Norwich Opportunity Area

Norwich Opportunity Area

We are pleased to be a partner in the Norwich Opportunity Area initiative, along with the Department for Education.

In October 2016 Norwich was identified as one of 12 Opportunity Areas  to improve social mobility, by then Education Secretary Justine Greening:

“Opportunity areas will help local children get the best start in life, no matter what their background. Ensuring all children can access high-quality education at every stage is critical. We will focus not just on what we can do to help inside schools, but also create the opportunities outside school that will raise sights and broaden horizons for young people.” Justine Greening

The Norwich Opportunity Area is a network of local partners collaborating on coordinated activities to increase social mobility in Norwich.  A partnership board has been established to act as strategic coordinator of activities around four key strands of focus by creating working groups to represent the required expertise:

  1. Improving speech and communication in the early years so that children have the best chance as they start school.
  2. Improving teaching and attainment, from primary school through to age 18, so that young people gain the skills, knowledge and qualifications they need for the next stage of their life.
  3. Providing advice on careers and working life, supporting and informing young people in key decisions around qualifications and skills needed at important transition points, enabling them to get on the right path to their chosen career.
  4. Reducing the number of children at risk of exclusion and disengagement from education, by supporting them to overcome the problems that lead to social immobility.

City Academy Norwich is pleased to have Headteacher Paul Collin and Deputy Principal Debbie Edwards on the Norwich Opportunity Area Partnership Board, where they both contribute to the Exclusion Working Group. Alongside Assistant Vice Principal Rachel Crickmore, Debbie Edwards also contributes to the Teaching and Attainment Working Group.  We hope that the Norwich Opportunity Area will enable all young people in Norwich to achieve their potential, regardless of background, so that they can help us transform Norfolk into a global centre for talent and innovation.

To keep updated with news about Norwich Opportunity Area sign up to our newsletter here, or follow us on Twitter.  To find out how your organisation could be involved in Norwich, contact Programme Director Jacqueline Bircham at

For more information about Opportunity Areas email