School Rewards Pupils With Vouchers And Kindles Funded By Cash For Free School Dinners

A school is handing out thousands of pounds worth of restaurant vouchers and Kindles as incentives to pupils – funded by cash for free school dinners.

The school set aside £15,000 of the £450,000 it gets for having pupils eligible for free hot lunches to fund treats to entice children to work harder.

The best-performing pupils at Addington High School in Croydon will get Kindle e-readers and others will get £20 vouchers for local restaurants and WHSmiths.

Head teacher, Martin Giles, said: "It helps to show that keeping your head down and trying to be successful actually reaps rewards – immediate, tangible ones from the school and long-term life ones."

Each year group at the secondary school will receive 20 to 30 prizes for their top performers with the best getting a Kindle.

Giles has taken the funds from the school's Pupil Premium funding, which is given to schools who have had pupils registered for free school meals at any point in the past six years.

The school in south London was told it "required improvement" in the last Ofsted report.

Giles, who took over in September, said the scheme was helping to show pupils that hard work pays off.

The head said Ofsted have praised the school for their creative use of the £450,000 funding they receive from the scheme – which is monitored but can be spent any way they see fit.

He added: "Just about every school does it in some way.

“It's not about outcomes, it's about rewarding effort and being brave.

“It's about rewarding risk-takers and participating and learning.

“There are awards for students who don't receive a detention or don't miss a homework and attendance gets recognised as well."

Last year, Addington High achieved the worst GCSE results in Croydon, with just 38 per cent of pupils achieving five A*-Cs.

Students at the school, which will be renamed Meridian High School in September, will get their rewards at the end of the academic year.

Fuji Yochien

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