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Cash prize scrapped

School achievement awards, which provided cash bonuses for staff at supposedly high-performing schools, are to be scrapped, after research for the Government found no "hard evidence" they had made a difference.

Nearly 13,800 schools have won achievement awards over the past three years. The average prize was pound;25,700 for a secondary and pound;5,700 for a primary.

But the way the awards were allocated was regularly criticised by teaching unions, and The TES reported in January that the Department for Education and Skills was considering scrapping the scheme.

John Bangs, head of education for the National Union of Teachers, said:

"The process for deciding which schools should receive the award has been bizarre and erratic.

"But it did mean extra money for teachers and that money is being cut. The award system should have been improved, not scrapped."

An analysis of the scheme by polling company MORI for the DfES showed that only a quarter of heads and staff in the award-winning schools believed it had a positive impact on their exam results.

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