Fund to boost social mobility unveiled by education secretary

4 Oct 16
The government has launched a £60m programme that will work with local authorities and schools to improve social mobility, initially focused on six “coldspots” across the country

Education secretary Justine Greening said the programme would initially be trialled in Blackpool, Derby, Norwich, Oldham, Scarborough, and West Somerset.

These “opportunity areas” would develop tailored plans in collaboration with local communities, educational institutions and business organisations in each local area on how to improve social mobility.

The £60m in additional funding will support local education providers and communities to address what are determined to be the biggest challenges. In addition, these areas will be able to access a new £75m Excellence in Leadership and Teaching Fund.

Greening indicated that areas covered in the plan would include expanding high-quality careers advice, and mentoring and apprenticeship opportunities, as well as areas such as teacher support, leadership, and school improvement.

“Ensuring all children can access high-quality education at every stage is critical,” she said. This is about giving children in these areas the right knowledge and skills, advice at the right time, and great experiences,” she told the party’s conference in Birmingham.

“My department will work with local authorities, education and skills providers, businesses, and the wider community, not just to focus on what we can do to help inside schools, but also create the opportunities outside school that will raise sights and broaden horizons for young people.”

The six areas will also be used to form an evidence base on what works in overcoming low social mobility. A further four areas to be announced in the coming months.

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