News story: Schools tackling disadvantage celebrated at Pupil Premium Awards

Schools across the country which have helped improve the life chances of disadvantaged children were celebrated today (12 May 2016) at the 2016 Pupil Premium Awards.

The winning schools were announced in London by Education and Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah, who urged other schools to follow in their footsteps.

From the 21 finalists across 4 categories, 2 schools from London, 2 from the North East and 1 from the South West were named as national winners. They were presented with awards by respected education expert Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills at the OECD, who chaired the judging panel.

All finalists have consistently shown high levels of attainment or significant rates of improvement among their disadvantaged pupils over time, and demonstrated innovative and effective use of the pupil premium.

One of the successful schools, Greenfylde C of E First School in the South West, winner of the infant, first and key stage 3 schools category, ensures disadvantaged pupils have the broadest range of opportunities, including educational visits and experience of the arts. Alongside this, access to after school clubs and breakfast clubs has improved attendance and confidence.

Northern Saints Church of England Primary School, Sunderland, joint winner of the key stage 2 category, demonstrated innovation by forming partnerships with local museums. The school used heritage materials and resources to develop disadvantaged pupils’ problem-solving skills on visits to the Victorian school and Edwardian bakery.

The pupil premium – worth £2.5 billion this year – has enabled schools to provide vital support to some of the most vulnerable children in their care. Figures show the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has narrowed since 2011, the year the pupil premium was introduced.

Education and Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah said:

The winners of the 2016 Pupil Premium Awards have shown just what this funding can achieve for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, whether it is raising their confidence or developing key skills.

The winning schools deserve to be singled out for particular praise, but all of the finalists have shown innovative and effective uses of the funding. I hope more schools will take inspiration from what they have achieved today and follow in their footsteps.

This year’s judging panel was made up of outstanding headteachers, including former award winners.

For the first time, the awards have been sponsored by a wide range of organisations from the arts, culture, science and technology sectors, which will provide award-winning schools with exciting and culturally enriching opportunities for pupils and teachers.

All of the finalists have shown an impressive level of innovation – some schools have chosen very personalised interventions, others a more whole-school approach – but all have set high expectations for their pupils and teachers.

The categories and winners were:

  • special and alternative provision schools category: The Link School Pallion (North East)
  • infant, first and key stage 3 schools category: Greenfylde C of E First School (South West)
  • key stage 4 schools category: La Retraite RC School (London)
  • key stage 2 schools category (joint winners): Edward Pauling Primary School (London) and Northern Saints C of E Primary School (North East)

Further information

The pupil premium is worth up to £1,900 per child and can be used however schools see fit to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers.

The government has committed to maintaining the funding throughout this Parliament, protected at current rates. Since April 2011, around £6.23 billion has been given to schools to improve the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.

Attainment has risen in the latest year and our new measure shows the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has narrowed since 2011 – the year the pupil premium was introduced – by 7.1% at key stage 2 and 6.6% at key stage 4.

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