Update on the Bradford Opportunity Area

To be completed by:

Time: - | Venue:

The aim of the Opportunity Area is to tackle social mobility. We want to ensure that all Bradford children and young people get an excellent education so that they can fulfil their potential and choose the path that their life will take.

Update on the Bradford Opportunity Area

The aim of the Opportunity Area is to tackle social mobility.  We want to ensure that all Bradford  children and young people get an excellent education so that they can fulfil their potential and choose the path that their life will take.  The opportunity area team want to work with schools, communities and the council to,

•             Up the reading and writing skills of all children

•             Help young people secure good jobs

•             Support our city’s teachers to be even better

•             Remove barriers to children doing well at school.

On 19 January, we published our plan for Bradford’s Opportunity Area. It explains how our partnership board, which brings together the Department for Education, with representatives from Bradford schools, the council, charities and the private sector will invest to help Bradford’s children and young people achieve their full potential. The full plan (and other Opportunity Area plans) can be downloaded here.

As a board, we’ll be seeking every opportunity to speak and listen to schools, young people and other partners. To start that conversation, here are the 10 things we think schools in Bradford should know about the Bradford Opportunity area plan:


  1. The Bradford Opportunity Area plan confirms the importance of high quality education in improving social mobility. The plan places schools at the heart of our work, across four priorities:

·       Priority 1. Strengthening school leadership and the quality of teaching

·       Priority 2. Improve literacy across primary school children particularly for disadvantaged students

·       Priority 3. Improving access to rewarding careers

·       Priority 4. Using evidence and research to remove barriers to learning

2.    As a first step in strengthening leadership, we can confirm that every middle and senior leader, and executive head teacher in Bradford is now eligible for a fully-funded scholarship to take a National Professional Qualification. To register, apply through this list of national and regional providers of NPQs here.

3.    As a first step to help improve the quality of teaching - The Institute for Teaching will be working in Bradford with 4 schools this year (and more schools over the course of the programme) from those currently rated Ofsted category 3 or 4. If you interested in finding out more about the Institute for Teaching, click here.

4.    As a first step to help improve literacy in primary schools – Ruth Miskin Training will be working with up to 12 primary schools in Bradford to improve literacy CPD in the teaching and leadership of phonics and early reading. If you want to find out more information click here. Download a PDF of the full offer details.

5.    As a first step to help improve attainment in STEM subjects – STEM Learning will be bringing their Aspire to STEM programme to Bradford, aiming to work with around 20 category 3 and 4 Primary and Secondary Schools. The Institute for Physics will also be looking to support schools in Bradford. For further detail on STEM learning click here and Institute for Physics click here.

6.    Edison Learning is working with the National Association of Headteachers to offer the NAHT Aspire Programme to schools in the city. The programme aims to develops sustainable leadership, teaching and learning and team CPD across schools, with a central focus on accelerating pupil progress.

7.    Established through a joint investment by the Department for Education and the Education Endowment Foundation, the new Bradford EEF Research School will be offering support to schools to identify and take up evidence based practice. The Bradford EEF Research School will be focusing first on three areas:

·       Improving literacy at key stages 1 and 2 (informed by the latest guidance from the EEF).

·       Cognition and memory (curriculum design, memorable lessons and revision and the new GCSEs).

·       An adapted ‘Leading Learning’ programme (this will aim to focus on teacher development, supporting wider work by the Opportunity Area and ‘Bradford for Teaching’, to improve.

8.    The Careers and Enterprise Company will ensure that every 11-18 year old in Bradford benefits from four high quality employer encounters by 2021.

9.    National Citizens Service – A tripling of resource to allow 2,400 15 – 17 year olds to participate in its programmes. There is advice for schools and colleges available here and information for young people available here.

10.  An additional award of more than £5 million pounds for extra-curricular activities to help children and young people develop resilience, team working, communications and other ‘essential life skills’. Activities will be targeted on the most disadvantaged pupils and are likely to span arts, culture, sport, mentoring and more. We want to empower and support schools to shape this offer, so will be attending as many local partnerships and forums as we can, to test and take ideas on what works.


The providers listed above will be contacting schools that fit their eligibility criteria over the next few weeks and months. If there are specific programmes that you feel would meet a specific need in your school please contact the provider or email OpportunityAreas.BRADFORD@education.gov.uk to find out more.



Published: 30/01/2018
Audience: head teachers, teaching staff, schools, colleges, education professionals
Contact: Kathryn Loftus

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