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Mail hoping cash incentives will bring success

The Hull Daily Mail is offering cash rewards to schoolchildren in the city to encourage them to work harder towards their GCSE exams.

The newspaper plans to give £200 to the headteachers of each of the city’s 15 secondary schools, and will ask them to award it to their most deserving student after this summer’s exam results are released.

The move follows Hull’s return to the bottom of the national GCSE league tables, which means the city is officially the worst place to sit GCSEs.

Only 28.9 per cent – less than anywhere else in the country – gained five or more A* to C grades, and the Mail hopes the cash on offer will act as an incentive for pupils to work harder.

Pupils who receive the cash do not have to be the ones with the highest grades, but they must gain at least five GCSEs, grade A* to C, and have an attendance record of at least 95 per cent.

The awards aim to reward individuals who have worked hard, stretched themselves, and achieved a result.

In a front-page comment announcing the cash awards, editor John Meehan said the time had come for radical thinking.

Hull is to receive an extra £7m in Government funding to fight truancy and improve leadership and the Mail has suggested that some of that money could be used to fund incentives for pupils.

John said: “We believe offering incentives to pupils is a way forward.

“And we are putting up our own cash rewards to encourage pupils to work harder towards their GCSEs.

“We are urging schools and officials to follow suit by creating similar schemes.

“The future of our children is important, not just for them but for the whole city. Maybe this kind of approach will help them realise that too.”

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