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The pupil premium provides schools with extra funding to raise attainment in disadvantaged pupils

Pupil Premium Awards 2016 launched

Schools raising aspirations of disadvantaged pupils can win a range of prizes at the Pupil Premium awards

Posted by Stephanie Broad | February 09, 2016 | Law, finance, HR

Education and Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah has praised the efforts of schools across the country to tackle disadvantage as he launched the Pupil Premium Awards.

Prizes include the chance to see Shakespeare productions and visit museums, such as London’s world-renowned Science Museum, to take part in exclusive activities and learning programmes.

The awards will be presented by Tracey Emin, one of Britain’s foremost contemporary artists at a ceremony in May; while internationally respected education expert Andreas Schleicher, who is Director for Education and Skills at the OECD, will chair the high-profile panel of judges.

The pupil premium - worth £2.5 billion this year - has enabled schools across the country to provide vital support to some of the most vulnerable children in their care.

Sam Gyimah said: “I am determined to ensure all pupils can achieve their potential and I will not accept that pernicious assumption that some children, because of where they’re born or what their family do, deserve less than others.

Education is our biggest tool for extending opportunity, and we know many schools are doing an excellent job of boosting aspiration and tackling disadvantage. I want to thank them for all their efforts.

“I am delighted that figures show the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their classmates has fallen at both primary and secondary level - but there is still more to do. That is why I am calling on schools to ensure all their pupils can access and benefit from wider cultural activities and experiences that will help raise aspirations and build character.”

Minister Gyimah has written to over 550 primary and secondary schools to congratulate them on their efforts to boost achievement and raise aspirations among their disadvantaged pupils. Those schools will all have a shot at winning prizes in the national awards in May.

These schools have consistently shown high levels of attainment or significant rates of improvement among their disadvantaged pupils over time, particularly in English and maths. Study groups and one-to-one tuition are just some of the ways the pupil premium has been used by schools to meet this aim. 

Among 20 organisations offering prizes this year are the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Science Museum and the Royal Academy of Arts. 


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