Polegate School is one of the most improved in the country in terms of the attainment and progress of its disadvantaged pupils.
The primary school, in Oakleaf Drive, qualified for the 2015 Pupil Premium Awards following key stage 2 results published last week and has received a commendation from Rt Hon David Laws, the Minister of State for Schools.
Their results showed that they have made impressive improvements in the attainment of their disadvantaged pupils since 2011.
Organisers were ‘looking for schools that have done the most for their disadvantaged pupils by boosting their performance, narrowing the gap between them and their non-disadvantaged peers’.
They have now been 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.
Rt Hon David Laws said, “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.”
Professor Becky Francis, Professor of Education and Social Justice, Department of Education and Professional Studies at King’s College London, said, “The commitment and dedication to ensuring all children succeed exhibited by these schools is really inspirational.
“It has been especially encouraging to see the way that research evidence is informing strategies adopted by the contestant schools in ensuring the good progress of their pupil premium children.
“Schools are actively engaging with research and evaluating impact in order to ensure that approaches are right for their context.”
Polegate School headteacher Claire Martin-O’Donoghue said she believes the school’s success is thanks to the ‘dedication and hard work of the staff, governors, parents and pupils’ .
She said, “We are incredibly proud to receive this recognition and it validates the effort, drive and determination of staff and also the belief that all of our pupils can and will succeed. Our vision is learning without limits and the whole school community holds this at the heart of everything we do. As a result we have pupils that love learning and achieve amazing results.”