Hartlepool schools bid for slice of £2.5million pot to help needy pupils

Councillors Jonathan Brash(left) and Chris Simmons.
Councillors Jonathan Brash(left) and Chris Simmons.

THREE town primary schools are in the running to land a cash prize in recognition of their work with disadvantaged pupils.

Sacred Heart, St John Vianney and St Teresa’s schools have qualified for the 2015 Pupil Premium Awards following key stage 2 results published last week.

Their results showed that they have made or continue to make impressive improvements in the attainment of their disadvantaged pupils.

Each school has won £1,000 and eligible schools will now be invited to apply for prizes worth up to £100,000.

Final prizes will be awarded at a ceremony hosted by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in March next year.

A total of 34 schools across the North East were nominated for the awards in in the 2015 Pupil Premium Awards.

The pupil premium is extra funding schools receive for every disadvantaged pupil they teach and is worth £2.5bn this year alone.

Councillor Chris Simmons, Chair of the Council’s Children’s Services Committee, said: “This is fantastic news for Hartlepool.

“One of the three challenges that Ofsted set primary and secondary schools in Hartlepool was to close the attainment gap in schools between disadvantaged pupils and other pupils.

“Winning these awards demonstrates the great progress which is being made across the town to ensure that all children get off to the best possible start in life.

“I wish the three primary schools every success if they decide to bid for further Pupil Premium Awards.”

Schools Minister David Laws said: “The pupil premium is building a fairer society with opportunity for everyone.

“I would encourage all of the primary schools in the North East which have received a £1,000 prize to share their achievements with other schools so that they can learn from their strengths and experience.

“I hope all schools will continue to learn from this excellent practice and ensure they are using their pupil premium effectively, so that they too may be in the running for a prize in 2016.”