‘Great evening at the Keepmoat’

We held the Opportunity Area Delivery Plan Launch Event at the Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday the 10th April.  Huge thanks to all of you who attended and made the event a success.  Professor Chris Husbands, the Chair of the Opportunity Area Programme Board (and Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University) opened the event and we also heard from James Halliday and Abby Booker, two inspirational young people who have come from challenging backgrounds and are now working with disadvantaged and vulnerable young people to help them make better choices. 

It’s exciting to see how far we have come, how much more we have to do and all the opportunities the programme will present for the young people of Doncaster. 

We have been thrilled by the positive responses we’ve had from attendees.  Here are a few quotes from Twitter:

 ‘Fantastic launch of Doncaster Opportunity Area plan this evening. Good to see so many partners working together for the good of young people in Doncaster @Doncaster_OA @FlyingFutures @EXPECT_Youth_ #partnershipworking

‘Great turnout for the Doncaster Opportunity Area Launch at the Keepmoat Stadium @EXPECT_Youth_ @Club_Doncaster @ClubDFoundation @JMcDFoundation1 @FlyingFutures @DoncasterDCLT all working together for the youth of Doncaster #Doncasterisgreat

‘Proud to be at the Doncaster Opportunity Area Launch Event! Great turnout from local partners and young people! Great partners doing great work! @Doncaster_OA @darts_ThePoint @Active_Fusion @DN_Academy @ClubDFoundation @FlyingFutures @EpicDoncaster @Active_Fusion @educationgovuk

‘Excellent event yesterday evening celebrating success so far in the Doncaster Opportunity Area @Doncaster_OA @CareerEnt @EXPECT_Youth.’

More exciting projects signed off and an opportunity to bid for funding!

The Partnership Board recently signed off on £1m of Essential Life Skills funding for EXPECT Youth to deliver a range of exciting extra-curricular activities designed to develop children and young people’s non-cognitive skills, including communication, team working, resilience and leadership.  Some of this activity will be delivered by EXPECT Youth partners who are already working closely with Doncaster’s young people but a large chunk of the budget has been set aside for local and national organisations to bid for funding to deliver additional activity in Doncaster.  More detail on that to follow, in the meantime if you are keen to be kept informed please contact Claire Hughes ( 

The Essential Life Skills programme will also include a summer activity programme across the borough, focussed on the most disadvantaged wards, combining access to healthy food and a range of enriching activity to engage children over the summer holidays. 
We have also recently agreed to fund the development of a new approach to delivering careers information advice and guidance in Doncaster which uses open data to democratise careers information. Young people will be able to access information about careers and educational opportunities in the borough in a way that better meets their needs.
More exciting projects are on the stocks for future Partnership Boards so make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to find out all about them.

Primary SSIF launch event

Partners in Learning launched a new literacy programme on 20th March, supporting primary schools in Doncaster following a successful bid to receive Strategic School Investment funding.  At the launch, attendees heard from a range of speakers including Helen Bellinger, Director of Doncaster Research School and Megan Dixon from Aspirer Research School in Macclesfield who introduced the new EEF literacy guidance report. The programme, which is built around the literacy guidance report,  focusses on improving literacy in 40 schools across Sheffield and Doncaster by offering teachers support through face to face training, school visits and system leader interaction.  This is a really exciting project that is directly linked to the priorities of the Opportunity Area and we’re confident will make a real difference!

More work underway!

Five coaching and mentoring pilots have started in schools across Doncaster.  The details of these are as follows:

  • Primary Mentoring Project – Bentley New Village School – Flying Futures, with support from wider EY partners
  • Building musical life lessons – Park Primary School – Doncaster Youth Jazz Association
  • Engaging older children through mentoring and activities – St Wilfred’s School – Club Doncaster, Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust and Doncaster Chamber.
  • NCS Wrap around support –YMCA youth club – Club Doncaster with support from wider partners.
  • Vulnerable children mentoring and activities plus more focussed family engagement and attendance support – Levett School – Doncaster Children’s Services Trust and DARTS

These pilots are focussed on disadvantaged and vulnerable children and provide a potent combination of mentoring and support coupled with enriching activities designed to build confidence and resilience. We’re already learning lessons about what works and what doesn’t with this cohort that will be invaluable when it comes to rolling this work out on a larger scale.

Careers Hubs

A Careers Hub is a group of 20 to 40 schools and colleges in an area, working with education and training providers, employers and career professionals to deliver the Gatsby Benchmarks.  Based on the success of a recent pilot in the North East the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) will establish 20 Careers Hubs across the country and provide further support to Opportunity Areas to enable them to establish Careers Hubs for themselves, in addition to the 20 CEC are creating.

CEC has recently published the Careers Hub prospectus. This sets out what further support is available from CEC to Opportunity Areas to develop local Careers Hubs, as well as the bidding process interest parties can go through to become a Careers Hub.  We welcome the offer of further support and will be working with our Partnership Board and local stakeholders to agree how we develop a Careers Hub that meets local challenges.  We are confident that this will be a really valuable way of improving the CEIAG available to children in the borough, helping them make informed choices about their futures.

A different type of teaching opportunity

Big Picture Learning UK are looking for three Teacher Advisors to join the founding staff team of a brand new kind of school for the UK, in Doncaster. Opening with up to 30 students in January 2019, Big Picture Doncaster will be the first school in the UK founded on the Big Picture Learning model which has supported thousands of students in the US and Australia to succeed against the odds. Teacher Advisors make a multi-year commitment to a small group of students, supporting their learning across the curriculum and beyond the school gate.
Find out more at the Open House event on Tuesday 8th May 5:00pm - 7:00pm. For more details, click here
This is a teaching job unlike any other. One student at a time. 

Funded training for school leaders at every level

There has already been considerable interest from schools, schools leaders and teachers aspiring to leadership in enrolment on an eligible National Professional Qualification. These are available at middle (NPHML), senior (NPQSL), head (NPQH) and executive head (NPQEL) levels. The approved providers for these reformed qualifications are here and include a range of local and national providers. You can contact these providers directly to book a place.

Teach First

Do you know that your school could receive a Teach First participant, who will receive support from the organisation to help them through their training? For more information visit or contact the Doncaster Opportunity Area team at

Most important meal of the day

The DfE has announced that it will be supporting schools in disadvantaged areas to set up breakfast clubs to ensure children get a healthy start to the day. More than 1,770 schools set to benefit from £26 million to boost breakfast clubs in disadvantaged areas. We will be able to say what this is going to mean for schools in Doncaster soon.  More information on this initiative is available here.

Doncaster Ambassadors

The Doncaster Opportunity Area team is looking to recruit a group of young people from Doncaster to be Ambassadors to help us to:

  • Develop a marketing campaign that will be rolled out to schools to promote Doncaster as a great place to live and work.
  • Design and implement the programme of work to deliver our ambition that there are ‘no careers out of bounds’ for young people.
  • Establish an alumni of former school students from Doncaster who have gone on to experience personal and career success, who can inspire future generations of young people in Doncaster to go as far as their dreams, ambitions and drive will take them.

If you are interested and want to know more about this please email Claire Hughes at

Be part of something amazing for young people!

National Citizen Service (NCS) Trust is inviting organisations that work with young people to join one of their showcase events for the 2020 NCS programme.
National Citizen Service (NCS) is a not-for-profit-organisation which - with the skills, experience and enthusiasm of hundreds of brilliant partner organisations - has so far supported more than 400,000 young people to help build self-confidence and belief, learn new skills for life and work, and make a mark in their community
Becoming a partner for the 2020 programme
Existing partner contracts come to an end in 2019 and new contracts for partners will need to be agreed early that year so their new network delivery can begin in summer 2020.
NCS Trust is hosting showcase events around the country and are inviting their existing network, along with other organisations, to join them to find out more and to hear about next steps.
By strengthening its network of partners, NCS Trust will be able to deliver the same high quality programme to even more young people, consistently across the UK.
How to find out more
Please click here to sign up for an event:
Monday 14 May - Newcastle
Wednesday 23 May - Birmingham
Wednesday 30 May - London -
Or register your interest in becoming a partner: Bravo
Sign up for an event or register your interest to find out more and be part of something amazing for young people!

And finally…

Thank you for reading Doncaster’s latest Opportunity Area Newsletter.

You can also access previous newsletters here, follow us on Twitter, ask us a question or forward the newsletter to a friend (use below buttons).

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Doncaster Council · Civic Office · Waterdale · Doncaster, Dnc DN1 3BU · United Kingdom

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