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Funding for Opportunity Areas and Further Education

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Further education, Opportunity Areas, Social mobility

female pupil with pink hair sits next to teacher who appears to be explaining a piece of work

Today’s Education in the Media blog focuses on funding for the Opportunity Areas programme and for Further Education.

Opportunity Areas

Today, Monday 4 November, the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced an £18 million to extend the Opportunity Area programme which supports social mobility in some of the most disadvantaged areas. This builds on the success of the initiative in 12 areas of the country where children have been left behind. This was covered by I News, TES and Schools Week.

The programme is already having a positive impact in a wide range of areas - from early years education to employment. This follows an initial £72 million boost for support across literacy, maths, attendance, teacher training and recruitment, post-16 options and careers advice since its launch in 2017.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

I grew up in Scarborough, now part of the North Yorkshire Coast Opportunity Area, and having returned recently for a visit I’ve seen for myself the progress being made and the difference it is making to young people living there. 

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.  

It’s not just about what happens now in these 12 areas but the impact these projects will have on future generations and paving the way for them to overcome obstacles to success.

Further Education

Today, we have also announced £155 million for further education to target high-value courses that will set students on a path to higher wages. This was covered by the Metro and I News.

The funding forms part of the additional £400 million - announced in August - for school sixth forms and colleges for 2020-21.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, said:

We want all young people to have access to high-quality education and training that will set them on the path to a rewarding career. Next year colleges and school sixth forms will benefit from a significant £400 million funding boost to help them to do this.

Part of this will be £155 million to support the delivery of courses that we know lead to higher wages and better career prospects for students. This funding also means that next year FE colleges could benefit from almost £5000 per student.

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