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CEO's Statement

An introduction to The Big Step CEO, Daniel Leverton.

A word from our CEO...

I am incredibly proud of the difference that The Big Step is making to all children attending one of our summer transition programmes.

In 2021, we delivered our programmes to over 2,300 children, across 17 schools in Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset.

The Big Step has been many years in the making and is something I still feel as passionate about now, as I did 8 years ago when delivering my first summer transition programmes as part of a government initiative, with the purpose of providing additional support for disadvantaged students making their transition from primary to secondary school.

Moving from primary to secondary school is probably one of, if not THE biggest transition of childhood; something that needs to be planned with the attention it deserves.

At this point children move from being a big fish in a relatively small pond to being a very small one in an unfamiliar and overwhelming ocean.

During this transition, a wealth of research shows that academic performance often declines, sometimes markedly in the case of disadvantaged students.

The Big Step is the ideal intervention to stop this waste of potential before it even begins. Students arrive at school in September excited, confident, and prepared for their journey ahead.

They’ve already made new friends, they know their way around the school, and understand what is expected of them.

"...children move from being a big fish in a relatively small pond to being a very small one in an unfamiliar and overwhelming ocean"

Since the recent pandemic, our  programmes have taken on even more significance.

Summer school provision with an academic focus has the potential to support students to make up for some of their missed education. Research from the Education Endowment Foundation found that, on average, students attending a summer school can make 2 months’ additional progress, compared with students who do not attend.

Further evidence suggests a broader benefit for families and communities, support for vulnerable children, student mental health and well-being, improving education engagement and transitions, and reduced youth violence.

It is my intention to provide affordable opportunities for all children transitioning from primary to secondary school, giving them a greater chance of reaching their full potential during a key milestone in their education.

I look forward to another successful year, working together with our partner schools, both old and new, to deliver our mission: empowering children to arrive at school in September excited, confident and prepared for their new journey ahead.

Daniel Leverton BEd (Hons)

CEO – The Big Step
Year 6-7 Transition Programme