Opportunity areas – more details emerge

Six more ‘opportunity areas’ have been unveiled, with the DfE promising action to raise social mobility, but critics have pointed to the elephant in the room – funding. Pete Henshaw reports

The Department for Education (DfE) has doubled the number of “opportunity areas” and has set out further detail of how it intends to overcome the social mobility challenges in these areas.

There are now 12 official opportunity areas across England with education secretary Justine Greening this week repeating her promise to invest £72 million to support local education providers and communities.

A key aim is to build young people’s knowledge and skills and to ensure they get effective careers advice and better opportunities.
However, critics were quick to point out that with 12 opportunity areas now in existence, this will equate to just £6 million per area – an amount that will be swallowed up by the funding cuts facing schools between now and 2020.

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