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Thursday, 24 August, 2000, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK
1,000 prize for top GCSE pupil unclaimed
banknotes
Up for grabs: 1,000 for the most improved student
A school which offered a 1,000 prize to the pupil who could beat its record for GCSEs this summer says no student has scored highly enough to claim it.

But the principal of Babington Community College in Leicester said she now planned to award the money to the pupil who had most improved their performance.

The inner-city technology college offered the reward as a way of motivating everyone to work harder.

Mrs Smith had said she would pay the prize out of her own salary if necessary, but would rather it was sponsored.

An anonymous sponsor, a financier from London, came forward to say she would put up the money and keep paying it every year the record was broken.

Last year, former pupil Michael Angrave achieved a new college GCSE record by scoring seven A and A* grades, and five B grades.

'Two gold standards'

Mrs Smith said: "This year a number of children have done extremely well, but no one has beaten the record.

"I want to look at value added, going back to look at each individual's Key Stage 2 and 3 scores, to see who has improved the most."

In future, a prize for improvement would be offered as well as one for breaking the record, she said.

"We will have two gold standards, with a smaller but substantial and stimulating sum on offer for the most improved. We will find the money from somewhere.

"We serve an area of Leicester where in the main, instances of academic achievement are not the first family priority. This helps to motivate pupils."

Last year, 26% of pupils at the college achieved five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C.

Mrs Smith said on Thursday morning that it was too early to say what this year's figure was, as staff were still collating results and "number-crunching".

See also:

30 Jun 00 | UK Education
23 Aug 00 | UK Education
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