Our History

The Royal National Children’s Foundation (RNCF) has supported thousands of children since the charity’s work originally began in 1827.

The RNCF was formed when two charities – Royal Wanstead Children’s Foundation and the Joint Educational Trust (JET) – merged in December 2010. Together, these charities have a history dating back to 1827.

The merge enabled costs to be cut and provide a stronger force to advocate the importance of Assisted Boarding as a sensible and important alternative for vulnerable children, many who might otherwise end up being taken into care.

HRH The Princess Royal is the dedicated Patron of the charity.HRH20-11-14-281

Royal Wanstead Children’s Foundation was founded in 1827 as the Infant Orphan Asylum by Dr Andrew Reed with an initial donation from the young Princess Victoria, who, as Queen Victoria, became its first Patron. After closing its own schools in 1971, Royal Wanstead provided Assisted Boarding for vulnerable children at independent and state boarding schools throughout the UK.

The Joint Educational Trust (JET) was founded in 1971 by a group of independent school head teachers, to support vulnerable young people aged 7- 13 at boarding and day schools. JET’s first chairman was Group Captain Douglas Bader.

The two charities were at the forefront of the Government’s Pathfinder scheme to encourage Local Authorities to use Assisted Boarding for the benefit of vulnerable children in their care. They worked with former Schools Minister Lord Andrew Adonis (himself a former Assisted Boarder) to establish the Pathfinder scheme for Local Authorities.

On 17 May 2017, the RNCF publicly announced it would merge with The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation, to create the UK’s biggest boarding school bursary charity.

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