News story

Education Secretary visits Derby on opportunity areas tour

Derby is one of 12 areas across the country that will receive additional support to remove barriers to social mobility.

Education Secretary Justine Greening visited Derby on Thursday 2 February, 1 of 12 opportunity areas aimed at boosting education, skills and opportunity in social mobility ‘cold spots’.

Ms Greening visited the Derby Moor Community Sports College to meet students, teachers and local education leaders who are benefiting from the Prince’s Trust Team programme, which helps unemployed 16- to 25-year-olds to get into work or training.

The opportunity areas will see DfE working with local organisations, including early years providers, schools, colleges, universities, the voluntary sector and businesses to help local children and young people get the best start in life, no matter what their background.

These areas will focus not just on what can be done inside schools to tackle social mobility, but also create the opportunities outside school that will help broaden horizons for young people.

Plans are being drawn up to put the £72 million funding for the 12 opportunity areas into action. Local organisations will have the opportunity to help shape these plans so that they are tailored to meet the different challenges that exist across England in regards to social mobility.

During the visit, the charity Teach First announced that it will increase the number of its teaching placements in Derby in 2017. That will see 8 more talented graduates teaching in schools in Derby by 2017 - up from the current 14 placements.

The charity will also be increasing the number of placements in 5 other opportunity areas by 40% in September 2017. Those areas are:

  • Blackpool
  • Norwich
  • Oldham
  • Scarborough
  • West Somerset

Education Secretary Justine Greening said:

As Britain prepares for its future outside the EU, it’s never been more important that everyone in our country has a fair chance to go as far as their talent and their hard work will take them.

On my previous visits to Derby as Education Secretary, I’ve seen the great work being done at the University of Derby, and just recently I met apprentices honing their skills at Bombardier.

Each visit reinforces to me just how crucial for our nation’s success it is that none of these talents are wasted, and especially the talent of young people growing up in Derby.

Whether it’s providing more good school places across Derby and the rest of England, investing in improving careers education, transforming the quality of further and technical education or opening up access to our world-class higher education system, working together I believe we can create more opportunities for future generations to go as far as their talents will take them. And I want to see Derby leading the way.

Brett Wigdortz, CEO and Founder of Teach First said:

The government’s recent commitment to investing funding and support into these opportunity areas has been unanimously welcomed by the education sector as a positive step forward in ensuring all our young people, no matter where they were born, are given the same opportunity to succeed.

We’re proud to work in partnership with the government in these areas, by placing more Teach First participants than ever before into these communities - working collaboratively to raise the attainment and achieve the aspirations of all our young people.