Doncaster schools to share £25 million to boost pupil literacy

Education
Education

Schools in Doncaster are set to share £25 million to increase pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills, the Government has announced today.

The money was revealed as the Government revealed the Doncaster Opportunity Area plan, launched to boost opportunities for children and young people across the borough.

It comes as part of national package to improve underperforming schools in disadvantaged areas.

Doncaster has been named as one of the Government's opportunity areas along with Bradford, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich and Stoke-on- Trent.

The Government said this morning schools in Doncaster set to benefit from a share of £25million to increase pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills.

As welll as the literacy and numeracy cash, there will be £46million awarded to successful multi-academy trusts across the country to help improve underperforming schools in ‘left behind’ areas with confirmation of a new round of funding for 2018/19.

The Doncaster Opportunity Area plan will focus on four priority areas. These are:

 Boosting performance and development in early school years – by improving the quality of teaching and training for staff, to help narrow the attainment gap between disadvantaged primary pupils and their peers.

 Increasing excellent teaching and leadership in secondary schools – by funding leadership qualifications and improving leadership of the core subjects of English, maths and science, and boosting the career development opportunities available.

 Ensuring young people have the right skills and qualifications for the world of work – through improved careers advice and establishing a careers ‘network’ for Doncaster, using senior business representatives in the area as a source of advice for schools and colleges.

 Improving access to opportunities for all by introducing coaching and mentoring programmes that support the most vulnerable young people, including those at risk of entering the criminal justice system. This includes working with residential care centres and supporting schools to improve pupil attendance.

Doncaster will also receive up to £2.75 million through a new Essential Life Skills programme, to help disadvantaged young people develop life skills such as resilience, emotional wellbeing and employability.

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “This is great for Doncaster and ensuring that young people have the best access to education and therefore the best access to opportunities is a key priority for us.

“Improving social mobility sits at the heart of our Doncaster Growing Together plan, working together to improve learning, living, working and caring in Doncaster.

“The Opportunity Area Plan has been developed in partnership with central Government as well as a number of local agencies. We believe that by working together we can make a positive difference to the life chances of Doncaster’s children and young people as well as fulfilling our ambition of making Doncaster the most child friendly borough in the country.”

Professor Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University and chairman of Doncaster Opportunity Area Partnership Board, said: “Education matters – it can create opportunities, drive achievement and change lives. The Opportunity Area gives us a fabulous opportunity to make a real difference for the children and young people of Doncaster. It’s our chance to improve their prospects for the good of all.”

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: "As Education Secretary, I want all children to get a truly world-class education that not only inspires them to make the most of their lives but also gives them the opportunity to fulfil their ambitions, no matter where they live.

“Standards are rising in schools across the country but there is more to do to make sure that every child benefits from the progress we’ve already made thanks to an
incredibly talented generation of teachers.

“By supporting good and outstanding schools, those schools that want to improve and focusing on disadvantaged areas where our young people need extra help we can continue to make a great difference to people’s everyday lives and build a Britain fit for the future.”