Bradford Opportunity Area, Essential Life Skills Fund

To be completed by: Fri 09 Feb 2018

Time: -Fri 09 Feb 2018 | Venue:

Bradford is one of twelve Opportunity Areas that are receiving a share significant DfE investment 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.


As an Opportunity Area, Bradford has received a share of £22 million DfE funding through a new Essential Life Skills programme. This funding (allocated proportionate to school age population in each area) is to enable children and young  people aged 5 -18 years old to participate in regular extra-curricular activities. This will include activities such as sports, volunteering and social action projects.

The allocation of this funding for Bradford is £5.5m split over this and the next financial year where activities are set to run until August 2019.

The programme is intended to fund a range of extra-curricular activities that develop  non-cognitive abilities, collectively named ‘essential life skills’, including but not limited to:

• Resilience, perseverance and persistence

• Hard work, self-control, discipline, good time keeping

• Self-confidence, leadership and team working

• Honesty, integrity and engaged citizenship

• Attitude, respect and empathy

• Curiosity and problem solving

A number of studies have shown that regular and persistent attendance at after  school club programmes is positively associated with many academic and non academic youth outcomes including higher academic achievement and grades, long-term educational and occupational outcomes, lower problem behaviour, higher  beliefs about abilities and better emotional adjustment

From 19th February 2018 your school or college will be allocated a ‘virtual purse’ as part of this grant funding. This means that all schools across Bradford will receive an ‘allocation’ of this grant.  You will be asked to complete a simple application form outlining your proposals for ELS activity (from April 2018 – August 2019) if you want to accept this grant to provide ELS activity for pupils in your school or college.

Once the application has been accepted and approved by the local authority, schools/colleges will receive a conditional grant to procure/deliver Essential Life Skills programmes.  All ELS activity will be subject to on going monitoring and evaluation as part of the grant agreement.

Schools can then use this  grant to procure the services of other schools, colleges, universities, local authorities,  voluntary, community or social enterprise (VCSE) organisations or other profit or nonprofit organisations to deliver activities. All funded activities must be designed to work within, or in partnership with, schools/colleges in the Bradford Opportunity Area.

We would encourage collaboration between schools and colleges across geographies and existing partnerships to bring greater economies of scale in purchasing and delivery.

How will the grant allocations be worked out?

Each phase (primary, secondary and post-16) will be allocated a pot of funding based on pupil numbers.  These pots will then be divided by the number of pupil premium pupils in those phases, giving a per pupil amount for each pupil premium student.  Each school will then receive an amount of funding based on its number of pupil premium pupils.

If any school would receive less than £2500 through the per-pupil method, they are allocated £2500 instead – strengthening their purchasing power.

We will be publishing a Prospectus which will be a guide to help schools/colleges purchase activity from providers that state they can deliver ELS activity and achieve the outcomes required.  This prospectus will be published on 19th February on the Bradford Pathways website and can be accessed from the 19th February on Bradford Schools Online – details to follow.

The ELS Fund aims to support the Pathway Essential Skills of the Bradford Pathways Framework further details can be found in the Prospectus once live on the 19th February. Your application in accepting the funding will need to include details of how your proposed activity align to this to help pupils prepare for the world of work.

Key Timescales:


19th February 2018 – schools/colleges will find out their individual grant allocation via direct email. An application form and further details will be included.


19th February 2018 – Online prospectus will be made available to help schools/colleges purchase from a range of providers that can deliver ELS activity


21st February 2018 – Essential Life Skills Briefing Sessions (not mandatory)

(Aim is to help schools/colleges understand the requirements of the funding, how to apply, supporting purchasing from providers and understanding how activity needs to link with the Pathway Essentials of the Bradford Pathways Framework)


Event 1 - Bradford 10am-12pm at Indus Hall, Kala Sangam,


Book your place here


Event 2 - Keighley 2pm-4pm at Keighley College


Book your place here


Places are limited due to venue size so priority will be based on a first come first served basis


19th February – 9th March  - schools/colleges to design or decide what their ELS activity will involve and make contact with organisations where necessary to explore feasibility for delivery and gain in principle commitment for delivery.


9th March – Applications close


12th-16th March – Applications evaluated


19th March – 31st  March – Applications confirmed and grants awarded (set up SLA’s between providers and schools where applicable)


1st April onwards – ELS delivery commences



The Bradford Opportunity Area Team hope that as many schools as possible take advantage of this grant funding opportunity to provide a range of high quality activities.  During the next 6 months we will be working to support delivery into 2019 and look to ways to sustain as much activity as possible and explore viable options beyond the funding period.


We will be contacting you next on 19th February to confirm your grant allocation and application details.


If you have an urgent query you can contact us at:


We can also be found on Twitter at @BradfordOppArea


Published: 09/02/2018
Audience: Schools, education staff, teachers
Contact: Kathryn Loftus

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