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The Fenland and East Cambridgeshire Opportunity Area (OA) was launched by the government in January 2017 as one of 12 OAs across England. The aim is to raise education standards locally, providing every child and young person in the area with the chance to reach their full potential.

We are delighted to announce that the Opportunity Area programme has been extended to August 2022. Please see our Year 5 announcement for more details.

Going into Year 5 of the programme, we are focusing our work across the following themes:

  • Ready to Learn
  • Early Years
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
  • Community Support

In addition, our work this year will involve:

  • Sharing best practice
  • Working with other government departments
  • Twinning with Peterborough

At the start of the programme in 2017, in collaboration with local partners across early years, schools, and further and higher education settings throughout Fenland and East Cambridgeshire we identified four specific priorities for the OA at the start of the programme:

  • Priority 1: Accelerate the progress of disadvantaged children and young people in the acquisition and development of communication, language and reading.
  • Priority 2: Strengthen the effectiveness of support for children and young people with mental health concerns and those with Special Educational Needs.
  • Priority 3: Raise aspiration and increase access for young people to a wide range of career choices and post-16 routes.
  • Priority 4: Recruit, develop and retain the best leaders and teachers in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire.

More information on the methodology and data used to select the 12 OAs, along with each OA’s delivery plan, can be found on the Department for Education OA website.