Opportunity Area Partnerships


Festival Bridge is pleased to be a partner in the East Cambridgeshire & Fenland, Norwich and Ipswich Opportunity Areas. Head of Bridge, Michael Corley, is also a member of the Advice Transitions and destinations working group for the Norwich Opportunity Area. We are working with the Opportunity Area partnerships to ensure that the vital role of arts and culture in enabling social mobility is capitalised on in achieving the ambitions of these partnerships.

There are 12 Opportunity Areas in England, identified in October 2016 by Education Secretary Justine Greening to improve social mobility: “Opportunity areas will help local children get the best start in life, no matter what their background. Ensuring all children can access high-quality education at every stage is critical. We will focus not just on what we can do to help inside schools, but also create the opportunities outside school that will raise sights and broaden horizons for young people.”

The Norwich Opportunity Area Partnership Board has been established to act as strategic coordinator of activities around four key strands of focus by creating working groups to represent the required expertise:
1. Improving speech and communication in the early years so that children have the best chance as they start school
2. Improving teaching and attainment, from primary school through to age 18, so that young people gain the skills, knowledge and qualifications they need for the next stage of their life
3. Advice on careers and working life, supporting and informing young people in key decisions around qualifications and skills needed at important transition points, enabling them to get on the right path to their chosen career
4. Reducing the number of children at risk of exclusion and disengagement from education, by supporting them to overcome the problems that lead to social immobility.

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To find out how your organisation could be involved in Norwich, contact the Programme Director jacqueline.bircham@newanglia.co.uk, or for more information about Opportunity Areas email opportunity.areas@education.gov.uk.