Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has today launched a new programme designed to support disadvantaged children transitioning between primary and secondary school during the summer holidays.

The Mayor has awarded £750,000 of the new £45m Young Londoners Fund to 15 schools in ten boroughs of London to run Stepping Stones, a targeted, school-led programme aimed at vulnerable pupils who are at risk of disengaging with the education system.

The scheme will involve a range of activities, including a two-week summer school of educational and team building activities to help immerse incoming Year 7 pupils in the secondary school environment before term begins; aspirational and career-based activities working with external organisations to inspire Year 7 pupils about different careers and future goals; and peer mentoring from Year 10 pupils to support Year 7 pupils via weekly one-to-one sessions throughout their first year of school.

The scheme was originally trialled in three London secondary schools last year: Gladesmore Community School, The Urswick School and Heathcote School and Science College.

Commenting on the scheme, Khan said: “Leaving primary school and starting secondary school is an important crossroads in any young Londoners’ life, but for some communities it can be a particularly crucial time where the decisions and paths taken can affect not only that child but their entire community.

“Stepping Stones offers help, advice and support to young people, giving them structure during the summer holidays – as well as sustained support during their first year of secondary school – a time when the most vulnerable can be led astray.”

Find out more about the Stepping Stones programme.