THE minister of state for schools praised teachers in Clacton for the “excellent progress” of their disadvantaged pupils.

In a letter to Clacton County High School principal Jeff Brindle, David Laws commended teachers for the progress students had made following the national key stage four tests last year.

He said results put them in the 108 top performing schools in terms of the progress of disadvantaged pupils.

“It is clear that you and your staff have provided your disadvantaged young people with a good start in adult life and a strong springboard into the next stage of their education, and the world of work," said Mr Laws.

“I would like to congratulate your staff, governors and pupils for their hard work and success, and thank you for your leadership in continuing the drive towards high standards of educational achievement.”

The pupil premium is additional funding given to schools to help raise the achievements of disadvantaged students.

A sum of £900 is paid to schools for each pupil registered as eligible for free school meals or who has been in care for six months or longer. The figure will increase to £935 from April.

Mr Laws said the scheme was critical for breaking the link between poverty and poor educational results.