Football Beyond Borders has revealed a significant increase in at-risk young people finishing their school years whilst attending the charity’s programmes.
FBB supports young people who are disengaged at school and passionate about football, in order to help them finish school with the skills and grades to make a successful transition into adulthood. It does this by providing long-term, intensive support, built around relationships and young people’s passions, in the classroom and beyond.
The charity’s annual Impact Report summarises findings from the FBB 2018/19 schools programme, which saw 612 students across 37 programmes. Of these students 21% were identified as being at risk of exclusion at the start of the programme.
Gabrielle Hamill, Senior Learning and Insights Co-ordinator, revealed that 95% of these at-risk students finished the year still in school, compared to 73% during the previous year.
She explained: “In writing this Impact Report we were keen to unpick the reasons for this huge improvement in our outcomes. We traced it back to a number of factors, in particular: hiring a Head of Interventions; developing our approach to supporting our at-risk participants; (and) training the team on providing trauma-informed support.”
However Gabrielle said the 95% positive outcome rate also “raised some questions that we will be seeking to understand in more detail”.
“We are reviewing our enrolment criteria to better understand who our at-risk participants are, whilst working closely with schools to ensure that our enrolment criteria is being followed as intended.
“With more scrutiny of our enrolment criteria and a better understanding of who our participants are, we anticipate that our outcomes next year will be lower than 95%. For us, this isn’t inherently a bad thing. It will mean that we are more confident in the quality of our impact by working with young people who are truly at risk of being excluded. “
She added: “Our work focuses on building the social and emotional skills that young people need to succeed in school. By consistently linking our classroom and football projects to participants’ wider school and home lives, the social and emotional skills that are developed in FBB sessions translate into improvements in school.
“As we continue to grow, we are committed to strengthening our impact to ensure that as we reach more young people every year, they all receive the best support that FBB can give to them. That way, each young person FBB works with should finish school with the skills and grades to make a successful transition into adulthood.”