Woodkirk Academy is vying for a £250,000 cash pot after receiving national recognition for the performance of pupils from poorer backgrounds.
The school is one of 11 across Yorkshire and Humberside and the only one in the Leeds district to be namechecked by the government for “outstanding attainment and value added progress made by its most disadvantaged students”.
Financial resources have been ploughed in to schools in recent years in a bid to address the supposed underachievement of disadvantaged pupils in England and Wales and improve their life chances.
Mr Russell Jackson, assistant headteacher at Woodkirk in charge of student progress, said: “This is a fabulous achievement by this cohort of students and the academy is very proud to have worked closely with them and their parents in providing them with the start in life they need to be well prepared for their futures to be successful.
“The academy has used the financial resources made available to excellent effect to implement many innovative strategies and the students have responded extremely well to the dedicated approach of all staff at Woodkirk.”
Methods employed by the school to improve the performance of disadvantaged students have included a drive towards one-on-one tuition, setting up a peer menotring system involving help from sixth formers and holiday workshops.
The national award decision will be made next month.