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Brent’s Got Talent – a colourful end to a wonderful fortnight

August 20, 2012 1:33 PM

From the 6th - 17th of August, two local UCL graduates, Jay Ruparelia and Remal Tailor, set up and ran a summer school program to help 350 disadvantaged pupils in Brent make the move from primary to secondary school. As a reward for all the pupils' hard work, the two week study program drew to a dramatic close with the extravaganza 'Brent's Got Talent'. Held at Brent Town Hall, it was judged by Sarah Teather, Brent Central MP and Minister of State for Children and Families.

Evidence shows that children from low-income families find the change from primary school to secondary school particularly difficult and some pupils who fall behind at this stage never catch up. The summer school program has been put in place by the government to help pupils from low-income families get off to a flying start in secondary school. A new £50 million fund for summer schools was announced by Sarah Teather earlier this year as part of the Pupil Premium.

The two weeks were run by Jay and Remal as part of their business Teachus, which provides after school and weekend tuition to pupils across London. Children who will be starting at Copland Community School, Crest Girls' Academy, Crest Boys' Academy, Kingsbury High and Preston Manor attended the summer school and over the two weeks took part in classes to improve their literacy and numeracy skills, as well as having the chance to get to know some of their new teachers.

Additionally, the summer schools are also intended to provide wider cultural and sporting opportunities which the children might otherwise not be able to access. The two week summer school has allowed pupils to benefit from PE lessons led by personal trainers from Fitness First, drama classes by professional actors from the Mountview Academy and Wembley Majorettes, and fieldtrips to London Zoo and Wicked the musical.

Sarah Teather at Brent's Got Talent - 17/08/12

Sarah Teather at Brent's Got Talent

Speaking about the project, Teachus Director Remal Tailor said:

"Everyone deserves the best start to secondary school, which is what we're hoping to achieve for all the participants who take part in our summer schools this year.

"We want everyone to develop the confidence to enjoy learning and develop their talents. Our dream is to see a summer school at every school in London to boost the prospects of the capital's poorest pupils, and eventually to have a term-time study centre at every school as well."

Sarah Teather MP for Brent Central and Minister of State for Children and Families said:

"I was very happy to be asked to judge 'Brent's got Talent' and to be given the opportunity to see the result of all the hard work the pupils have put in over the last two weeks. It's great that so many schools in Brent have taken advantage of the extra funding and I want to congratulate Teachus on running an excellent summer school."

"Starting a new school can be tough and many pupils, often those from poorer families, suffer a dip when they join secondary school. This dip can last for years.

"Social background has been a deciding factor in a child's achievement at school for far too long. These summer schools are giving disadvantaged pupils in Brent the extra help they need so that they are well prepared to succeed at this crucial stage of their education."