To the headteacher and Head of Year 9,
I am writing to draw your attention to the Dux Award Scheme which the Department for Education launched today. The 2012 Dux Award Scheme provides an opportunity for schools to celebrate success, and develop and reward high performance in Year 9.
The scheme aims to promote excellence and to help raise aspirations of all pupils, including those from less affluent backgrounds, to go on to university, including our top higher education institutions. We are inviting schools to nominate one top performer in Year 9 as their Dux (Latin for leader or champion); the scheme is designed to complement the reward activities that may already take place in your school. The reward for the pupil you nominate as the Dux is a visit to one of the 20 current Russell Group universities, with the visit taking place during June and July of this year.
How you choose the Dux in your school is up to you. They will need to be a pupil who has the potential to progress to a top university, but in addition to your highest attaining pupils you could choose a pupil who has made significant academic progress and shows great potential, or one from a particularly disadvantaged background.
You can find out more about the scheme at www.education.gov.uk/dux-university-visits, which has further information about identifying the Dux for your school and registering them for the prize. Registration will be open via the web pages from 16 to 27 April, during which time you are invited to register the name of your Dux award winner and a 'first reserve'.
The scheme provides for the pupil to be accompanied by a teacher or other member of staff. All expenses associated with the visits (including reasonable travel and subsistence costs and teacher supply cover), will be reimbursed by the Department.
If you have any queries about the Dux Award Scheme, please contact us via the Dux website above or telephone 020 8481 3317.
With best wishes.
Nick Gibb MP