Bradford Opportunity Area is launched to boost social mobility

Article dated Tuesday Sep 12, 2017 at 02:56 PM

A programme to boost social mobility for young people across the district has been launched as Bradford became an Opportunity Area.

Bradford has been selected by the Department for Education as one of 12 areas nationally to receive extra funding to improve the life chances of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

A local partnership, including Bradford Council, will work to ensure that young people are equipped with the qualifications and skills they need to fulfil their potential.

The focus of the programme will be to ensure children and young people in every area can access high quality education and opportunities at every stage.

This work will involve a partnership between central Government, Bradford Council and other stakeholders and communities across the district.

This will include schools, academy sponsors, local and national businesses, Local Enterprise Partnerships, further education colleges, universities, the voluntary sector and more, including government backed organisations such as the Careers and Enterprise Company and National Citizen Service.

As part of the Opportunity Areas Programme, an Education Endowment Foundation research school has been established in Bradford to find the best ways of raising standards and improving education in the district.

This will be run by Dixons Academies who will gather and share evidence of best practice on social mobility to help Bradford teachers tackle this issue in their schools.

Bradford will receive a share of an extra £72 million in total which is being invested in 12 opportunity areas over the next three financial years: 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-2020.

Bradford Council leader Coun Susan Hinchcliffe said: “Giving the young people of Bradford, regardless of their background, the best possible start in life is a top priority to me, the Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.  As the youngest city in the UK, Bradford has the potential to produce our region’s next generation of productive, highly skilled people, who will drive forward the growth of tomorrow.

“The Bradford Opportunity Area offer we are launching today will help us to unlock that amazing potential and support our children to achieve. By providing vital skills development we will ultimately enable young people to find fulfilling, good quality employment.

“We are delighted that the Department for Education and the Careers and Enterprise Company have recognised the strength of opportunity here in Bradford. Through this initiative, and the work we’re already doing as a Council and as a Combined Authority, I’m confident that we can make Bradford and the wider City Region a place where every young person can have a good education, a good job and a good quality of life.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: “The launch of Bradford as one of the country’s Opportunity Areas is great news for the district.

"The focus of this work will help us to achieve our ambition for all our young people to have the best start in life, access a good education and achieve the qualifications they need to ensure they and the district can have a bright future.”

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