OA: Celebrating one year on

Just yesterday the ‘Opportunity Areas: building the foundations for success’ event took place in Parliament.

The event allowed a moment for all to celebrate the impact this programme is having to help more children and young people to achieve their full potential in life.

To mark the occasion two separate reports have been published.

The first of these is an independent evaluation of the implementation phase of the Opportunity Area programme. This found a number of successes in the approach being taken, and identified it is ‘starting to develop a lasting legacy’ of positive collaboration.

The second provides a snapshot of activity happening in each area to transform lives. From boosting access to mental health services in Hastings, increasing provision of extra-curricular activities in Doncaster for children in care and our very own Transition Week case study, showcasing the importance of curriculum focus during the move from primary to secondary school. 

At the event guest speakers thanked those involved for their hard work and commitment over the last twelve months, and attendees heard directly from young people benefitting from initiatives put in place.

Improving social mobility is a complex, intergenerational issue, and nobody involved in this programme thinks that change will come easily, however everyone is surely determined to make a difference.

BTSA Event with Dame Alison Peacock and Sir Kevan Collins

Blackpool Teaching School Alliance (BTSA) supported by Randstad have secured Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, to share his knowledge with us. It’s an event not to be missed!

He’ll also be supported by two speakers. Speaking first will be Andrew Mellor, Headteacher at St Nicholas C of E Primary School and National Leader of Education, who will be explaining the outcome of the NAHT Accountability Commission.

Speaking second will be Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching. She will be discussing the school led system, the need to shape our own accountability futures and the role of NAHT and the Chartered College.

When and where?
Friday 2nd November, De-Vere, Blackpool

: arrival
12:00 – 12:30: a delicious lunch, free of charge
12:30 – 12:50: Andrew Mellor presents
12:50 – 13:30: Dame Alison Peacock presents
13:30 – 14:30: Sir Kevan Collins presents
14:30 – 15:00: questions then departure

Register your interest here

Transition Week 2018

After spending the week heading into schools to see all the introductory lessons, and activities to prepare year 6 pupils for their start at high school come September, it was easy to see first hand how much work and effort goes into this and how useful it is for all involved.

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From STEM activities to mindfulness circus skills, writing tasks to live dissections – the year 6 pupils were given a plethora of taster activities at their soon to be high schools. A total of 42 schools engaged with the project to ease transition between Primary and Secondary School.

Read our junior reporter interview here

High quality maths & physics teachers

The Department for Education have introduced a funded package to help schools recruit high quality maths and physics teachers from Canada, America, Australia and New Zealand.


Led by New World Scholars (Yorkshire Inclusive Teaching School Alliance) and supported by Randstad Education, you will be able to access great maths and physics teachers that have been fully vetted and are motivated to work in England. There is no recruitment fee for schools and candidates benefit from a fully funded acclimatisation programme run by experts.
Working together, New World Scholars and Randstad Education have developed an in-depth selection process to identify high quality applicants that will then be presented to your school.

Read further details

TES Awards 2018

Boundary Primary School – Primary School of the Year 2018 award nominee

Since joining the school in 2016, headteacher Suzanne Ashton has watched the school go from strength to strength. Through hard work and sheer determination, implementing a new vision resulted in being nominated for a prestigious award.

My Post

Shortlisted in the UK for Primary School of the Year by the TES Educational Supplement, they reached a group of just 8 schools nominated for the award. Unfortunately Boundary were not successful in winning, however reaching that point was such an achievement alone! Well done to all for the hard work and effort.

Essential Life Skills

Blackpool, as part of the Opportunity Area initiative has received a £1 million share of £22 million Department for Education funding to support activities that help to develop Essential Life Skills (ELS) amongst children and young people aged 5 -18 years old.


The ELS programme will support range of extra-curricular activities that develop non-cognitive abilities, including but not limited to:

• Resilience, perseverance and persistence
• Hard work, self-control, discipline, good time keeping
• Self-confidence, leadership and team working
• Honesty, integrity and engaged citizenship
• Attitude, respect and empathy
• Curiosity and problem solving

All Schools and Colleges in the area have been allocated funding, split over this and the next financial year for activities to take place up to August 2019. Schools and Colleges are required to set out their proposals for their ELS activity. All funded activities must be designed to work within, or in partnership with, schools/colleges in the Blackpool Opportunity Area.