17. 2. 2016
Education and Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah 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.
Minister Gyimah praised schools across England that have used the funding to combat disadvantage and raise the aspirations of their pupils.
"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."
At the heart of this government’s commitment to extending opportunity is the belief that all pupils, whatever their background, should have access to an excellent, well-rounded education. The latest attainment statistics show that more disadvantaged pupils than ever before are reaching the expected standard at age 11 and age 16.
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.