Targeting investment in disadvantaged young people

Collaborated with our NGO partner Impetus to define how best to target funding and support for disadvantaged young people at risk of falling outside mainstream schooling.

Alternative Provision (AP) is education for pupils who do not attend mainstream school, for reasons including exclusion and illness. Our team worked to define the AP market’s size, structure and cost drivers, to identify trends, participants, current outcomes and funding sources, and from there to determine with the Impetus team where and how to focus their limited resources.


A driving force behind great charities, Impetus transforms the lives of young people in the UK from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring they get the right support to succeed in school, in work and in life.

As an important strand in its education domain strategy, Impetus engaged our support in determining how and where to target their efforts in the alternative provision (AP) market. AP is education for pupils who do not attend mainstream school, for reasons such as school exclusion, behaviour issues, school refusal, or illness.


The project set out to scan the AP market in the UK and support Impetus to determine how best to invest its funds and expertise to improve outcomes for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Despite very limited market data and transparency, the Eden McCallum team worked to define the size, structure, and cost drivers of the market. They identified historic and forecast trends, mapped current outcomes, and analysed current and potential sources of AP funding. This was drawn together with the Impetus team to identify potential opportunities to focus Impetus’ resources.


The £3m Engage Fund, launched by Impetus with the Henry Smith Charity in May 2021, is at the heart of the targeted approach driven by the project’s findings. It aims to tackle the rising number of school exclusions and improve outcomes for young people in AP in England.

Over the course of five years, the fund is providing £3m of funding and support to 5 innovative organisations pioneering high quality interventions with young people struggling to engage in mainstream education.