The 12 Opportunity Areas across the country will see an extra £18 million investment, the DfE has announced. The Opportunity Areas, first launched in 2017 have seen £72 million in investment to improve educational outcomes, careers advice and post-16 options and teacher recruitment and retention.
The newly announced funding means that the programme will run into a fourth year, to August 2021.
Earlier this year Chair of the Commons education select committee, Robert Halfon, questioned whether the Opportunity Areas had proved effective in improving social mobility, and criticised how the money was being spent as well as how the programmes have been managed.
The Opportunity Areas include Blackpool, Derby, Norwich, Oldham, North Yorkshire Coast, West Somerset, Bradford, Doncaster, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich and Stoke-on-Trent.
Opportunity North East is a separate programme meaning the region won’t benefit under this announcement.