Oxford City Council has provided more than £20,000 of grants to five secondary schools to help develop their cultural education programme.
The work has been targeted to Key Stage 3 students who receive the Pupil Premium, a Government-funded programme to help raise the attainment of disadvantaged students.
The City Council funding has provided students with visits to museums or art galleries, drama sessions led by theatre companies, talks by novelists, and visits to see concerts.
Funding has been given to five secondary schools in Oxford:
- Cherwell School: £3,200
- Cheney School: £4,400
- St Gregory the Great: £4,200
- The Oxford Academy: £4,400
- Oxford Spires Academy: £3,800
Grants were provided for the 2016/17 financial year. The schools will report back in April to the City Council on the activities funded under this programme.
The proposal is based on findings from the University of Oxford’s Sutton Trust Report, Subject to Background: What promotes better achievement for bright but disadvantaged children.
The report emphasises the importance of educational visits and cultural enrichment activities in Key Stage 3 in raising GCSE grades.
Despite being a relatively affluent area overall, Oxford has pockets of deprivation and, after adjusting for housing costs, 25 per cent of children in Oxford live below the poverty line.
Councillor Pat Kennedy, Executive Board Member for Young People, Schools and Skills, said: “Music, the visual arts and drama capture the imaginations of young people and may inspire them to higher achievement in their work in the classroom.”