Government to extend ‘Opportunity Areas’ scheme for social mobility ‘cold spots’

The Department for Education’s ‘Opportunity Areas’ programme was due to finish next year, but £18m has been announced to keep it going until August 2021. iNews reports.

It has been operating since 2017 in 12 parts of the country which according to the Government have some of the biggest barriers to social mobility.

These so-called “cold spots” are Blackpool, Derby, Norwich, Oldham, the North Yorkshire Coast, West Somerset, Bradford, Doncaster, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich and Stoke-on-Trent.

For example, Ipswich has seen a scheme delivering six weeks of Saturday morning maths classes for disadvantaged Year 11 pupils who are at risk of not getting a GCSE level 4 or 5.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Ability is evenly spread across the country, but opportunity isn’t. We’re determined to put right the wrongs of places left behind and see the Opportunity Area programme grow – helping local leaders and schools to tackle some of the greatest challenges young people face.”

Read more Government to extend ‘Opportunity Areas’ scheme for social mobility ‘cold spots’ 

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