What are Opportunity Areas?
Bradford is one of twelve Opportunity Areas that are receiving a share of £72 million to boost opportunities for young people in these communities. The Opportunity Area programme is a key part of the Government’s priority of boosting social mobility. Bradford’s
share of this investment is £6m.
The purpose of Opportunity Areas is improving social mobility; using education as a key driver to achieve this. Therefore the Social Mobility Commission’s Social Mobility Index was used as the starting point to identify these areas. The 12 areas selected
were all in the group of Local Authority’s with the greatest challenges and fewest opportunities.
As an Opportunity Area, Bradford will also receive a share of a further £22 million through a new Essential Life Skills programme. This funding (allocated proportionate to school age population in each area) will be targeted toward helping disadvantaged
young people to develop life skills such as resilience, emotional wellbeing and employability. Bradford’s share of this investment is likely to be in excess of £5m.
In addition, Bradford will receive support from national partners, for example The Careers and Enterprise Company, and be prioritised for other government initiatives.
Programmes delivered through the Bradford Opportunity Area will be subject to evaluation at national and local level, to assess their impact, value for money, and identify effective practice.
Bradford Opportunity Area has a partnership Board to advise and support the development of plans, engaging stakeholders and monitoring and driving delivery.
You can see our
Delivery Plan which outlines the activity and our priorities.
The priorities identified are;
Priority 1 - Strengthening school leadership and the quality of teaching
The plan will support improvement in school leadership, enabling at least 50 head teachers, senior and middle leaders to complete leadership courses, and launching an enhanced offer of leadership masterclasses. The plan aims to support improvement in the
Ofsted ratings of at least half of the schools in Bradford currently rated ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’.
Priority 2 - Improve literacy in Bradford’s primary schools particularly for disadvantaged pupils
The work will build on the investment already being made in early reading skills by funding training programmes in Bradford, beginning this year with the 10 primary schools furthest below the national average for reading and writing. Over the life of the
programme, secondary and post-16 literacy will also be supported in consultation with local employers and universities to make sure young people are better prepared for the world of work.
Priority 3 – Improving access to rewarding careers
Efforts will be targeted at 11-18 year olds to ensure each benefits from at least four high quality encounters with the world of work. The National Citizen Service (NCS) will triple the resources it makes available to young people in Bradford, to support
2,400 15-17 year olds by 2020.
Priority 4 - Removing barriers to learning by developing evidence for what really works
Bradford is at the forefront of world-leading research on health and education. By the end of 2018, local partners including Bradford’s EEF Research School, the ‘Born in Bradford’ cohort study and Bradford Council will be supporting teachers in at least
50 schools to identify and provide the right help to students at risk of social, emotional or mental health issues. Priorities will include early identification of autism and related disorders, as well as improving reading and writing.
For further information please contact:
Kathryn Loftus - Programme Director
Twitter - @BradfordOppArea