, aged 11-16, who are affected by at least one of the following:
  • Disadvantaged by parenting capacity and at risk of family breakdown
  • Who live in single parent / carer families or where there are two parents, but one or both is severely incapacitated by illness or disability
  • Severe social, emotional or health problems within the family that affect the child

Please be aware that cannot help everyone who applies to us, even if your circumstances meet all criteria. We prioritise support for the cases who most need it.

We cannot help:

  • When it is unsafe for a child to return home during school holidays and there is no support plan in place to address this
  • Where there is a two-parent family and no severe parental illness, disability or limited capacity
  • When a school has been chosen for a particular type of education, this might be sport, drama or music
  • When the application is for a place at a specialist educational establishment
  • When a child’s needs could reasonably be met within the state day school system
  • Where the child or young person lives or normally resides outside the UK
  • Where poverty is the only factor

How it works

We work with partner schools and other funders to build fully funded bursaries in residential schools so that young people can attend boarding schools and benefit from the environment. We support placements in independent and state boarding schools.

We can help families choose a school, ideally one within a maximum of 1.5 hours from the family home. You can find out more about the schools we work with below.

Read about the impact of a boarding place and young people’s experiences here.


Zak's Story

Learn more about the impact that boarding can have