Opportunity Area Newsletter -

Hello all,

It’s been a busy spell in the Doncaster Opportunity Area.

The Partnership Board has been busy considering business cases for a range of exciting activities to improve the life chances of Doncaster children and young people including:

  • Over £1m on extra-curricular activities designed to increase essential life skills.
  • £150k on a programme to help vulnerable young people access the National Citizenship Service.
  • £122k to expand the Children’s University to more disadvantaged children.
  • £155k to develop plans to ensure the sustainability of our offer on careers and support the Opportunity Area with focussed employer engagement activity.
  • £140k to develop campaigns to promote literacy in communities.

There have been discussions around the legacy of the programme and how we ensure our support reaches helps those schools most in need of it.  We have a hugely busy forward work programme so keep an eye out for future updates.

Teach First

The process for requesting 2019 Teach First participants is now open. We are currently recruiting for the following subjects/phases in Yorkshire and the Humber:

  • Maths
  • Science
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • MFL
  • Primary

If you would like to discuss your vacancy needs before submitting your requests please contact Spencer Hibbert, Schools Partnership Manager.

Get into Teaching

The Department for Education's Train to Teach events take place all over the country and offer potential teacher training candidates the chance to meet local training providers, attend a presentation and meet teaching experts.
There is a Train to Teach event in Doncaster on Wednesday 13 March at the Mercure Doncaster Centre Danum Hotel between 4.30pm and 7.30pm

Teacher Vacancy Service

The Department for Education has recently launched the Teaching Vacancies website. This is a free teaching vacancy listing service for schools, and is intended to tackle the significant costs that schools face when recruiting and advertising for staff. Instead of paying for adverts, schools can list available jobs on the site for free.

The service is available here:

Essential Life Skills

More free activities can be accessed now! These are in addition to the programmes which were launched last October, many of which are still available. We are looking to prioritise pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds as well as the following cohorts:
  • Boys facing disadvantage
  • Children who are Gypsy, Roma, traveller
  • Teenagers who identify as LGBTQ+
  • Children who are SEND
  • Children and young people who are young carers
The Essential Life Skills programme aims to develop skills such as resilience, confidence and hard-work through enhancing activities that children and young people age 5-18 may not normally have access to. 
A menu of free activities (free for both the school and for its pupils) is available. There are a number of organisations and activities available for schools to access including Higher Rhythm, Doncaster College Forest School, Friends of Adams Ark and much more. There are also specialist activities targeting pupils in special, alternative provision and PRU settings. You can find details of each programme available to you by visiting the website below where you can express an interest in accessing provision for your school.
We are pleased that Doncaster’s youth consortium, EXPECT Youth, have agreed to oversee the management of this offer to schools. If you would like further information or want to discuss this further please email


Could you spare your time to change a life? We have launched our mentoring programme with Doncaster Children’s Services Trust and are looking for committed people to train to be volunteer mentors. More information can be found at - 

Civic Mayor Awards

Doncaster Opportunity Area are proud to be sponsoring this year’s Doncaster Civic Mayor Awards and I want to encourage you to nominate a young person who deserves recognition for their achievements.
On becoming Deputy Civic Mayor of Doncaster in 2017, Majid Khan decided that the first piece of work he would undertake when he became Civic Mayor would be to recognise the contribution that young people of Doncaster make to the Borough and wider society. Majid decided that an awards scheme to recognise these contributions would help to develop civic duty and inspire the people of Doncaster.
The first Civic Mayor Awards will be taking place in April and nominations are now open, if you have been inspired by a young person, whether they have made a difference to their local community or school, used their voice to champion the rights of young people, or made achievements in areas such as sports, music, drama or culture, then please nominate them for one of the six Civic Mayor Awards.
For full details about the award categories and to make a nomination please visit:
The deadline for all nominations is 1st March 2019.

Teacher Recruitment and Retention

On 28th January, the Department for Education published its Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy: You can download it here.  
Central to the strategy is a commitment to transform support for early career teachers, which is why, alongside the strategy, we have published a new Early Career Framework (available here: Early Career Framework). This framework will underpin two years of high quality support and training for NQTs. The Secretary of State has also confirmed that Doncaster will be one of the first areas it will be rolled out.
This means that from 2020, all NQTs teaching in the schools in early roll-out areas that opt-in will have access to a funded package of support, including high quality training and development, strengthened support from mentors and a 5% reduced timetable in their second year of teaching.

We plan to engage extensively with stakeholders in the areas involved in early roll-out to ensure schools and teachers participate fully in this exciting opportunity to help shape the programme ahead of national roll-out, expected to begin from 2021.

Free Governance Training

The National Governance Association are currently running fully funded training for governing boards, chairs and clerks. There are upcoming Doncaster cohorts to book onto:


Gain access to accelerate teaching, a course available to teachers in the first 5 years of their career. It offers a fully funded, evidence-based, professional development course. Where each teacher will be partnered with an expert coach, have access to high quality blended learning, and join a network of other early career teachers.

For more information go to

Hallam on Tour

Sheffield Hallam’s Community Engagement team are in Frenchgate, Doncaster on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th February delivering family friendly outreach activities during half term.

There are science themed activities for children aged 4-13 years old, all completely Free!

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

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