Sunderland schools are celebrating putting children at the heart of everything they do.
A total of seven Wearside primaries have been awarded the regional Pupil Premium Award 2016 from the Department for Education for the work it does to support disadvantaged youngsters in their schools.
The award is for the huge progress disadvantaged children have made since 2011.
Now, these seven schools, Northern Saints CE Primary, Barnwell Academy, Dame Dorothy Primary, East Herrington Primary Academy, Hasting Hill Academy, New Penshaw Academy and St Mary’s RC Primary, will go through to the national awards.
Steve Williamson, headteacher at Northern Saints CE Academy in Rotherham Road, said: “At Northern Saints we were delighted to receive this award acknowledging the tremendous work of staff in supporting our disadvantaged pupils.
“Pupils and their parents continue to work hard to support their child’s education in all of our schools.
“We believe that all children have the potential to achieve the highest levels of attainment, whatever their background. It’s good to see our success recognised.
“The award builds on our earlier success where we were placed in the 100 top performing schools nationally for progress between Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 along with Hasting Hill Academy and Valley Road Primary.
“At a time when schools are under increasing financial pressure and dealing with an unprecedented level of change in the system, these awards and accolades are testament to the quality of staff, pupils, governing bodies and parents.
“We should be rightly proud of our city schools.”
The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Childcare and Education, Sam Gyimah, wrote to the school headteachers congratulating them on their success.
He said: “It is clear that you and your staff have provided your disadvantaged pupils with a good start in life and prepared them well for secondary school.
“I would like to congratulate your governors, parents and pupils for their hard work and success, and thank you for your leadership in making such a difference to the future success of your pupils.”
The MP went on to say to heads: “I would also encourage you to share your achievements with other schools so that they can learn from your strengths and experience.”