Children in Ipswich to get £1.2 million educational support

Online PE lessons with youngsters from Rushmere Hall Primary School
Online PE lessons with youngsters from Rushmere Hall Primary School Credit: Ipswich Opportunity Area

£1.2million has been committed by the government to extend an innovative Ipswich education scheme that has seen pupils across the town benefit.

Ipswich was selected by the Government as one of 12 Opportunity Areas to launch in September 2017, aimed at boosting education prospects in the town and establish inventive new projects in teaching.

The three-year programme was given a £1.4m boost to continue last year, and the Department for Education has now confirmed a £1.2m extension for a fifth year will happen from September 2021.

Key priorities for the fifth year of the programme are to improve attainment in maths and English, work on school readiness between early years providers and primary schools, support pupils’ emotional wellbeing and tackle barriers to learning.

With Covid-19, efforts will also be tackling the pandemic’s impact such as catch-up for those who fell behind home schooling during lockdown and addressing pupil anxiety.

Key programmes have included recruiting 18 remote teaching assistants to help youngsters catch-up with their learning, commissioning a series of online PE sessions for pupils to follow from home, and the What A Difference A Day Makes programme of Saturday morning classes which helped more than 200 youngsters secure a GCSE maths grade at least one level higher than predicted.