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Social mobility and opportunity areas

The Opportunity Areas programme was announced in October 2016, at that stage the initial six areas were identified and a further six areas were identified in January 2017. The primary purpose of Opportunity Areas  is to focus local and national resources on a common goal - to increase social mobility. The programme will involve focusing the Department for Education’s energy, ideas and resources to provide children and young people with the opportunities to fulfil their potential. It will adopt a place-based approach involving the whole education community, from early years to employment, in the areas of the country where social mobility is lowest.

See the plans for each area here.

They include:

  • The need to raise achievement of children before they start school
  • Actions to enhance early years provision
  • Raising attainment in school
  • More support for school leavers
  • Reviewing the approach to speech, language and communication
  • Enhancing collaboration between early years professionals
  • Testing the provision of school-based social care services
  • Trialling of new approaches to help more young take part in the National Citizen Service
  • Offering schools mental health first-aid training to improve the support they offer pupils
  • Developing an improved continuing professional development offer for teachers