School of Hard Knocks

School of Hard Knocks & Impetus

We are genuinely excited to have been added to the portfolio of amazing charities that Impetus support. And support really is the word: it’s still very early days but I have already felt the positive impact of the many helpful conversations I have had with Impetus colleagues and long may that continue.

– Ken Cowen, CEO, School of Hard Knocks

The need: Impetus research shows suspensions have risen by 140,000 per year compared to pre-pandemic data, while persistent absence and severe absence rates are at all-time highs. Teachers are increasingly looking for interventions to support children, reduce exclusions and improve attendance.

Our charity partner: School of Hard Knocks (SOHK) empowers young people living in complex and challenging situations to fully realise their potential through the use of physical rugby-based sessions, group social and emotional learning sessions, and one-to-one mentoring support. Their activities, which are aimed at improving school engagement and behaviour, are underpinned by an evidence-based sport for development framework focused on '5Cs': changing behaviours associated with confidence, commitment, communication, control and cohesion.

Our impact: SOHK has achieved impressive growth since the Covid pandemic. Capacity-building expertise from Impetus, including understanding and building evidence around programme impact, will help to strengthen the organisation and support future growth.

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Educational attainment

Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are 40% less likely pass English and maths GCSEs than their better off peers. We’re focussed on supporting young people to develop social and emotional skills; championing tutoring; and shining a light on chronically underserved young people excluded from school pass English and maths GCSEs, compared with 69% of all other pupils. With the right support, we can make life after school fairer.
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Engage Fund

We’re tackling the rising number of school exclusions and improving outcomes for young people in alternative provision (AP) in England.
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