Springboard Youth Academy

A one-stop shop

Springboard Youth Academy bridges the gap to provide the necessary support that is lacking in the mainstream school system. Young asylum-seekers and refugees who have made the difficult journey to the UK – especially those who come alone – are saddled with many challenges common to starting a life somewhere new. Though they are required to attend school, more often than not, they aren’t provided with the language and psychological support necessary to succeed in their new circumstances. They are simply not set up to thrive. Coupled with budget cuts to tailored learning provision in schools, these young people often miss their chance to progress at a natural pace and to reach their fullest potential.

signature summer programme

Our summer programme offers an innovative space for teenaged refugees and asylum-seekers who have just arrived in the UK, where they can make friends and settle into British life before the begin school. Young people learn life skills and practice English through a bespoke intensive storytelling and dramatic arts ESOL programme, and also have academic, mental health, mentoring support and more worked into their weekly timetable. Using learning and wellbeing outcomes to measure progress, Springboard Youth Academy takes a holistic approach to education for newly arrived young people.

So how does it work? Our young people attend an action-packed month of educational and social activities that cater to their support needs and specific academic requirements, while preparing them for the upcoming challenge of starting school in the UK. They also have the chance to meet other kids with similar experiences, learn about life in the UK and the services available to them and become mentally prepared for the year ahead!

Working with schools

We also support secondary schools and colleges to integrate life skills and arts learning into their curriculum throughout the school year. Our Basic Holistic Support Package for schools includes 10 life skills and arts sessions delivered using the Springboard Method, designed to be integrated within the standard ESOL curriculum. This programme includes field trips for students, as well as training for teachers and teaching assistants on Strategies for Supporting Newly Arrived Young People.

Our Team is proud to

  • Work holistically, guided by the understanding that young people have diverse and intersecting needs which should be addressed as a totality. This means that we consider mental health and systems literacy to be linked with physical health and social wellbeing.

  • Deliver an educational programme that is in line with the principles of contemporary critical pedagogy, characterised by learner-led education spaces and collaborative exchange between learners and facilitators.

  • Use a young person-centred approach, encouraging young people to take full ownership over their learning, development, goal-setting and achievements.

  • Work in partnership with organisations across London to provide high-quality programming for new arrivals, create opportunities for collaboration between already established organisations and minimise the duplication of services across the city.

  • Understand that each young person has a multiplicity of identities outside of his or her forced migration status.

  • Provide a safe space for young people to get excited, have fun and enjoy their summers in London!   


impact: Summer 2017

Check out our impact report from our 2o17 pilot programme.