Can you help NOA engage parents in conversations about education and future goals? New Community Innovation Fund launched …

We have set up a new Community Innovation Fund through NOA which aims to involve parents in conversations about education and future goals, ensure conversations about different types of careers and jobs start at an early age and support certain areas of Norwich where children may have few successful role models.

The Community Innovation Fund looks for organisations who can work with children and their families to facilitate these conversations.  We have organised an event on Wednesday 23rd January for organisations who are keen to find out more.  Please sign up via Eventbrite

The £160,000 fund is intended to fund a variety of different projects across the city and includes two distinct strands:

  1. Projects that deliver activities for children and their families (primary aged children and pupils in the early years of secondary school)
  2. Projects that offer technology and/or marketing solutions in Norwich to encourage children and their families to have these types of conversations

Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds visits Norwich.

The Education Secretary was in Norwich to reflect on the work of the Opportunity Area in the first year of delivery. His visit started with a tour of City College, speaking to students, and finding out about roll out of the new T level qualifications.

He then met with representatives from the Partnership and Youth Boards to discuss the challenges and learning from the first year of delivery and hear about priorities for the next two years.  He was particularly interested in plans for increased parental engagement.

Stuart Allen, Headteacher at Mile Cross primary stressed the importance of having outstanding teachers in front of classes in order to build on improving results at KS1 & KS2 and addressing the increasingly challenging early speech and language issues young children entering school demonstrate through the Communication Champions network.

Alan Hopley, CEO of Voluntary Norfolk, said that he was proud of the positive collaboration taking place but “there are still challenges that suggest there is work to be done, but the Inclusion Charter gives us the mechanism to start doing that.

Shannon and Molly, Youth Board students from The Hewett Academy spoke to him about their recently approved project to provide employability workshops for parents with English as an additional language alongside creativity and resilience workshops for their children.

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Finally, he met with representatives from our Cornerstones Employers at a meeting chaired by Brian Lightman, board member of the Careers and Enterprise Company, at Aviva’s marble hall, to explore their role in in supporting and preparing young people across the Opportunity Area for the fast-changing world for work.

Young Aviva apprentice Callum Penny who was a great ambassador for young apprentices and talked about the value of local employers creating meaningful opportunities for young people.

Jasmine, Lauren, Ryan and Will travelled up to Westminster to give a presentation to ministers on what it means to be a young person in an Opportunity Area.  Ryan and Jasmine shared their own stories of the challenges that can be typical for young people in an OA, overcoming parent bereavement, coping with SEN and disability, and navigating the different pathways to a successful career.  Lauren and Will highlighted the important role of educators, youth workers and employers in providing the support young people need to overcome barriers to success.

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Indra Morris, Director General for Children’s Social Care, Social Mobility and Disadvantage at DfE, said “For me the evening belonged to the young people from Norwich. They spoke about their lives, their challenges, their triumphs, what the OA meant to them and how they were actively shaping it”

One year on celebration event

On 18th September 2018 the Youth Board hosted our celebration event to recognise all the good work that has been done over the last year.

The youth board spoke about the key teachers, family members, youth workers and other adults in their lives that had supported them to reach their potential and thanked everyone present for their work to improve outcomes for young people.

We were really thrilled to have children from Catton Grove Primary School who told everyone about their hopes and dreams for the future.

Nadim Zahawi , MP for Stratford-on-Avon and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families presented in a video, passing on his thanks for all the work that has been done and highlighting the Communication Champions Network, the Inclusion Charter and the Research School as key projects to transform outcomes.

Chloe Smith MP and chair of our Youth Board said “I am so so proud of our Youth Board who have shown the community tonight why this work matters, why a year in their life matters, and why young people’s voices matter”

 

October. A chance to reflect on the first year.

October has been a month to reflect on what progress has been made in our first year as an Opportunity Area.  The delivery plan was published last year on 9th October, and since then our partnership board and thematic groups have created a programme to deliver against the targets sets for each of our  four priorities for Norwich.

Our Youth Board hosted a celebration event on 18th September to celebrate the work of local leaders and stakeholders from schools, colleges, business, the voluntary sector, and our local councils.  On 12th October Damien Hinds, Secretary of State for Education, visited Norwich to speak to students and tutors at Norwich City College, meet with the Partnership Board to discuss their strategy for the next two years, and speak to cornerstone employers about their contribution.  The following week our Youth Board was invited to represent the voice of young people in OAs at a national celebration in Westminster, as the DfE published two key documents as part of the day’s reflections on this first milestone: an independent evaluation of the implementation phase of the Opportunity Area programme, and a set of case studies from all 12 opportunity areas.

NFER’s evaluation identified that nationally the programme is ‘starting to develop a lasting legacy’ of positive collaboration. In Norwich we have seen evidence of this in some strong networks developing between schools and colleges, leading to some significant new school-led projects.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/opportunity-area-programme-research-and-analysis