I’m delighted to announce that Ipswich has been granted a fourth year of funding by Government to continue the excellent work of the Opportunity Area programme.
When the town was designated an Opportunity Area in 2017, no one could have predicted that as we saw out the last furlong of this 3-year programme we would see such unprecedented changes to how we provide education to pupils and how we support families.
I have been heartened and impressed by the tireless professionalism, dedication, and efficiency that colleagues across schools, and the organisations that support them have shown for children, families and community. We are so grateful for the difference they make to the young people of Ipswich.
Our plan for a fourth year of activity has drawn upon the learning of the last three years: what has worked, what needs more time to embed and bring about real change, and what gaps need to be filled to create a sustainable legacy for an education system in Ipswich that our children and young people deserve. The impact of COVID-19 has called for prioritisation of Mental Health, Wellbeing and Resilience work, as well as an enhanced Early Years offer and development of collaborative system leadership. Recovery plans will also support our young people with catch up in September.
Ipswich is one of 12 areas in England designated by the Department for Education as an opportunity area (OA), designed to unlock the potential of England’s young people through education.
The aim is for all children and young people in Ipswich to fulfil their potential and access the opportunities available to them, regardless of their background.
The Ipswich Opportunity Area is overseen by an independent Partnership Board, bringing together senior leaders from schools, communities, business, and central and local government.