Opportunity Areas Impact Evaluation

Department for Education: Opportunity Areas Impact Evaluation

The Opportunity Areas (OAs) programme aims to increase social mobility by investing £72 million (2017-2020) for 12 OAs to address entrenched and widespread educational challenges in areas of multiple social and economic disadvantage. OAs foster cross-sector collaboration between early years providers, schools, colleges, universities, employers, charities and local authorities. OAs’ delivery plans describe local barriers to achievement and set out an improvement vision, priorities, targets and actions to provide opportunities for children and young people.

A consortium comprising York Consulting (lead partner), NFER, New Economics Foundation Consulting and University of Leeds has been commissioned to evaluate the impact of OAs.

The mixed-methods evaluation has four strands:

  • Overall impact which involves constructing statistical models to capture the value added of the programme on educational and related outcomes.
  • Cost-benefit analysis which entails estimating the net benefit of OA funding.
  • Place-based evaluation investigating planning and delivery and cross-cutting themes.
  • Intervention-level evaluations of specific projects.

Read the full privacy notice for this project here.

Feedback from our clients

  • "Well done – a lot of work in a short space of time and at such high quality.” Sector Skills Council

  • "Your workshop was extremely well received and enabled managers to gain detailed insight, drawing on your expertise and knowledge.” Senior manager, not-for-profit organisation

  • "It [YCL’s final report] is one of the most impressive evaluation reports I’ve had the pleasure to read.” Principal, Further Education College

  • “YCL staff understand our organisation…I have developed a great relationship with them and I hope to work with them again.” Housing Association

  • “I’ve enjoyed working with you on this project. Thanks for your co-operation and flexibility.” Government department