£3.4m to expand The Duke of Edinburgh's Award in schools

The government has given the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award a funding boost of £3.4 million, so that more pupils, particularly in the most deprived areas of England, can access volunteering and extra-curricular learning through the scheme.

In the week that would have marked the late Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday, the Department for Education has announced it will work with the Award he set up to expand opportunities to up to 291 more schools not currently delivering it, enabling access to young people who may previously have faced barriers to taking part.

The funding will cover the next three academic years to reach many thousands more young people aged 14 to 24, adding to the work in train to extend The Duke’s legacy after his death in April.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "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 while making a difference to society.

"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.

"I’m pleased to be working with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to help make it more accessible to schools and pupils in some of the most disadvantaged areas of England, levelling up their opportunities to get involved in these life-changing activities."

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is offered in nearly three-quarters of English state schools, as well as through youth and uniform groups, sports clubs, hospitals, charities, young offender institutions, Pupil Referral Units and alternative provision. 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. The charity aims to build on this so that more young people, regardless of their circumstances, can access The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

There is also evidence to support the impact of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award on young people’s resilience, self-belief and sense of agency, their social and employment related skills such as teamwork, responsibility and problem-solving, and the knock-on benefits to their academic attainment and employability.

Working closely with the Department for Education, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award will focus on recruiting schools not currently delivering it in areas where deprivation is highest, according to the English Indices of Deprivation Data.

The funding announcement follows the launch of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award’s Youth Manifesto on Monday 7 June, which showcases the views and experiences of more than 2,000 young people in the UK and sets out their vision for a strong recovery in this country with a focus on the issues they care most strongly about including education, mental health and the environment.

Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford met with Young Ambassadors from The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to mark the manifesto launch, setting out the details of the Government’s investment in recovery, including via mental health and wellbeing support in schools, colleges and universities, as well as the aims of our expanded Holiday Activities and Food programme which will offer enriching activities and healthy food to thousands more young people in every part of England this summer.


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