Hackney schools triumphant at national awards


Schools across Hackney are celebrating big wins at the annual Department for Education Pupil Premium Awards, which recognise excellence in education for young people from all backgrounds.

Five Hackney schools were presented with cash prizes for demonstrating how they use their Pupil Premium grant creatively to increase attainment across the board. The Pupil Premium is a DfE grant which is aimed at helping schools to narrow the gap between disadvantaged pupils and the whole school cohort. The funding is received by schools directly for each pupil on their roll who is eligible for free school meals.

Orchard School was a regional finalist, taking away a £25,000 award to continue its work in providing a rounded academic and extracurricular education. The school is now in the top 100 performing schools in the country in terms of progress made between the ages of seven and 11.

The school uses its Pupil Premium to fund smaller teaching groups, homework clubs, music tuition, one-to-one reading support, therapeutic support including art therapy and horse riding lessons, and subsidised after school clubs.

Head of School, Rachel Davie, said: “The whole school is very proud of this award. Everyone at Orchard works very hard to make sure children get the best start in life, not just academically, but in all other areas too. As a community school, we feel it’s important that all of our pupils have the opportunity to succeed and feel proud of who they are, and this award is recognition of that.”

Four other local schools were nominated and received £1,000 each. They are: Northwold Primary, William Patten Primary, St John and St James Church of England Primary and St Paul’s with St Michael’s Primary.

Anne Canning, Director of Education, Head of Hackney Learning Trustney Learning Trust
This is great news and the schools involved should be very proud of their staff, pupils and parents. We want to give every child in Hackney the best possible start in life, and our schools are helping to do that by using their Pupil Premium grant creatively, in ways that benefit both pupils and families.

From subsidised after school clubs, which give a helping hand to working parents, to things that might otherwise be off-limits to children from less well off backgrounds like music lessons, it’s important that all young people receive the same standard of education and opportunities.
Anne Canning, Director of Education, Head of Hackney Learning Trustney Learning Trust