First UK pilot of American style summer school to prevent summer learning loss

A £200,000 pilot project to introduce American style summer schools in the UK will be piloted this summer in Edmonton, North London for Year 5 and 6 students.

The aim of the project is to improve numeracy and literacy measurably and to increase the confidence and life skills of disadvantaged pupils, and help their transition into Secondary School as well as closing the gap in attainment which occurs during the summer break.

The programme will be run by Future Foundations Society CIC in collaboration with the Edmonton Schools Partnership, and is predominantly funded by the Education Endowment Foundation.

The pilot programme will involve 160 pupils from approximately seven schools in the Edmonton area of the London Borough of Enfield, which was one of the areas significantly affected by the riots in August 2011. The Edmonton Schools Partnership, a collaboration of 20 schools, was set up over a year and a half ago in order to pull together to support the issues that were prominent in the area. The summer school will run for four weeks (from July 23rd to August 17th 2012) at Nightingale Academy. The schools are thrilled that their pupils will be able to take full advantage of this fantastic opportunity to extend their learning and improve life chances.

Jane Willis, Principal of the Academy said: "At Nightingale we are excited and privileged to be the Summer School host. We firmly believe in developing the community and this is a great opportunity for the young people of the local area not only to have a real focus on "closing the gap" in attainment during the summer break but also to do positive activities which in most cases they would not have access to."

The provider, Future Foundations Society CIC, is a training organisation with significant experience of running transition summer programmes across the country, and has leadership experience of successfully importing and scaling educational programmes from America.

Most of the funding has been awarded by the Education Endowment Foundation, a charity set up by the Sutton Trust with support from Impetus Trust. The EEF was established by a DfE endowment of £125m and aims to boost the attainment of disadvantaged children in some of the country’s most challenging schools.

The programme will concentrate on the American summer school model of teaching the pupils, in small groups, in the years running up to Secondary school. They will have access to literacy and numeracy studies during the mornings and a mix of educational, recreational and community projects in the afternoon. Many of the activities offered are not readily available to these students and will again provide the young people with once in a lifetime opportunities.

Jon Harper, Managing Director of Future Foundations, said: "We believe the American approach of providing a mixture of small group tutorials led by leading teachers and inspiring mentors over an extended period will have a measurable impact which will transform the students taking part. All staff will be independently recruited and trained by us to maximise the impact of the programme."

A key focus is on developing the local workforce with teachers and mentors being recruited locally. Sixth form students from Nightingale Academy will also be involved in the project as peer mentors/coaches. This will contribute towards the future sustainability of the programme and the development of employability skills in an area which has been hard hit by unemployment.

The programme is non-residential with parental involvement central to the design and delivery of the four weeks. At the end of the Summer School there will be a graduation ceremony with presentations from students which will include the young people presenting what they have learned both in their classes and through the enrichment activities. The presentations will challenge the students to work together to demonstrate the skills and confidence they have developed.

It is expected that over 90% of the children attending the programme will qualify for Free School Meals and the other 10% will come from other vulnerable groups. In the first week of applications opening, over 60 children applied endorsed by parents/carers.

It is anticipated that 100 places will be allocated to Year 5 students and 60 to Year 6 students who are due to start at Nightingale Academy this September. It is hoped that the summer school will ease their transition into their new school.

Jon Harper said: "Our aim is to build up the students’ confidence and develop their skills and aspirations, however the main focus will be to develop their ability in numeracy and literacy measurably, so that they do not regress during the summer holidays, catch up with their peers from more affluent backgrounds and can take full advantage of secondary school".

Renee Flourentzou, Edmonton Schools Partnership Manager, said; "I’m particularly excited about this programme as it will bring together pupils, families and schools from the local community and provide unique and exciting opportunities that will broaden horizons, nurture talents and provide a safe environment for them to excel both academically and personally. There is a real need for this type of provision in Edmonton where such opportunities are limited, and we hope to be able to extend this to even more pupils in the near future. "

Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: "We are delighted to be trialling a summer school programme which has been shown to work in the United States and which will be rigorously evaluated by us. All the pupils taking part will be monitored to see how much progress they have made during the four weeks. If the pilot proves successful, we will be expanding the programme to more locations in the summer of 2013."

Notes for Editors

  • Future Foundations
  • Future Foundations Society CIC is an independent training organisation focused on helping transform the lives of young people from a disadvantaged background. It has been set up by Future Foundations Training Limited which runs residential and non-residential programmes training, coaching and mentoring programmes for 3,000 young people per year to help them with the key transition points within education and their lives.
  • For more information visit:
  • Jon Harper, its Managing Director, has experience of importing American models to the UK. He was the first UK Programme Director for SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), an American programme which develops students through service learning. Mr Harper scaled the UK programme from 7 Universities in 2004 to 24 in 2007.
  • Edmonton Schools Partnership
  • Edmonton Schools Partnership is a coalition of 20 schools in the London Borough of Enfield. The current partnership consists of 16 primary schools, 3 Secondary Schools and 1 Special school. Founded in 2010, the schools work together to share good practice and are actively committed to improving outcomes for their pupils and families. The ESP vision is to raise aspirations and jointly provide opportunities that improve life chances.
  • Education Endowment Fund
  • The EEF is a charity, established by the Sutton Trust with support from Impetus Trust, with a DfE endowment of £125m to boost the attainment of disadvantaged children in some of the country’s most challenging schools.