Chair Robert Halfon MP has written to the Education Secretary following the conclusion of the Education Committee’s inquiry into opportunity areas.

The letter to Damian Hinds MP says that while the Committee welcomes the programme’s objective of improving social mobility, it remains ‘unconvinced’ that opportunity areas are the best way of delivering on the aims.

 Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Committee, said:

“We welcome the focus of opportunity areas on improving social justice and supporting disadvantaged communities, but we’re not convinced that the programme is the most effective method of achieving such aims.

"We have concerns over the value for money that the programme offers. The £2 million spent on administration costs could be far better spent helping children and young people directly on the front line and the additional structure creates confusion and duplication in the system.

"There are also questions over how the effectiveness of opportunity areas is measured. We are unconvinced that we will be able to see improved outcomes for children and young people from early years through to improvement. How the programme is spreading effective practice to other areas is also far from clear. This is particularly worrying given the number of disadvantaged communities not covered by opportunity areas.”

The correspondence expresses concern over how opportunity areas are chosen, the value for money from the £2million administration costs and a lack of independence from Government. It also highlights a lack of joined up working across Government and questions over how the effectiveness of the programme is measured.

The Committee’s inquiry explored whether the opportunity areas programme was delivering on its aim of improving outcomes for children and young people in the 12 chosen areas, from early years through to employment, along with the programme’s role in spreading effective practice to other areas.

Full details of the Committee’s inquiry, along with transcripts of evidence sessions are available here.

Committee Membership: Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP (Con, Harlow), Lucy Allan MP (Con, Telford), Ben Bradley MP (Con, Mansfield), Marion Fellows MP (SNP, Motherwell and Wishaw), James Frith MP (Lab, Bury North), Emma Hardy MP (Lab, Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle), Trudy Harrison MP (Con, Copeland), Ian Mearns MP (Lab, Gateshead), Lucy Powell MP (Lab Co-op, Manchester Central), Thelma Walker MP (Lab, Colne Valley), William Wragg MP (Con, Hazel Grove)


You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


FE Community

Sharon Walpole shared a video in channel. 5 hours 33 minutes ago

WorldSkills UK LIVE 2019

Sharon Walpole shared a video in channel. 5 hours 33 minutes ago

How can Careermap help you?

Careermap is the go-to place for apprenticeships, courses and graduate opportunities! We have 1000's of live vacancies and want to help young people...

Sharon Walpole shared a video in channel. 5 hours 34 minutes ago

Creative Careers CPD broadcast 12th September

Missed the live Creative Careers webinar? Catch up with it here:

The FE News Channel gives you the latest breaking news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation.

Providing trustworthy and positive news and views since 2003, we publish exclusive peer to peer articles from our feature writers, as well as user content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, webinars, video interviews and news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page