Government commits £1.6 million to North Yorkshire education schemes


Young people across North Yorkshire will benefit from a range of new projects designed to boost learning and access to extra-curricular activities, the Department for Education has revealed.

Totalling £1.6 million and targeting families living on the North Yorkshire Coast, the new schemes will be delivered as part of the Opportunity Area programme.

One half of the fund will focus on enabling parents to support their children to develop writing, reading and language skills through the use of community workshops, headed by experts in early years teaching.

As part of the project, 40 speech and language champions will work with nurseries and preschools to identify children that might be in particular need of support.

Further support will be provided to more than 20 primary schools to boost pupil’s communication and speech skills as part of an attempt to ease the workload for primary school teaching staff.

The other £800,000 will support a scheme in Scarborough, Whitby and Filey that will provide access to sports, the arts and cultural activities.

An estimated 3,500 young people between the ages of five and 18 will benefit when the scheme gets underway this September.

Education secretary Damian Hinds visited Scarborough ahead of unveiling the new programmes and said he hopes they will enable more people to fulfil their ambitions.

“The Opportunity Area programme is about making sure we can create the right conditions to broaden the horizons of young people from disadvantaged areas and give them the best start in life,” he explained.North Yorkshire Coast is one of 12 Opportunity Areas that forms part of the government’s £72 million Opportunity Area programme.

Some of the extra-curricular activities will focus on the most deprived youngsters in the region and will look to aid the development of leadership skills, confidence and teamwork capabilities.

Sir Martin Narey, Chair of the North Yorkshire Coast Opportunity Area Partnership Board, praised Mr Hinds for visiting to see first-hand “the efforts we are making to improve social mobility”.

He described the progress made to date as “encouraging” and said the board is keen to see as many youngsters as possible from the region reach their potential.