Government to Fund 2,900 School Exchanges for Disadvantaged Pupils

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has announced that secondary schools in England will be able to apply for money to take poorer pupils overseas on school exchanges.

The £2.5 million government scheme enables pupils aged 11 and over to “experience other cultures and go to places they wouldn’t normally visit”.

Mr Hinds said: “As Britain leaves the EU, it’s more important than ever to show how much we value international opportunities”.

The exchange programme will be run in partnership with the British Council, the organisation for cultural relations, and it is estimated that the scheme could support trips for 2,900 pupils.

The grants will be targeted towards schools that have an above-average pupil premium, which is a form of additional funding given to state schools to help bridge the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.

The British Council found that only 39% of state secondary schools run exchange programmes, compared with 77% of independent schools.

Mr Hinds added: "School exchanges are so valuable, bringing subjects such as modern languages and international history to life”.

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