The Dux awards scheme aims to encourage the recognition and reward of high performing 14-year-old pupils.
It is intended to encourage higher aspirations by inviting one high-performing pupil from every secondary school to visit a Russell Group University, accompanied by a teacher or another member of staff.
In Latin the word Dux’ means leader. Dux awards are designed to recognise high performance among Year 9 pupils. To raise aspirations in maintained schools, by encouraging pupils to consider applying for a place at a top university.
Each secondary school in England can register one Year 9 pupil as a Dux award winner.
Dux award winners will receive a trip for themselves and their teacher to one of the Russell Group universities.
Visits take place during the summer term, with reasonable costs - including supply cover - reimbursed by the Department.
The Department wants to influence pupils’ aspirations early. Year 9 is before students have chosen which subjects to study and made up their minds about whether to apply for a university place.
We hope the scheme will help students think about their future careers and studies at a relatively early stage, and so make the best decisions for them.
It is entirely up to schools how they identify their Dux award winner and first reserve. The aim of the Dux awards scheme is to recognise high performance and to raise aspirations, and pupils selected as the Dux should be judged capable of achieving the academic standards necessary to gain a place at a Russell Group university. How they define high performance is for them to determine but in setting criteria they might consider the following factors:
Parents play an important role in raising the aspirations of their children - however we think it is important that teachers attend the university day.
During the visit institutions will put on specific activities for teachers, to help them support other pupils considering applying to university. By taking part in the visit we hope teachers will:
The Dux awards scheme aims to raise aspirations among all pupils. The visit is one important element, and is a prize for the high performing pupil.
In order to involve other pupils and raise aspirations throughout the school, if they wish, schools may supplement this scheme by offering additional prizes for achievement. This could be for example, awarding certificates or book tokens.
Also, all Russell Group universities already offer a wide range of
outreach activities, programmes for schools, and other opportunities for pupils. Some of these include, for example;
Schools can of course explore all of these opportunities in addition to the Dux Award – further information is available on the participating universities’ own websites.
Further information for schools is available on the registration area - a link is provided on this page.