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Today Education Secretary, Damian Hind, revealed the Department for Education’s delivery plans for six opportunity areas, launched in Bradford, Doncaster, Hastings, Ipswich, Fenland & East Cambridge and Stoke-on-Trent.

The plans have been developed with local educators, employers and voluntary and community organisations and set out how they will improve the life chances of young people in these communities.

The announcement outlined the plans which include: 

  • More than £45 million will be awarded to successful multi-academy trusts to help tackle underperformance and improve schools in areas that lack capacity
  • 75 projects sharing £25 million to provide more support for schools, many of which will increase pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills
  • The publication of the next six Opportunity Area delivery plans in Bradford, Doncaster, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich and Stoke-on-Trent

Opportunity Areas delivery plans on gov.uk

The news follows the publication of the Government’s social mobility action plan Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential in December which focuses £800 million of resources on those areas that can benefit the most. All 12 Opportunity Areas will benefit from a share of £22 million through a new Essential Life Skills programme, to help young people in these areas develop life skills in resilience, wellbeing and employability.

Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential publication on gov.uk [PDF]

Education Secretary Damian Hinds, commented:

“As Education Secretary, I want all children to get a truly world-class education that not only inspires them to make the most of their lives but also gives them the opportunity to fulfil their ambitions, no matter where they live. Standards are rising in schools across the country but there is more to do to make sure that every child benefits from the progress we’ve already made thanks to an incredibly talented generation of teachers. By supporting good and outstanding schools to help others improve, and focusing on disadvantaged areas where our young people need extra help, we can continue to make a difference to people’s everyday lives and build a Britain that’s fit for the future.”

Our CEO, Claudia Harris said:

“We are delighted to be working with the more than 200 schools and 60 businesses in the 12 opportunity areas to help inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work. Young people can feel overwhelmed by all the choices in front of them, so it’s more important than ever that we work in partnership to give them encounters with employers and the support they need.”