Fenland is set to share a £72 million funding pot to help boost education opportunities under government plans announced today.
The district, together with East Cambridgeshire, has been named as one of 12 opportunity areas that will benefit from the investment from the Department of Education.
North East Cambridgeshire MP Stephen Barclay said the announcement was his “best day” in Parliament and paid tribute to the Brookes Weston Trust, sponsors of Wisbech’s Thomas Clarkson Academy, for initiating the bid.
He said: “If Brookes Weston had not flagged this, if we had not worked collaboratively locally to pull a case together, and if we had not made the pitch effectively, Fenland and East Cambs would no doubt have missed out. “We have great talent and potential amongst the students in our schools which I see on a regular basis.
“This money will mean Fenland and East Cambs are now at the heart of the Department for Education’s flagship programme, and will have priority when bidding for other schemes in the future.”
The announcement means schools in the area will be able to access an extra £6 million of funding, on top of current finances, between now and 2020.
Education secretary Justine Greening said: “As the Prime Minister has set out, we are facing a moment of great change as a nation. With our departure from the European Union, we will need to define an ambitious new role for ourselves in the world.
“For Britain to succeed we must be a country where everyone has a fair chance to go as far as their talent and their hard work will allow. Education is at the heart of that ambition, and is central to breaking down the barriers to social mobility that too many face in our country today.
“I want to see more disadvantaged young people attending the very best universities, winning places on apprenticeships, entering the top professions, and progressing through the most rewarding careers – and I want employers to do more to draw out the potential and talents of all.
“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.”