Opinion: Plan to give more access to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award - Duncan Crow
It would have been the 100th birthday of the Duke of Edinburgh last week, so it felt timely that last Sunday, the Department for Education announced it will work with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to expand opportunities to up to 291 more schools that are not currently delivering it.
The plan is that more pupils from the most deprived areas of England will be able to start The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award thanks to a funding boost of £3.4 million from the Conservative Government, helping more young people to access volunteering and extra-curricular learning.
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This investment is just a small part of the Government’s levelling up agenda to ensure all pupils have fair and equal access to high-quality enrichment activities, alongside a £14.4 billion increase in school funding over three years.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has become synonymous with service and personal achievement. This expansion into more schools is a fitting tribute to Prince Philip who did so much to give young people opportunities to develop skills and abilities. He was a remarkable man who gave much to our nation.
His awards scheme has benefited generations of our children including many here in Crawley and West Sussex, and I’m delighted it will continue to do so with stronger Government backing.
We know from those who have achieved The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award that it helps to build the resilience, perseverance and discipline needed to overcome life’s obstacles.
These opportunities can be life-changing in such a positive way and it’s so good to see that more children and young people will have access to it.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is offered in nearly threequarters of English state schools, as well as through youth and uniform groups, sports clubs, hospitals, charities, young offender institutions, and Pupil Referral Units.
Its own research last year found evidence of the positive benefits on participants’ mental health and wellbeing, with 62% saying they agreed that taking part in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award made them more confident with overcoming difficult situations.