Opportunity Areas HCHF (Healthy Children, Healthy Families)

Opportunity Areas HCHF (Healthy Children, Healthy Families)

Published Date: 8 Oct 2018

Bradford has been designated one of 12 UK Opportunity Areas, bringing in £6 million of funding over 3 years to improve educational attainment and social mobility for children in Bradford1. To achieve this, a new applied Education Innovation Hub has been established, involving partnerships between researchers from the Healthy Children Healthy Families theme of YH CLAHRC, Bradford Council, the Educational Endowment Fund (EEF) and the new EEF Research School in Bradford. Aims for the hub are 1) Link data across health and education to improve diagnosis of health issues affecting attainment, and support professionals working to address these issues; 2) lead and commission research looking at what works in linking health and education. 

Initial activities will focus on expanding current CLAHRC projects: 1) improving writing through delivering an evidence-based handwriting intervention to 50 schools in Bradford, targeting the estimated 15% of children in Bradford who have been found to have poor fine motor skills 2) supporting the estimated 1/3 of children in Bradford with an uncorrected eyesight problem who do not attend an appointment for treatment by bringing optometrists into 80 schools 3) looking at using routine education data (Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP)) to identify children at risk of autism and provide early intervention for these children in at least 30 schools.

Key targets of the hub are to improve attainment in reading and writing amongst children participating in the handwriting programme, involve over 100 schools in educational research activity, and attract additional funding of at least £1million.

Funding has been secured from the EEF to trial an evidence based handwriting intervention through the Education Innovation Hub in 50 schools, both in Bradford and the North East. Recruitment for this project will begin in Spring/Summer 2018, with the intervention beginning in Autumn 2018.

Contribution of CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber

A member of the HCHF theme of YH CLAHRC is on the partnership board for the Bradford Opportunity area, and HCHF members will be key members of the Education Innovation Hub.

Findings from CLAHRC funded research were highlighted in the Opportunity Area plan bid and these research plans will be expanded to reach more children and schools.

What happened next?

Funding has been secured from the EEF to trial an evidence based handwriting intervention through the Education Innovation Hub in 50 schools, both in Bradford and the North East. Recruitment for this project will begin in Spring/Summer 2018, with the intervention beginning in Autumn 2018.

39 children in 10 schools have already been identified as being at risk of Autism through analysis of their EYFSP and a further social communication checklist, and it is aimed that these children (plus controls) will be given a full clinical assessment. The pilot clinic for this is being scheduled for Summer 2018.