Boarding for ‘in need’ children

The project will look at the impact of boarding in state and independent boarding schools for children identified as ‘in need’. All of these children require Local Authority support of some kind and some will eventually need to be placed in to residential care. The project comes with significant co-funding from Local Authorities, boarding schools, the Department for Education (DfE) and other educational trusts. Buttle UK will be covering the majority of staff costs.

Why are we funding it?

Children eligible for Free School Meals are disproportionately over-represented among children in need and looked after children. Those identified as children in need have even poorer educational outcomes than looked after children and one explanation for this is the lack of stability that they experience. There is promising evidence on the impact of boarding from the US and Buttle UK’s previous work. If found to have a positive effect it is hoped that Local Authorities could use this as a placement option for some children.

How are we evaluating it?

The project will be evaluated by a team from the York Trials Unit, led by David Torgeson. The evaluation will be set up as a three armed, individual-level randomised controlled trial. The project team will identify 450 children, 150 of whom will be allocated to attend either state or independent boarding schools and 300 of whom will act as control children.

When will the evaluation report be due?

The evaluation report will be published in 2020