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Dagenham primary school given £5k for programme to help vulnerable pupils

PUBLISHED: 10:00 03 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:00 03 July 2018

Dorothy Barling Infant School will receive £5,000. Picture: Essex Freemasons

Dorothy Barling Infant School will receive £5,000. Picture: Essex Freemasons

(c) Mike Barrett

A primary school in Dagenham has been given money by the Freemasons to offer specialist support for vulnerable children.

Edward Flack and Khaisz Namgyalai, who came first and second in the IT support technician round. Picture: Barking and Dagenham CollegeEdward Flack and Khaisz Namgyalai, who came first and second in the IT support technician round. Picture: Barking and Dagenham College

A grant of £5,000 from Essex Masons to Dorothy Barley Infant School will fund the Achievement for All programme, which aims to reduce inequality in education by working with vulnerable pupils and their families to help them succeed at school.

Schools that have participated in the programme previously have reported better results for the pupils involved, more engagement with parents and guardians and improved attendance records.

Almost 4,500 schools have worked with Achievement for All.

Dorothy Barley Infant School headteacher Christine James said: “The grant will make a huge difference to this school. It will enable us to work closely with Achievement for All to identify children and parents in need of support and most importantly provide the time needed to concentrate on those youngsters that need it most.

“This school is very much part of the local community with parents who give us considerable support but we have some who need help and this money will enable us to make a difference.”

Professor Sonia Blandford, CEO of Achievement for All, thinks the programme will help pupils at Dorothy Barley Infant School.

She said: “The UK education system is not meeting the needs of at least one in five children and young people - the disadvantaged, vulnerable and underachieving.

“In response, Achievement for All is challenging this position with education, public and third sector partners with the aim of helping schools to achieve, aspire and ensure access for all underachieving.”

The money has come from donations by Freemasons and their families and was given by the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which gives away millions of pounds in grants each year.

Colin Felton, provincial communications officer for Essex Freemasons, said: “Freemasons are very much part of the community and our 10,000 members are actively raising money for the Masonic Charitable Foundation to ensure that grants to schools and other local charities can be made on a regular basis.

“We are delighted to help this incredible initiative work in Dagenham.”

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