Latest News

  • More than just a job: Business Development Manager #morethanjustajob

    This week, we spoke to Sean Norton; Business Development Manager, as we took an inside look into his career, and found out why a role with SCL is #morethanjustajob. Name: Sean Norton                       
    Job title: Business Development Manager

    Talk us through your role and what you do…

    My role as Business Development Manager is to promote each of SCL’s Education & Training services; from Study programmes and Apprenticeships to Adult Education Budget, working closely with our partners.

    What are your main responsibilities?

    My main responsibilities are to help SCL grow its network of partners within the sports sector. This could be with Professional and Semi-Professional sports clubs or commercial organisations. I promote and support the set up of 16-18-year-old Study Programmes, whilst supporting Apprenticeship Levy and Non-Levy Employers attract, retain and develop staff, and promoting Adult Education Budget short courses. I am also responsible for the Account Management of 35 clubs across the South. I offer commercial support for the clubs who are currently running Study Programmes with us, whether that be a BTEC Level 3 or a NEET (not in education, employment or training) course.

    What do you enjoy most about your role?

    I am extremely passionate about sport and I love the fact that every day I am working with like-minded professionals within Football, Cricket and Rugby. Every day is different here at SCL, with different challenges and opportunities.

    What support do you receive from your employer?

    I have been very fortunate to work with some fantastic professionals at SCL and am lucky to have learnt a lot from the individuals in the business. SCL are very supportive of everyone in the business - from apprentices to directors, everyone is treated with the same respect. I have gained a lot of support and knowledge from Steve Franks, as I have been fortunate to work closely with him, as well as other departmental heads.

    Can you talk us through your career path to-date?

    I have experience of the BTEC Level 3 course as I studied this myself when I was younger. Since then, my career fell into a sales role, working within Recruitment for 3 years. After this, I then became a Manager for a private apprenticeship provider. I was fortunate enough in this role to complete my Management Level 3 Apprenticeship. I was in charge of 3 regions, managing both the recruitment staff and delivery staff. This role gave me a larger amount of experience in education and the skills I gained from this role were easily transferable in my role here at SCL. Since then, I have grown my knowledge and expertise in a variety of other educational programmes at SCL and I am looking forward to continuing to grow my skill set here.

    What are the stand-out moments from your career to-date?

    In my first year at SCL, I was nominated by my peers in every quarter for one of our quarterly awards and it was very humbling. I was lucky enough to win the Passionate award in Quarter 4, which meant I was rewarded at the annual awards ceremony. This is another fantastic reward that SCL have in place for their staff. All the winners were invited to Mercedes Benz world for a track day, followed by a stay at Pennyhill Park.

    What opportunities are there for young people within your industry?

    There are loads of opportunities within our industry, whether that be an apprenticeship within our primary division; working within schools at their care clubs and summer camps, working within the Education and Training department as a tutor for one of our study programmes, or even working in the commercial side of the business where, like me, you wake up excited about going to work as you have an interest and passion for the sector you work in.

    What experience is required to be successful in your role?

    Within my role you need to be able to communicate in a professional and concise way. Knowledge is key, so taking the time to understand the education offering and the logistics around it will help you communicate this with partners. Building relationships with your partners, taking your time to understand their needs and then creating a solution that fits. The most important thing within the role is to be open and honest and to keep regular communication with internal and external staff to get things done.

    If you had one bit of advice for your younger self, what would it be?

    Just go for it, don’t worry about knock backs and rejections. Life is too short and there is no point dwelling on the negatives, you will learn from your mistakes and become better because of it.

    What is the best advice that you've received?

    Treat people how you would want to be treated

    What would your motto or slogan be?

    Believe in yourself   Are you looking for #morethanjustajob? Visit to view our latest vacancies and get in touch today!  

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  • SCL Primary Staff Graduate from Apprenticeship

    Last week, two of our primary staff, Callum Grainger and Ollie Royan, attended their graduation ceremony following completion of their SCL Apprenticeships in Playwork (Level 3 Diploma (NVQ). The course aims to improve technical and practical skills around the development of early years learners in a childcare environment. SCL offers a unique Apprenticeship proposal in that individuals are able to work for our Primary department whilst receiving education from our Education and Training division, a scenario that develops a strong sense of belonging and rounded practical application opportunities. Both were pleased to point out how well they have appreciated the apprenticeship programme. Callum explained that the ‘apprenticeship has given me that hands on experience that I needed to help me within my chosen job role and I’ve found that it’s helped massively with my own personal development’, whilst Ollie said that the programme had ‘boosted my confidence by helping me achieve more than I expected to’. We congratulate both Ollie and Callum on their fantastic achievements, and hope that they continue to enjoy and develop within their roles at SCL! By Ash Payne

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  • First Steps to Kick-Starting a Career in Sport: Connor Ward’s Journey

    This week we spoke to Connor Ward, a former SCL education tutor who is now studying at the University of Reading, working towards completing a PGCE PE course. Connor worked as a primary education tutor from July 2017 until the end of August 2018, leaving to start his new chapter at the University of Reading where he aims to pursue a career in sport as a PE teacher. Working amongst like-minded passionate team members is something Connor loved as a primary education tutor at SCL. The full-time nature of the role was what Connor enjoyed the most, where he could be fully immersed in sport every day and see students slowly improve and grow with their social and sporting skills. “My favourite things about the job was having a full time job working in sport and the satisfaction you got from seeing a student improve on their sporting ability as a result of your teaching.” Connor’s love for being a primary education tutor went further than just term times as he also worked at SCL’s Velmead holiday camp during the summer. Moreover Connor was allowed to focus on the football element of the holiday programme, which is a sport Connor is passionate about. This excitement was transferred to the children where he enjoyed seeing their progress throughout the summer. "The stand out moments usually related to one of the children on the course producing an amazing piece of skill, goal or save.” Since embarking on his PE course at the University of Reading, Connor is finding the switch from being a full time tutor to a student again tough, especially the financial challenges that the change brings. However Connor is enjoying the course and prefers the days where he studies at a placement school as this is where he can shine, utilising his past teaching experience. Growing up, Connor had always aimed to go to university in order to fulfil a future in football, either in coaching or analysis. However since leaving SCL, Connor now realises that his passion lies in coaching and inspiring children, leading him to a career in PE teaching.     "Once working as a Primary Education Tutor, I realised I really enjoyed teaching which lead me to researching and pursuing a career in PE Teaching.” For anyone who is interested in a career in sport, Connor would encourage you to build as many contacts and networks of people involved with sport as possible. "A lot of opportunities in sport come from who you know.”   We wish Connor the best with his PGCE PE Course and know he will excel at PE teaching in the future.   By Emma Abrahamian

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  • More Than Just a Job: Maths and English Specialist #MORETHANJUSTAJOB

    This week, we spoke to Sam Leslie; Maths and English Specialist/FE Sports lecturer, as we took an inside look into his career, and found out why a role with SCL is #morethanjustajob. Name: Sam Leslie
    Job Title: Maths and English Specialist (Eastern Region)/FE Sports Lecturer 
    Talk us through your role and what you do… Currently I work as a part-time tutor at Needham Market Academy, whilst also completing a part-time role as the Maths and English specialist in the Eastern region. I cover 4 clubs on a 3-week timetable, delivering both Maths and English lessons. 

    What are your main responsibilities? Ensuring all of my students know what they are doing and how they will reach targets. I also oversee the full programme of Maths and English, making sure all tutors are hitting deadlines and are confident in the delivery of Maths and English. I have a Sub-Diploma group of 10 students at Needham Market so I work closely with them to ensure I am delivering sessions at the right level.

    What do you enjoy most about your role? Seeing the satisfaction on student’s faces when they achieve something or have that moment of ‘Yes, I’ve got it!’ 

    Can you talk us through your career to-date? I went to college to gain A Levels but had to stay for 3 years due to my own mistakes in year one. I gained a First-class Honours in Sports Science at University while completing a placement at a professional club. I left and got myself a job in primary school PE which was fun but knew it wasn’t a long-term plan for myself. Happily, I managed to get myself a job at SCL working at Lowestoft Town Academy. I proposed a new role to my manager to incorporate the Maths and English side which I enjoy and can challenge myself with throughout the next few years. 

    What opportunities are there for young people within your industry? They can be endless! People may look at a programme such as we offer and think its wishy washy and they will not achieve anything from it. If young people want to play sports 3-4 times a week whilst being educated in fun environments then it is for them. University, jobs, apprenticeships, further education or even semi-professional/professional football are some of the many outcomes from this course. 

    What experience is required to be successful in your role? A background in teaching helps but I believe that no teaching experience and a want to learn can take you far in just a year of the job. Being a tutor who has the student at the heart of everything they do is only going to help all parties improve and get better. You will get nowhere trying to take short cuts – be organised and motivated and this job is rewarding. 

    If you had one bit of advice for your younger self, what would it be? Not to go to college and do A Levels. If I knew of these courses when I was applying, then my path into University would have been different. The environment really does allow students to flourish in an area which they are clearly focused in at that stage of their lives. 

    What is the best advice that you've received? Ask questions!!! The amount of times I apologised for asking questions in my first year was a lot! The support given from my manager to colleagues in different clubs was next level and it really does help new members settle in and improve themselves over the year. 

    What would your motto or slogan be? If you put the effort in, rewards will follow

    What brings you the most happiness? Cliché to say my pay check at the end of every month for all the hard work I have put in. Aside from money I would have to say a simple thank you. Hearing a thank you from a student that you might have put an extra five minutes work at the end of the day to support is a good feeling!

      Are you looking for #morethanjustajob? Visit to view our latest vacancies and get in touch today!

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  • SCL & Lowestoft Town FC Academy’s Josh Parry links up with Morecambe FC’s U21’s

    SCL and Lowestoft Town FC Academy’s Josh Parry recently impressed both on and off the pitch to secure his place on Morecambe Football Club’s training programme. Having linked up with club’s Under-21’s development squad, Josh Parry recently announced that he’d be leaving the full-time education and football development programme at Lowestoft Town to continue his studies and training at the Merseyside-based programme. Having enrolled onto SCL’s programme six weeks into the academic year, Parry settled in with ease, instantly demonstrating his strength both on the pitch and in the classroom. Over the summer, Parry’s skill and hard work paid off as he was fortunate enough to secure a trial with Morecambe FC. Parry’s performance resulted in an invitation to a training period with the Academy, and an offer for a full-time position on the squad. With the hope of progressing players into the Morecambe 1st team, the development squad’s main objective is to prepare the players for senior football. FE Sports Lecturer at Lowestoft Town FC Academy, Sam Leslie, explained: “We always knew Josh wanted to spread his wings and try and better himself as much as possible. As a club, we are disappointed to be losing such a driven individual but we wish Josh all the success in his future career.” On his time at the Academy, Josh Parry added: “The Lowestoft Town FC and SCL football and education programme was very good. Thanks to the football coaching and various training sessions a week as well as a competitive fixtures schedule, I felt it really improved my playing standard and fitness which then allowed me to push on. “The education itself was also very good, the standard of teaching and support was very high and the layout of the SCL programme was also easy to follow. Parry continued: “Without this programme I do not believe I would’ve been able to successfully push on to start my new adventure with the Morecambe FC U21 development squad. So a big thank you to everyone involved at Lowestoft Town FC and at SCL.” The full-time education and football development programme prides itself on its unrivalled exit routes and progression opportunities for its learners. Curriculum Manager, Ian Cooper explained: “Our underlying aim in all our educational programmes is to develop the individual, academically, personally and socially to ensure they leave us a well-rounded and developed student. What is so pleasing to see is that Josh is continuing to follow his dream, this is a credit to Sam and all the staff at Lowestoft Town FC and all the more impressive this has taken place in the inception year of the programme. We all wish Josh all the best for his exciting future.” Gary Keyzor Chairman of Lowestoft Town quoted: “We are very proud that Josh has earned himself a place at Morecambe Football Club, our aim is to bring on these talented young players in the hope of them making the grade with our first team, however if any player like Josh gets the opportunity to fulfil their dream at a higher level than that is testament to our education programme and coaching team and shows to others who may be contemplating joining us in the future what may be achieved from the Lowestoft / SCL programme.”   To find out more about the Lowestoft Town FC Academy programme, in partnership with SCL, or if you know someone aged 16-18 years’ old who would like to apply, visit   By Emma Abrahamian

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  • SCL and Millwall Community Academy link up with FC Puerto Del Carmen of Lanzarote

    Millwall Community Academy recently linked up with FC Puerto Del Carmen of Lanzarote for an exciting new arrangement, inviting six players to join the two-year education and football development programme, in partnership with SCL Education Group. Football Development Manager, Sean Daly, kick-started the relationship with FC Puerto Del Carmen Chairman, Daniel Trigg, as both parties agreed that an arrangement could provide major benefits for both sides. It was soon decided that 40 players, accompanied by 7 coaching staff, would make the trip from Lanzarote to Millwall Community Academy, to take part in the Showcase Games; a two-day event, giving the Lanzarote lads a flavour for English football, whilst introducing them to the Academy experience. Arriving at the Millwall venue, the international lads were divided into two teams before going head to head against SCL and Millwall Community Trust’s post-16 Academy students. In addition to developing their sporting skills, FC Puerto Del Carmen’s Trigg was particularly keen to give his lads a true cultural experience during their time in England. The players embarked on a trip to the 02 Academy, a stadium tour of The Den, and had the opportunity to walk out on-pitch before watching Millwall FC face Leeds United. During the Showcase Games, FE Sports Lecturer Kenrick Dyer developed conversations with Daniel Trigg further, proposing a more permanent link between the clubs. This set the process of enrolling six of the Lanzarote lads onto the full-time education and football development programme into motion. The selected players are set to travel back to London at the end of the month to get started. SCL’s FE Sports Lecturer, Kenrick Dyer explained: “Creating a link with FC Puerto Del Carmen, and a partnership bringing six new students to join the programme, will bridge the gap between English and Spanish education and football.” Together, FC Puerto Del Carmen, Millwall Community Trust and SCL are providing Lanzarote youngsters with the opportunity to learn English and maths from highly qualified SCL tutors, whilst being immersed into a new culture. Sparking conversations overseas, this new and exciting partnership builds great European links for SCL, and lays the foundations for further international opportunities in the future. From everyone at SCL Education Group and Millwall Community Trust Academy, we wish our new learners the very best of luck, and hope they settle in well to their new programme.

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  • SCL & Pulse Premier learners set for Europe: A football and education trip like no other

    Leading providers of education through sport continue to develop outstanding opportunities for post-16 learners. Having recently secured funding from Erasmus+; the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport, SCL Education Group are launching their first vocational project, boosting skills and employability through the opportunity to study, train and gain work experience in Europe. Turning their attention to developing international opportunities for their young learners, the leading providers of education through sport will be sending 40 learners from their Pulse Premier Football Academy, accompanied by 10 members of staff, to Sportilia next summer, for a football and education experience like no other. OPPORTUNITY The two-week trip, booked for June 2019, will see 40 learners travel to Italy to experience European training facilities and technique, whilst immersing themselves within an environment where the values of conditioning, psychology, speed and skill are paramount. Strengthening their CV with work and educational experiences, this once in a lifetime opportunity will allow learners to develop their skill through professional coaching sessions with Italian FA Coaches, before facing Italian opposition in a series of two competitive 90-minute matches. Learners will then have the opportunity to take the reins, putting their training and studies into practice, to deliver a programme of football coaching sessions to local Italian youth players. In addition to developing their footballing and coaching skills, learners will take part in Italian language and cooking lessons, as well as cultural trips, allowing them to experience new social and cultural practices within a European setting. Steve Franks, Managing Director, Education and Training at SCL Education Group, explained: “We are thrilled to be able to offer this exciting opportunity to our learners at Pulse Premier Academy, and are looking forward to expanding the programme next year, providing more of our learners the opportunity to train and study overseas. “The trip will provide the boys and girls with a unique insight into international culture, and open their minds to new techniques and opportunities within the industry.” EXPERIENCE Home to SCL learners and staff for the duration of their two-week stay, Sportilia; the multi-purpose sports training centre, based near Bologna, in the North of Italy, is visited each year by professional and amateur athletes from across the world. Providing the young learners with a true insight into the world of professional sport, Sportilia houses professional facilities for both indoor and outdoor training, as well as its very own hotel, restaurant, medical centre and meeting facilities for theoretical learning. PARTNERSHIP Mark Anderson, Academy Manager at Pulse Premier Football Academy, added: “We are extremely proud and honoured to be able to give our students this fantastic opportunity. This will be an amazing football and educational experience and the memories and learning will always stay with those lucky enough to be part of the trip. “It is well known that Italy is a footballing giant and culturally one of the most beautiful countries in the world to eat, study and train the Italian way. The trip will not only benefit our students, but our coaches too. The facilities are second to none and the fixtures that take place will be a magnificent experience. Anderson continued: “Our partnership with SCL continues to flourish and to be part of this exciting venture together is something that I know everyone involved is really looking forward to.”. Delivering a real mix between in-classroom and on-pitch learning, the Pulse Premier Academy programme, in partnership with SCL, has gone from strength to strength since opening its doors to 16-18 year olds in 2011, and prides itself on its unrivalled exit routes and progression opportunities for its learners. With the exciting announcement of new funding, SCL, in partnership with Pulse Premier, are opening new doors to learners, enabling them to reach their full potential.

    To find out more about the Pulse Premier Football Academy programme in partnership with SCL, or if you know someone aged 16-18 years old who would like to apply, visit

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  • More Than Just a Job: Curriculum Manager #MoreThanJustAJob

    This week, we spoke to Paul Rowlandson; Curriculum Manager, as we took an inside look into his career, and found out why a role with SCL is #morethanjustajob. Name: Paul Rowlandson
    Job title: 
    Curriculum Manager Talk us through your role and what you do… I am the Curriculum Manager for the North Division, I am responsible for managing and supporting the Level 2 and 3 vocational curriculum across 10 academies ranging from Birmingham to Newcastle. What are your main responsibilities? To ensure the quality of the curriculum is being delivered to the highest standard across all my sites by supporting and guiding tutors through their academic year. I also hold regular meetings with each head of academy to support with new recruitment, offer new courses which would benefit learners in their specific demographic area. What do you enjoy most about your role? The flexibility to decide who I will be visiting and when.  Also being able to see staff members grow and develop as the year goes on. Can you talk us through your career path to-date? Very basic! University/PGCE/teaching job, I have worked in a number of different roles and venues including mainstream, behavioural units and independent provision, each different from the last and brilliant in their own unique way. What are the stand-out moments from your career to-date? There are so many! Anytime I have managed to see 100% of my learners achieve is always rewarding. Also seeing every student return for a second year is great as it shows they do actually value the work you do! But the two standouts have to be becoming a Curriculum Manager as well as winning the Passionate Award at last year’s SCL Excellence Awards and getting to drive those amazing cars at Mercedes Benz World! What opportunities are there for young people within your industry? Too many to mention – this is a multi-billion pound industry and any young person wanting a career in sport, the world is literally their oyster. What experience is required to be successful in your role? Patience, resilience and understanding that people are human and will make mistakes so always plan for every eventuality. What are the biggest challenges you face at work? Travel - The distance between my academies is vast so ensuring each staff member receives the same support and guidance is hard. Also there are so many ‘sub roles’ which make up my role so making sure each plate is constantly spinning can be a challenge. If you had one bit of advice for your younger self, what would it be? Don’t give up! You will get to where you need to be, trust yourself. What is the best advice that you've received? Treat every day as a new adventure. What would your motto or slogan be? Dig in and stay strong!   Are you looking for #morethanjustajob? Visit to view our latest vacancies and get in touch today!

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  • More than just a job: Lead GCSE Maths Specialist #morethanjustajob

    This week, we spoke to Richard Hylton; Lead GCSE Maths Specialist, as we took an inside look into his career, and found out why a role with SCL is #morethanjustajob. Name: Richard Hylton  Job title: Lead GCSE Maths Specialist

    Talk us through your role, who you work for, and what you do… As the GCSE Maths Specialist my job is the creation of resources for the staff to use during their lessons whether that be simple worksheets or quizzes and games or even videos of me. I am also here to support specialist and vocational lecturers alike when it comes to everything Maths. 

    What are your main responsibilities? As well as what I mentioned above I am also going into different clubs and teaching the students first hand (best part of the job). The vocational staff will sit in with me to give them the confidence in the subject. I will be making sure resources are available and sent out every week to all the clubs all adhering to the scheme of work that I produced over the summer.

    What do you enjoy most about your role as Lead GCSE Maths Specialist? For me the best part of the job is those ‘Eureka’ moments the students have. For example, they would be struggling to ‘factorise’ a rather challenging topic, and all of sudden you see their face light up and the understanding come flooding in. “I could never do this at school, and now it makes perfect sense”. For me that is by far the best part of this job and any teaching role. Knowing you have made that difference.

    What support do you receive from your employer? Regular CPD meeting from my peers and management so everybody, myself included understands what is expected from them. As my background is predominantly Maths I have been given the opportunity to partake in a ‘Teaching English’ course to concrete my knowledge. 

    Can you talk us through your career path to-date? I started off as Finance Graduate after I came back from travelling, although enjoyable it didn’t really excite me the way a career should, so I applied to become a GCSE Maths lecturer at a local college. My only experience that I had previous to this was during college/university I did private tuition for friends and family, my thinking was: “well it would be pretty much the same thing just on a larger scale”. As soon as I started teaching I was absolutely hooked, during my 4 years at Basingstoke College of Technology I completed my Level 5 Diploma in Teaching and Education and went on to become GCSE Maths Course Director whereby I had my own team of teachers. After a year of this I still wanted more, so became an AQA examiner alongside marking the GCSE Maths papers every summer to widen my knowledge in the subject. Furthermore, I would spot the common errors students where making in their exams. Soon after, I came to work for Jackie here in a more work-based environment, and here I am now still putting every drop of passion into everything I do here at SCL.

    What are the stand-out moments from your career to-date? My stand out moment so far has to be my Grade 1 observation during which the college was going through an OFSTED inspection. I had by far my nosiest/largest class, it was Friday lunchtime so the last Maths class of the week so the students were not at their ‘optimal’ concentration level. However, I could not have asked for a more perfect lesson, this along with the students singing my praises secured my first ever Grade 1 Observation.

    What opportunities are there for young people within your industry? There are plenty of pathways to get where am for the younger generation. I am sure we have had students here at SCL who started as a student, then assistant lecturer, then sports lecturer and are now dabbling in the Maths & English side of things.

    What experience is required to be successful as an FE Sports Lecturer? The minimal requirement is a GCSE in Maths and preferably some background in teaching, however, I started with just the former (well I have a degree in Maths) and look at me know!

    What are you looking for when it comes to recruiting? Someone with a genuine love and enthusiasm for Maths. You could have the best knowledge in the world of Maths but if you have no oomph and energy in your teaching your students will not respond to you.

    What are the biggest challenges you face at work? The M25, by god that motorway is constantly busy.

    If you had one bit of advice for your younger self, what would it be? Invest heavily in Bitcoin and Leicester City win the Premier League in 2016 at 5000/1 so put a ton of cash on that!

    What is the best advice that you've received? ‘Reach for the Moon and if you fall land on the stars’ - nobody is stopping you from being the greatest you can be except yourself. Strive for your dream, and if it doesn’t quite work out take a step back and look how far you’ve really made it.

    What would your motto or slogan be? Work hard, play hard

      We asked Richard: What are you most proud of since working at SCL? Going to a private company to organise our exam centres for GCSE was my idea!

    What is your favourite food? Mum’s Macaroni Cheese

    What makes you mega happy? Food – I am a big foodie, I live off the stuff... no pun intended!

    If you could spend an evening with anyone, famous or not, who would it be? And where would you go? Idris Elba, because he is by far the coolest man who ever lived, I aspire to be him! Tokyo would be my place of choice because it’s on the bucket list and who doesn’t want to spend an evening in Tokyo with Idris, he is paying of course

    What is the best thing about working for SCL? Having Jackie as a boss.... I hope she reads this   Are you looking for #morethanjustajob? Visit to view our latest vacancies and get in touch today!    

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  • National Fitness Day 2018: SCL Fitness Tips

    In aid of UKActive's National #FitnessDay 2018, the SCL team have been celebrating the fun of fitness and physical activity, and doing their bit to encourage the nation to get moving. This week, a handful of our SCL experts have been reflecting on what fitness means to them, whilst sharing their top tips for getting fit...

    Eat healthy
    Train hard
    Drink water - hydrate Steve Franks - Managing Director, Education & Training

    Exercise little and often if time is a barrier to training
    Of all the components of fitness, flexibility is the one that diminishes the most as you get older... STRETCH!
    Always take the stairs Scott Cairley - National Quality Manager (Education Skills)

    Work out with friends or in a group - make yourself accountable and supported
    Remember, every time you go you are strengthening a habit
    There is no such thing as a bad workout. It is always better than no workout!
    Going is always the hardest part - once you get going, you will naturally do more Ian Cooper - Curriculum Manager

    Dance is my cardio!
    Learning dance routines keeps my brain fit
    It's not about being good at dance, but having fun and burning calories Vicky Clarke - Creative Art Worker

    It doesn't matter how little you do, anything is better than nothing
    Build up slowly and make sure you schedule rest days
    Join a fun fitness group to help motivate you to attend Sara Evans - Director of Central Operations

    Do 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days per week
    Do strength exercises on all major muscle groups twice per week - chest, back, legs, shoulders
    Use a gym or seek home exercises using your own body weight
    Eat a healthy diet! Diet = good results of any fitness programme Marcus Headington - Operations Director  

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  • New Yorkshire Cricket College Cohort Train Like the Professionals

      Last month saw the start of year two at the Yorkshire Cricket College and a brand-new cohort of 25 students walked through the gates at Emerald Headingley Stadium. Induction week involved meeting their peers, what they can expect from the college and introductions from the head of the college, tutors and coaches. On day three, students took part in a training session and fitness test led by Yorkshire CCC’s Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach, Ian Fisher. “It’s really inspiring to know that other people have trained here that have made it. It gives you a boost, another 10%” – Buck, first year student. “I’m looking forward to improving my skill set, to learning new skills and techniques. When I’ve finished, I’d like to go to University to study psychology with either sport or law, the Yorkshire Cricket College will allow me to do this and offers lots of opportunities for me” – Ellie, first year student. “It’s a great experience, I just want to go as far as I can so in order to do that I need the best facilities, which is why I think this is the perfect opportunity for anyone aspiring to play cricket to a professional level” – Archie, first year student. “It’s been a really good session this morning with the college first year students, we did some movement screening to get a picture of how they move for some gym-based activities further down the line, we also did some testing with them including hops, jumps and some core capacity and ended with a yo-yo test. We did the same tests as we do with the professional teams, that was the thinking behind this, to give them a taste of what the pro’s do and get them along the same pathways as the academy. This is the start of their physical journey with Yorkshire Cricket so it’s a good opportunity week 1 to see where they are at and improve from there” – Ian Fisher, Yorkshire CCC Lead Strength & Conditioning Coach. “It is exactly this type of experience that makes the Yorkshire Cricket College unique. We’ve gauged where the students are physically and it’ll be intriguing to watch their development over the next couple of months. I firmly believe that the regular fitness sessions translate into a better attitude to learning when they are back in the classroom as well as improving their overall health and wellbeing.” -Nick Interested in joining next year’s cohort? Join us at our Open Day on 30th October, 6pm-8pm. For more information contact   The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF) The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation is the community arm and registered charity of Yorkshire Cricket. The work of the charity is based around 5 core themes; Education, Health, Inclusion, Participation and History & Heritage. Using the power of sport and cricket in particular, the foundation seeks to engage with people of all ages and in all communities across Yorkshire. Cricket is the hook used to get people interested and engaged, and from there the foundation delivers a wide range of community outreach and education initiatives, with the aim of changing lives and developing communities.         Contact For more information on the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation: Press Contact: Charlotte Jones, Website: Social Media: Twitter and Instagram, @YCCC_YCF and Facebook, The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation

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  • More than just a job: FE Sports Lecturer #morethanjustajob

    This week, we spoke to Kenrick Dyer; FE Sports Lecturer at Millwall Community Trust Academy, as we took an inside look into his career, and found out why a role with SCL is #morethanjustajob.   Name: Kenrick Dyer Job title: FE Sports Lecturer

    Talk us through your role, who you work for, and what you do… My role is to deliver the NCFE Level 2 at Millwall Community Trust Academy. I work day-to-day with post 16 students who are on our football programme.

    What are your main responsibilities? I run the NCFE programme at Millwall Community Trust Academy, in partnership with SCL.

    What do you enjoy most about your role as FE Sports Lecturer? I enjoy sharing my own professional football and sporting experiences with students who want to achieve something within sport. I like the flexibility of practical and theory of the lessons as most of our students are visual learners.

    What support do you receive from your employer? I receive lots of support from my employer, there’s always someone on the other end of the phone in all departments of the company.

    Can you talk us through your career path to-date? I started with playing football for a living and liked the idea of being a football coach. I then went on and did my coaching badges, I then went onto work for professional football clubs at academy level. I then liked the idea of transferring what I did as a coach into the classroom, I stared to work within schools as a PE specialist which gave me to chance to teach in the classroom which I did for a few years. I was then presented with the opportunity to work with and lecture post 16 students teaching BTEC Level 3 on football programmes which I still continue to do today.

    What are the stand-out moments from your career to-date? From a sporting perspective, a stand out moment for me was winning “player of the year” and “players player of the year” in the same season.

    What opportunities are there for young people within your industry? Plenty, when students leave post 16 they have the opportunity to go to university, sports development, sports management, sports lecturer… The list goes on.

    What experience is required to be successful as an FE Sports Lecturer? To work on particular programmes, I think it’s a must that you must talk from experience and have been through certain experiences yourself, post 16 students know if what you’re saying is true or false, plus you’ll find that they’ll hang onto your every word too.

    What are the biggest challenges you face at work? Keeping students motivated, they have such long and challenging days with football training and the having to retain what lecturers ask of them too.

    If you had one bit of advice for your younger self, what would it be? Pick and choose your battles.

    What is the best advice that you've received? Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.

    What would your motto or slogan be? Work hard, be nice, no excuses.

    Are you looking for #morethanjustajob? Visit to view our latest vacancies and get in touch today!

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  • More than just a job: Curriculum Manager #morethanjustajob

    This week, we spoke to Ian Cooper; Curriculum Manager, as we took an inside look into his career, and found out why a role with SCL is #morethanjustajob.
    Ian Cooper Job title: Curriculum Manager

    Talk us through your role and what you do… I manage 11 sites, from Lowestoft to Exeter, whilst heading up the Premiership Rugby Hitz programme.
    My role is to recruit, support and develop staff to ensure that they can provide the best possible learning environment.
    What are your main responsibilities?
    On a day to day basis I support all of my remote staff through email, regular skype calls, site visits and mentor schemes – this can range from Quality Monitoring Visits (progress checks), to meeting over a cup of tea to discuss how the staff are feeling. I am big believer of ensuring that staff are listened to and feel valued, regardless of location or experience.
    What do you enjoy most about your role as Curriculum Manager?
    The fact I have complete control and flexibility of my diary - no day is the same! SCL have implicit trust in me to do my role to the best of my ability, whilst providing support and guidance where necessary. SCL are very much an innovative and evolving company who appreciate the importance of valuing staff; this can be as small as an informal conversation to a daily site visit, and the positive impact this has on quantitative figures.
    What support do you receive from your employer?
    Consistent and continual communication in a variety of mediums from all departments to ensure my values and priorities are aligned with SCL. The level of communication allows realignment if necessary to allow me to provide my staff with the best possible support. Personally, I have been given the chance to develop through qualifications – completing my Level 4 TAQA Award, and tangibly by liaising with other departments and being challenged to lead projects and shape my own role.
    Can you talk us through your career path to-date?
    Educationally I struggled – poor A Levels (including fails) and a poor Degree – it took me a long time to realise it’s not about what you’ve got, it is about your drive and motivation that projects your career trajectory. Sport has always been integral to what I do. Despite an overwhelming desire to not go into teaching, I have developed from lifeguard to gym instructor, to College Lecturer to Manager. I’m very much a believer in developing myself continually to ensure I provide the best possible service to my staff.
    What are the stand-out moments from your career to-date?
    My first year with SCL building the Midlands and North Region from scratch. Winning the Employee of the Quarter – 2017/18
    What opportunities are there for young people within your industry?
    How long is a piece of string... With the right advice and guidance… University, American Scholarships, Coaching, Playing, Leisure Centres…
    What are you looking for when it comes to recruiting?
    Hunger, a willingness to continually develop, and a good smile.
    What experience is required to be successful as a Curriculum Manager?
    Adaptability and flexibility - Getting to know each staff member and learning how best they will respond to help them improve and develop. Educational Experience – Ensuring I know all aspects of the curriculum inside out which enables me to cascade down information in its simplest possible form. Simplifying allows less room for interpretation and errors. Furthermore, when answering questions from Lead Providers/Parents it is important to convey a confident and knowledgeable attitude. Personality and building relationships – The realisation of this trumps intelligence. Being able to work with a wide variety of teams helps develop strong working relationships throughout the company. Smile – A smile in whatever environment goes a long way and shows you care.
    What are the biggest challenges you face at work?
    Culture of Teaching – I am a big believer that teaching as a culture is seen in the wrong perspective and this needs to change. Bad experiences are common - it is my responsibility to help alter this, highlight efficiency and streamlined approaches to both admin and teaching. Time management and organisation are vital in helping develop my staff to leave them in a better place than I found them. In my perspective, it is using the Richard Branson philosophy of training staff so they are good enough to leave, but happy enough so they don’t want to. This is a real personal challenge and requires continual reflection and ultimate responsibility of my behalf. Competition – With FE Colleges merging and tending to struggle, coupled with more and more Private Providers becoming more and more prevalent, I need to ensure the learner environment, communication (parents and students) and second mile service are second to none, without compromising quality.
    If you had one bit of advice for your younger self, what would it be?
    Ian, you have to work for things and can’t do the things that matter first time. Intelligence is malleable and not predetermined.
    What is the best advice that you've received?
    20% of your efforts will give you 80% of your results.
    What would your motto or slogan be?
    What’s the one thing you can do to make everything else easier or unnecessary?

    Are you looking for #morethanjustajob? Visit to view our latest vacancies and get in touch today!

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  • More than just a job: FE Sports Lecturer #morethanjustajob

    This week, we spoke to Jonathan Sohotha; FE Sports Lecturer at Millwall Community Trust Academy, as we took an inside look into his career, and found out why a role with SCL is #morethanjustajob. Name: Jonathan Sohotha Job title: FE Sports Lecturer

    Talk us through your role, who you work for, and what you do… I currently work for SCL Education Group and undertake a variety of duties that involve teaching BTEC Level 3 Sport to children/young adults between the ages of 16-19 (usually). I also ensure their wellbeing, both mental and physical, is cared for and that they are able to manage workloads given to them with minimal stress.

    Further to this, I assess their work and provide feedback to students on how they can improve academically in the hopes of preparing them for either Higher Education or the work environment.

    The BTEC course that I provide to them does this by using a variety of assessments from presentations and essays to practical work, which enhances their employability skills.

    What are your main responsibilities? To teach students using a variety of methods; ensure their well-being is looked after; assess work submitted; and provide feedback and support through either tutorials or workshops.

    What do you enjoy most about your role as FE Sports Lecturer? Being able to teach students and watch their knowledge and expertise develop throughout the year.

    What support do you receive from your employer? I receive equipment; a line manager who provides me with updated information to ensure it is in-line with the awarding bodies’ standard; CPD training to enhance my skills in teaching; and flexibility in my approach to teaching.

    Can you talk us through your career path to-date? Originally, I started off in business having only GCSEs. After spending 5 years within office management I decided on a career change at the age of 21. I then went back to college and completed a Level 2 and 3 BTEC in Sport.

    After this I undertook a BSc in Sport & Exercise Science; completed an MSc in Sport & Exercise Science; and finally a Diploma in Education and Training (DET). I am now currently on Supervised Experience (SE) which is a course held by the British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences (BASES) that allows me to become an approved Sports Scientist for BASES.

    I have undertaken a variety of courses throughout college and university to also give me coaching qualifications (Level 1 in Boccia and Korfball), anthropometry qualifications (ISAK Level 1) and gym instructing qualifications (CYQ Level 1 and 2, REPs Level 3).

    During the last 9 years I have also been a Coach, Health Advisor, and Nutritionist and worked with a variety of clients from stroke patients to semi-professional and professional athletes. My main passion lies in Exercise Physiology and Research Methods/Design.

    What are the stand-out moments from your career to-date? As I have only been with SCL for 9 months I cannot recall any standout moments as of yet. Within my career in teaching I have received praise from a group of students (roughly 50) for teaching them how to use APA/Harvard referencing effectively at the University of Winchester.

    What opportunities are there for young people within your industry? Students within this field can go on to university to study a wide range of subjects like Sports Management, Psychology, Coaching, Science, Business, and Marketing etc. Alternatively, there is the option of becoming a Gym Instructor, Coach, Nutritionist, Dietician, Technician, Health Advisor, Teaching Assistant or Analyst.

    What are you looking for when it comes to recruiting? What makes a learner stand out? Qualifications take a backseat in my vetting process. Although there is a minimum standard required if there is a level 5 (C) student and a level 8/9 (A+) student, but the level 5 has a passion for sport and is motivated and determined to excel not just on the pitch but in the classroom I will value them more than a the latter who is unmotivated and arrogant.

    I always appreciate learners who have questions to ask regarding any topic in sport and wants to learn more as these learners tend to push themselves to go above and beyond what is require that will prepare them for greater opportunities.

    What experience is required to be successful as an FE Sports Lecturer? You have to have in-depth knowledge of your area of expertise and an ability to be patient, yet firm. To understand that all learners are different and will respond in different ways depending on your approach to them. However, you should also be able to be confident and let learners know that you are the authority within the class that some learners may not respond well to.

    It is always useful to enhance your knowledge of the subject by continually enrolling on courses and workshops that can give your added knowledge of more up-to-date research in that field as you can pass this on to your learners.

    What are the biggest challenges you face at work? Ensuring I am checking students learning and that they are absorbing the information, as opposed to saying they understand but not really comprehending the information and critically thinking about it.
    If you had one bit of advice for your younger self, what would it be? Push yourself academically more and never stop learning. Leonardo da Vinci said it best “learning never exhausts the mind”.

    What is the best advice that you've received? As long as you feel you are pushing yourself hard enough, that is all you can do. If you are not, ask yourself why not? As all you would be doing is letting yourself and your future self down.

    What would your motto or slogan be? Scientia, Sapientia, Excellentia (Knowledge, Wisdom, Excellence).   Are you looking for #morethanjustajob? Visit to view our latest vacancies and get in touch today!

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  • SCL celebrate the success of Q1's Excellence Award Winners

    This week, our fantastic winners were presented with their glass trophies and their golden tickets to the Annual Excellence Awards Event, taking place on Thursday 4 April 2019 at Mercedes Benz World and the 5* Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa.
    Congratulations to all our winners and runners-up...
      Chloe Bedford, Care Club Supervisor / Customer Service Executive Chloe is professional, approachable and completes every task with a smile on her face. She demonstrates Passion within everything that she does and will always try to help and go above and beyond. She has been integral to success of the customer service team in recent months and has always had the time to support and train new staff members on top of her day to day duties.
    She has excellent knowledge of the booking system and the services that we offer. She is always a friendly voice either on the phone or face to face that encourages a positive working environment because of her passion and positivity.
    Chloe has recently taken on a dual role and we are very lucky that Chloe passion has already has a positive impact within her care club that has been a great success.
    Whether Chloe is in the office or out at a Care Club she is a great representative for SCL and the work we do. 

    Mitchell Slawson, FE Lecturer It is clear to see that Mitchell inspires his learners to succeed on and off the field.  With his motivational and positive attitude, he helps students achieve the goals and has done so with great success.
    Mitchell has developed a fantastic rapport with his learners - he inspires them to come to college and learn.  Inside the classroom, he has supported his learners to be more confident in their studies.  Staff and students can only speak positively about Mitchell’s excellent attitude and inspiring qualities. He is an asset to SCL.

    Rachel Teal, FE Lecturer Rachel shows true excellence in her role as FE Sports Lecturer for our Elite Cricket Programme. 
    Not only did all 12 of Rachel’s Extended Diploma students receive amazing final grades, but all of them are off to University as well.  90 Credit Diploma students are also on course to achieve similar success, which reflects Rachel’s determination and excellent attitude.  Rachel strives to keep her students motivated and this was picked up by OFTSED, who reported on how engaged the learners are and how great the Elite Cricket Programme is.  Rachel is highly spoken of and is a credit to SCL!

    Matthew Norriss, Systems Assistant Matt has only worked for us for five months, but he has already made a positive impact from day one. Matt initially started in the Customer Services dept on a temporary contract but we were fortunate enough to have the right permanent role for Matt that matched his skills and experience. 
    Matt is a valued member of the head office team that is always willing to help everyone and anyone in any team or department. He takes on tasks outside his standard role and completes them willingly and without any fuss.  Anything that is needed, Matt makes sure it happens taking ownership for the problem and finding a solution.
    He is a complete team player who is trusted to get the job done, which was recently reflected when he worked over the weekend on a project to support with an OFSTED Inspection that was beyond the normal requirements of his role but to ensure as a team we were prepared as we could be.    Outstanding Achievement Award Vic Harry, Curriculum Manager Vic has been with us for 15 years and has seen and been integral in a lot of changes over that time. Vic has taken the continuous change in his stride and continued to support the growth of the company as we have tackled each and every situation and opportunity that has approached us.
    He has great knowledge of the business and the ever changing landscape and has a calmness and steadiness that is a vital skill set within the E&T Management team. 
    He is constantly dependable and reliable and is always trusted to do the best by his learners, team and the business. 
    Vic’s peers nominated him after his outstanding work during Ofsted for leading from the front and supporting his staff throughout the week.
    E&T got the call from OFSTED on the Friday in which a working group was put together this went late into Friday and throughout the weekend, in which Vic was involved in making sure his team and the OFSTED team had all the data they required in readiness for the inspection.
    On the Wednesday we were made aware they would be inspecting Hampton & Richmond & due to a staff vacancy, Vic stepped in and delivered the lesson. Feedback from the observation was outstanding and when explained to Ofsted Vic’s role is curriculum manager, and that he stepped in they were extremely impressed.   Employee of the Quarter Award Ollie Hooker, Primary Tutor Ollie is a great representative of the SCL Way.  Ollie is a credit, not just to the Primary Department but to SCL as a whole. Ollie is passionate about the clubs he runs and the relationships he is continuously building with parents, teachers and children in his care.

    Ollie has the tough task of working at a special needs school which provides challenges in itself.Ollie receives a lot of good feedback from his schools but none more than the special needs school.

    He never misses a deadline and is constantly pushing his colleagues to be the best they can be. Ollie manages two of the highest performing clubs in the Primary Department and his numbers for these clubs have been improving consistently for the whole academic year.

    To summarise, Ollie Hooker is exactly what you would expect from an SCL member of staff and he portrays the SCL values to a tee.

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  • Ofsted Outstanding: Mayhill After School Care Club

    We are delighted to announce that SCL’s after school care club at Mayhill Junior School has received an Ofsted Grade 1 ‘Outstanding’ following an inspection earlier this month. This grading proves that the after school club is not only a high-quality childcare provision but a place where children can really learn and develop. We are very pleased to accept the Outstanding grading and it has been great to be recognised for the hard work that our Mayhill staff and the wider SCL team continue to put in. The Ofsted inspector that visited the club stated that “children thrive in this nurturing club”. “Staff are exceptional role models for children and this is evident in the children's excellent behaviour. Children develop secure friendships and display high levels of self-confidence and self-motivation”. SCL offers high-quality childcare and education through a range of sports and multi-activity programmes, across 35 holiday clubs and 20 breakfast and after school clubs. If you are interested in your children attending one of SCL’s clubs, more information can be found at   By Ashley Payne

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  • Charlton Athletic Community Trust announces new partnership with SCL Education Group and Lordswood FC

    Charlton Athletic Community Trust is teaming up with SCL Education Group and Lordswood FC to deliver a training and education programme for 16-18 year olds, offering them a stepping stone into a career in football, and in further education. The programme will support students in developing valuable life skills, as they gain key qualifications alongside relevant work experience and an excellent full-time football training programme from Charlton Athletic Community Trust. All educational aspects of the programme will be fully managed by SCL, a leading independent provider of education through sport. SCL are approved to deliver qualifications with over 15 years’ experience in delivering a range of forward-thinking and successful sports programmes for young adults. The Academy team at Charlton Athletic Community Trust consist of a great sporting set up, providing daily training from highly qualified FA coaches, alongside expert guidance on nutrition and individual football fitness. Couple this with a support network from SCL consisting of tutors, curriculum managers, quality assessors and operations support, it’s a programme that’s hard to rival. Head of Football & Sports Development at Charlton Athletic Community Trust, Michael Ward, said: “Charlton Athletic Community Trust are pleased to be in partnership with SCL and Lordswood FC in delivering a new Post 16 football and education programme in Kent. “This programme will offer all current year 11 students a great opportunity to train within a professional environment while studying a level 3 BTEC in Sport. “The programme will offer great exit routes within football potentially into semi-professional football with SCEFL Premier Division team Lordswood FC, all matches will also be played on the Lordswood FC first team pitch.”   Students will benefit from: Full-time education and training programme Play in the Education and Community Football Alliance (ECFA) Daily training from highly qualified FA coaches Guidance on individual football fitness Nutritional advice Regular appraisal to monitor development both on and off the pitch Proven progression routes   Graduates of the programme will have the opportunity to progress onto fantastic exit routes, including professional or semi-professional football, further education, scholarships abroad, training or employment. With the launch of this exciting football and education programme fast approaching, Sean Norton, Business Development Manager, commented: “We are really excited about supporting Charlton Athletic Community Trust grow their provision in Kent and I strongly believe our partnership will enable us to support 16- 18 year olds gain a suitable qualification whilst experiencing quality coaching with a professional community trust. “The variety of positive destinations and pathways available for anyone enrolled onto the course are fantastic and SCL will support all of our learners by giving them information, advice and guidance on all pathways, including supporting them with UCAS applications, scholarships abroad via SCL’s partners, apprenticeships and player pathways into professional and semi-professional football.”   If you’re interested in finding out more about the Programme or know someone who would like to apply, please contact:  or To book a trial, please visit  

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  • SCL pioneer reaches 15 years of service

      This month, SCL have been proudly celebrating Curriculum Manager, Vic Harry’s 15 years of service. A true pioneer, Vic started his SCL journey over 15 years ago as part-time Football Coach, delivering after school clubs whilst working mornings as the local Postman, earning himself the nickname at SCL of Postman Pat. In 2003, Vic hung up the mail bag and decided to go full-time with SCL, progressing his career as a Football Coach and working at local schools to deliver lunch time and after school clubs, team coaching and SCL holiday clubs which were solely football at this time. Continuing his SCL journey, Vic went on to coach at Pupil Referral Units, working with 11-15 year olds who had been removed from mainstream schools, before securing his role as a Tutor within SCL’s Education & Training department. Here, Vic worked closely alongside Sixth Form Colleges and local football clubs, also delivering the FA Level 1 & 2 courses. Most recently, Vic impressed within his role of Regional Manager for the South, and now continues to look after our Southern Region as Curriculum Manager. Vic encompasses each of the four SCL values, and has done from day one. Reflecting on Vic’s understanding of the business and its needs, Steve Franks, Managing Director, Education and Training, explains: “If you were to cut him in half, so to speak, he’d bleed red, white and blue.”. Vic combines his passion for both sport and education with his day-to-day job role. Whether working with 4 year olds, 16-18 year olds or tutors, Vic’s experience and passion shines through. Demonstrating his vast experience, knowledge and understanding of the industry, Vic inspires everyone he works with. Excellence is undeniably one of Vic’s best traits, as he continues to benchmark and set high standards for both the Primary and Education & Training teams. Having supported Lewis and Steve from day one, Vic continues to demonstrate his reliable character as he progresses his career. Chief Executive, Lewis Field, explained: “Vic is a great asset to the company, encompassing each of the SCL values and always putting SCL first. Throughout his 15 years with us, Vic has been part of positively influencing our company culture, and has played a vital role in the evolution of our education programmes.” Steve Franks, continued: “Vic is a fantastic role model to all learners and staff. Throughout his 15 years with us, Vic has mentored and developed hundreds of learners to work in the sports sector, supporting them with their transition from young people into adulthood. “From packing mailshots to being an integral part of a Grade 2 Ofsted achieving team, Vic has done it all.” Business Development Manager, Sean Norton, explained: “When I started with SCL a year ago, Vic really supported me in my role. He took the time to share his knowledge and experience with me, which has enabled me to grow in my role. “Vic is reliable and always willing to help. He's always there to give advice and guidance, and it has been a pleasure to have been able to work with him so closely over the last year.” Sam Acres, Work Based Learning Assessor, added: “My first meeting with Vic was when he attended my football training on a cold, wet Wednesday in 2007, to talk to the team about the SCL course he ran from Farnham College; NVQ & FA Level 2 in Football Coaching. “I had already accepted a place at another college to do a different course, but something that Vic said that evening inspired me in what has now become a 10-year career with SCL. I started the course in September 2007 and by the November, Vic had started me on my coaching pathway, where I put what he taught us at college into practice. “One thing Vic always taught us was to look after our equipment. One sad and regrettable day in 2008, I was semi-responsible for the loss of one of Vic’s footballs. To this day, I am still questioned as to the whereabouts of that ball!” No doubt Vic will be celebrating with a blue WKD; his favourite tipple, in his one and only ‘going out’ shirt. Congratulations Vic, and thank you for 15 years of continued hard work and excellence.   We asked Vic: Q. What are you most proud of since working at SCL? A. Seeing some of the learners that started on my programmes working in the company and doing very well for themselves Q. What is your favourite food? A. Italian Q. If you could only take two items with you to a desert island, what would they be? A. Football and Mobile Phone Q. What makes you mega happy? A. Spending time with my kids Q. If you could spend an evening with anyone, famous or not, who would it be? And where would you go? A. Gazza. Local park for a kick around Q. What is the best thing about working for SCL? A. My change in job roles over the years and being able to evolve with a company that is growing    

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  • SCL & Whitstable Town FC Academy bring football home from Barcelona

    England might not be bringing football home this summer, but the SCL and Whitstable Town FC Academy players certainly are. Crowned Barcelona Cup Champions 2018 earlier this month, the Whitstable boys have arrived home victorious, having battled against four elite u-19 teams in the hottest summer for years. Touching down in Barcelona at the start of July, the boys kicked off their journey through the streets of Margrat de Mar, led by captain, Lewis Loxston, and greeted by applauding locals. Their opening ceremony finished in the impressive Margrat de Mar stadium; the arena for the Academy’s first match later that evening. Going up against Deportivo Boca, an English team with ties to Deportivo La Coruna; the La Liga side with great Academy status, the boys showcased great skill, maintained possession and hit Deportivo on the counter, earning themselves a respectable 0-0 scorecard. Match two saw the team face Barcelona-based Cosecha Mundial. Getting off to a strong start, the boys created clear cut chances, with striker, Rhys Brain, troubling the opposition goalkeeper with a series of shots that whizzed past the post. Heading into the second half at 0-0 gave the boys a strong foundation to build on. Two quick goals in the final 10 minutes from Cosecha sent Whitstable 2-0 down, but with the motivation and determination for their next game. Whitstable’s final game of the group stage came against CF Cabrera, a Spanish team based on the outskirts of Barcelona. With a win needed to progress to the final, tactics and positional changes were made to secure early goals, making an instant impact and bringing Whitstable 3-0 up at half time. With the final in their sights, the boys pushed on to build the high scoring margin they needed. The second half saw two quick goals from Rhys Brain and Teddy Nelson, with the referee blowing the whistle on a final score of 5-1, giving the boys a well-deserved 3 points and the all-important goal difference that they had been chasing. Whitstable were through to the final, finishing top of the group with 7 points, closely followed by Deportivo Boca, finishing second on 6 points. The last day in Barcelona saw the u-19’s final; the last match to be played in the tournament. The Whitstable Academy boys were met with an incredible atmosphere, playing in front of a packed stadium, as the remaining 48 tournament teams watched on from the stands. The game started with a handful of chances and both teams keeping possession well, forcing Academy Manager, Josh Algar, to rally his players at half time and make a few tactical changes. While Deportivo were undoubtedly the better team throughout the second half, creating more chances and keeping Whitstable goalkeeper alert, priceless saves kept Whitstable in the game. As the final whistle blew on a goalless final, the boys were sent to penalties. Stepping up to take the first penalty was Whitstable’s Teddy Nelson, who calmly slotted his penalty into the bottom corner. 1-0 Whitstable. With Deportivo’s first penalty saved by goalkeeper, Ryan Birch, the opposition were under pressure to score their final penalty and take the boys to sudden death. The nerves of sudden death were not needed, as Ryan Birch effortlessly saved the decisive penalty, crowning Whitstable Town FC Academy the Barcelona Cup Champions 2018. Captain, Lewis Loxston, led his team once again to lift the trophy before spending the next few days celebrating with a tour of the Nou Camp.   To find out more about the Whitstable Town FC Academy programme in partnership with SCL, or if you know someone aged 16-18 years old who would like to apply, visit By Hannah Cameron.

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  • SCL make Apprenticeships Work for professional and grassroots clubs

    Following 2018’s National Apprenticeship Week, showcasing how apprenticeships work for individuals, employers and the community, leading providers of education through sport, SCL, are celebrating success from both their clubs and apprentices. Combining work with study for ambitious young learners aged 16 and over, apprenticeships are rapidly changing the world of work. With government encouraging businesses to make apprenticeships part of their growth strategy, clubs are now utilising funds to pay for apprenticeship training. The apprenticeship Levy, introduced in April 2017, requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to invest in apprenticeships and training. For Levy paying clubs, 90% of training will be covered by contributions to the apprenticeship service, with the remaining 10% funded by the government. Non-Levy payers are required to fund just 10% of training costs, with 90% covered by the government. Empowering Levy paying and non-Levy paying clubs to take advantage of the government’s apprenticeship drive, SCL Education Group are experts in ensuring the effective use of apprenticeship funding. SCL Work Based Learning Assessor, Tom Weeks, told The NLP: “We’re a company that has always believed in giving young people an opportunity. We understand what it’s like to be the apprentice, but we also employ 20 apprentices ourselves, and are looking to increase that next year.”. Having progressed their own workforce through the apprenticeship programme, and with experience in organising and managing apprenticeships for the likes of Reading FC, Barking FC Academy and Charlton Athletic Community Trust, SCL know what it takes to deliver effective training that creates results for both individuals and clubs. “We, as a company, are passionate about giving young people an opportunity. We feel that by keeping that passion going, we can support those people to ensure that they become the best possible employee”, Weeks continued. Jane Spong, Head of Youth & Community at Woking FC, told The NLP: “SCL have been our education partner for over 10 years now. In all respects we have found them to be professional and easy to work with. Recently, within the apprenticeship scheme we have run, they have shown commitment and passion to the development of our staff.” DEVELOP Delivering programmes nationwide within Business Admin, Leadership & Management, Sports Coaching, Customer Service and more, SCL develop teams both behind the scenes and on the sidelines. “You get the opportunity to train them exactly how you want them to work”, explained Weeks. “You get to understand the person’s strengths, and you can see how that person would fit into your business on a full-time scale. It’s almost a try before you buy.” “We’ve found that people who do any apprenticeship are more likely to stay within a job role for a longer period of time and are more likely to, if brought on full-time at the end of that year, go past their probation period and develop themselves further. “They’re already in that mindset of singly developing themselves within a setting, so they understand what it’s like to take on new qualifications and to take on new responsibilities. They’re not phased and challenged by those things.” SCL Apprenticeship Manager, Steve Smith, told The NLP: “The employers have a person who is enthusiastic about the role and prospect of working in sport. They have the advantage of being able to mould the young person into an employee that will benefit the organisation and local community by being a role model for other young people.” OPPORTUNITY With a 92% completion success rate for apprentices, consistently higher than the national average, and 90% of learners progressing into full or part-time employment, SCL are passionate about the development of young learners through the power of sport. Smith explained: “I work with young people from all over London and surrounding counties to support and guide them in their quest for a career in Sport and Fitness. Apprenticeships are a good way for them to gain a good base qualification at L2 or L3, upskill their Maths and English, and improve soft skills to develop their employability. “Many, having completed their apprenticeship, have maintained permanent employment and progressed, and some have moved onto higher education. There is a great deal of satisfaction seeing young people having the desire to succeed and achieve great things. SCL Director of Apprenticeships & Work Based Learning, Marcus Headington, continued: “Apprenticeships provide great opportunities for employers and learners alike. SCL have progressed a number of learners through the medium of football into careers that have benefitted the learners, clubs and the community. “For learners completing a 2-year study programme, apprenticeship schemes provide them with a 3rd year of training and development within the club.” COMMUNITY Priding themselves on giving back to the community, SCL help hard to reach youngsters gain vital qualifications, work experience and employability skills. Weeks explained: “Apprenticeships are extremely beneficial, particularly if you’re a football club sending people out into the local community. “You have that person that lives local, has been a part of that community, and is willing to give something back. They understand their responsibilities. “Apprenticeships help to increase employment within the community”, Weeks added. “To give young people those opportunities and to further their education is really great.”   Whether you are a Levy paying club and need to understand how to use your investment, or a non Levy paying club and need to find out how apprenticeships can benefit you, SCL are here to help. Get in touch with SCL to book a free apprenticeship needs analysis, or let our expert team come in and design a training programme suited to your needs. If you would like to speak to SCL about how an apprenticeship programme could help your club, call SCL on 0345 644 5747 or request a call back by emailing By Hannah Cameron

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  • Pro:Direct & SCL: Empowering young players to Be Extraordinary

    With a rich history of developing professional players and a retail arm renowned as ‘The Professional’s Choice’, multi-sports specialists, Pro:Direct, are disrupting the world of sport as they continue to engage, influence and inspire. Now turning their attention to unlocking the potential of young players, the official Academy of the global retailer has linked up with leading providers of education through sport, SCL, to deliver an education and training programme like no other. Providing an opportunity for 16-18 year olds to train and compete like a pro while studying full-time, the education and football development programme delivers a unique mix of in-classroom and on-pitch learning. On the decision to partner with SCL, Pro:Direct Academy’s London Brand Executive, Mollie Kmita, explained: “We were looking for a highly qualified organisation to provide the academic element for our programme. For the first time, we were looking for an external education provider. It was our natural move.” Despite only being in their first year of delivery, the football providers are already celebrating success from their London-based elite Academy programme. “We receive extra support and facilities that cater to the needs of our football provision”, Kmita added. “Everyone at SCL have been great. They’ve been on the phone, email, and in to visit. We’ve been supported really well throughout. “We’re able to be flexible in how we provide the education, and we’re able to adapt different teaching methods. The mentors that we have in are great and we’re able to adapt our timetable depending on how the season’s going and how their workload is. Academy Director, Daniel Moss, continued: “The programme helps young people to follow a route through education that they are passionate about, which is extremely important for young people when forming their futures.” Enjoying their first season in SCL’s Development League, Kmita said: “For us it was important to get extra fixtures and additional game time for all our lads. We have quite a big group, so for us to be in two leagues rather than just one, it suits our programme perfectly.” OPPORTUNITY The full-time education and football development programme prides itself on its unrivalled exit routes and progression opportunities for its learners. With ties to one of the biggest online retailers in the world, the programme provides learners with the exclusive opportunity to meet professional players, work with brands at events, and experience the pro football world like no one else. “There’s loads of opportunities for our lads within London. It’s very competitive so we try to ensure that we have our unique selling point in SCL, and in our other opportunities which Pro:Direct as a brand can provide our lads”, Kmita explained. “Being linked with the retail arm allows us to be linked with some of the biggest brands in the world; Nike, Adidas, Puma. With that comes amazing opportunities within events, kit launches and meeting professional footballers. “We’re able to provide our learners with all those different incentives to keep them on track and to keep their education at the forefront. They know that these are the sort of rewards they get if they do that”, continued Kmita. Creating unique opportunities for students whilst enabling them to reach their potential, the future is looking bright for the Pro:Direct Academy learners. “The programme is able to offer a range of opportunities for each player and helps us to work with the player to achieve their own personal goals”, explained Moss. “This might be joining the pro game, attending University following their time with us, or preparing them for their dream job. We have the freedom to help the player in the way they need.” “We have a grassroots club with over 800 kids playing for it, both boys and girls, so we have the coaching exit route”, Kmita explained. “We’re also linked to a retail store on Carnaby Street in Central London, so if they’re interested in retail, or if they want to earn some money on a Saturday or Sunday, they can go and work there. “Naturally, we have the football exit route because of our elite site at Market Road which SCL is linked with, which will push footballers back into the game if possible. And then there’s obviously the education.” TRANSFERRABLE Ensuring they are best prepared for their future, learners are equipped with opportunities for developing transferrable skills through practical work experience. “Being a brand, we have exposure to media and photography opportunities”, explained Kmita. “We have a student who wants to be a photographer, so she now comes to all of the brand events. She’ll gain two years’ worth of photography experience as well as gaining her qualification. “We also have one of our girls coaching within our grassroots club, three students working in the evenings at the retail store, and some of our boys are coaching too. “We like to let people know that it’s not just a football provision for us”, added Kmita. “The exposure that we have across the different industries is vast. There’s more than just football experience and opportunity here. “We’re trying to provide our students with the best possible stepping stone into the exit route of their choice, for them to go on and excel in their life. We’re wanting to produce good players and people, both on and off the pitch.” SUCCESS “We’ve seen four players re-enter the professional game since the start of this season following failing to earn professional contracts this time last season”, Moss explained. “We are extremely proud that our coaching and provision in partnership with SCL has helped develop these players to a point where they now have the opportunity to achieve in the pro game.” Crediting the team on the Academy programme’s success, Kmita said: “As Pro Direct Academy staff, we have the best people in the game, I truly believe that. It’s not just a football programme. We’re trying to create good people to go on to get their next step. “We’ve come across lads who have been on previous programmes who are now transferring over to us. They find better support from working with us and SCL than other provisions. We see a lot of reassurance in that”, added Kmita. “We’re growing fast, in terms of what we look to do with our programmes in the UK, nationwide, and our partnership with SCL means that we’d like them to come on that journey with us.”.   To find out more about the Pro:Direct Football Academy programme in partnership with SCL, or if you know someone aged 16-18 years old who would like to apply, visit If you would like to speak to SCL about running an academy programme, becoming part of SCL’s development league or about how an apprenticeship programme could help your club then call SCL on 0345 644 5747 or request a call back by emailing By Hannah Cameron

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  • West Ham Way just keeps on growing

    West Ham have had an illustrious history of nurturing and producing some of the best young players around in recent generations. The likes of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole have all come through the East London club’s ranks, and now the Hammers are on the hunt for the next young stars. For nearly 5 years, the West Ham United Foundation has run a 2-year training and education programme for 16-18 year olds called the West Ham United Foundation Learning Academy, in partnership with SCL. Starting with small beginnings, the pilot squad had less than 20 learners - today they have nearly 160 learners attending the course, an impressive feat. Sam Taylor, Football Integration Manager at West Ham Foundation has seen the programme grow and has played an integral part in its set up. Sam grew up in the world of football. From age 9 to 18, Sam came through the ranks of West Ham United playing in the famous youth team that produced players such as Cole, Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe and Glen Johnson. After spells with Darlington and AFC Bournemouth, Sam went onto play for over 12 years in non-league football representing Thurrock, Barking, Billericay, Boreham Wood, Bishop’s Stortford and Harlow, before finishing his playing career at Concord Rangers. Retired at 28, Sam got an opportunity to work as a part time coach at West Ham, where he was involved in the process of the club getting their Category 1 status. With the growth of the Foundation, he stepped across and with growth of the programme stepped up to more management of the programme. His invaluable experience from his playing days made him a perfect fit to help develop and nurture these young lads. Talking about the growth of the programme Sam told The FLP: “We try to improve every year, whether its facilities, equipment or staff, and SCL have matched that. It’s proof in the pudding that it does work. “In terms of club facilities, equipment, links with the academy, most of our staff are linked with semi-professional clubs, we offer everything that a young player looking to get into the game or looking to push to a higher level. I think we are in a really good position to offer that.” “From a clubs remit we have been tasked to hit areas that we have not worked before as a Foundation, working with SCL gives us that flexibility to not just be stuck in one venue.” “Initially the flexibility ticked all the boxes for us in terms of the growth of the programme. In the last few years for us, I would definitely say SCL’s professionalism and support and investment in more recruitment and more staff has been of benefit to the programme.” “We have had lads move and come and live with relatives so they can be part of the programme. “ A great setup The academy team at West Ham United Foundation consist of a great set up for the football with daily training from highly qualified FA coaches and guidance on football fitness and nutrition. WHUFC coaching has been developed using the West Ham Academy philosophy of learning to play the ‘West Ham Way’. Couple this with a support network for the education from SCL consisting of tutors, curriculum managers, quality assessors and operations support, it’s a programme that’s hard to rival.  Sam told The FLP: “In terms of support staff, we have got FA tutors that work with us from different counties, London, Essex, Middlesex, sometimes these guys come and work with the players. We’ve got our training and workforce programme. “We have a rotation policy; one coach will be assigned for matches but then we rotate that timely. “Different players relate to different coaches, different people, different ways.” Sadly, not every learner who comes on to the academy programme will go on to play football but West Ham United Foundation see the programme as an opportunity to give young lads a chance and through giving them an education, this gives them a backup plan and opens up other options. Sam said: “From my point of view and in terms of the Foundation it’s giving opportunities to some lads who probably years ago would not have had these opportunities, and I was one of them who academically wasn’t quite strong but I could channel my energy into a sport. “ “I think keeping these guys engaged, giving them the education, and then giving them the chance to step up and perform at a sporting level, that’s the shouting point for the Foundation, who we may have lost years back. “We have had boys who have come on the programme from challenging backgrounds, whether it be family issues and not having the support, been in trouble with the police, and there has been a point in their life, where we have tried to affect as many of them positively as we can. “We have lost a couple along the way, we have stayed in touch but they have gone on to do bad things and have been punished for it. But, we have also seen some lovely stories where you know these guys would have been that person but thankfully they have attained their degree or are in full time work and got a young family. “ A lot of boys who come on the programme soon realise that if they want to play at a high standard they are going to have to put in the work. Sam said: “Most boys will turn up because they want to be involved in the club at some sort of level, it’s our job to manage their expectations around what they are going to do, where they are going to go. “They see their end goal but for example, the most basic they are not playing men’s football.  So in terms of a football programme, it’s like right guys your telling me you want to be a professional player but you’re not even playing adult football on a Saturday.” “We will try and do everything from a club and education provider point of view, we will do our upmost to make it happen. “ Testing the boys  “We have got from elite through to boys who are looking at first step, some have never played football before, some have come from school teams and want to be part of a team and involved in football. “ “The great thing about our programme is we have that pathway where we have our 2nd chance shadowing the academy. “ “They have that elite environment where they can be pushed and it’s been great for lads who think they are somewhere, they step into a couple of sessions with the U18s and even the U16s and they understand where they have got to be and what targets they need to hit if they are going to be anywhere near that standard. “Going into a full time training programme it’s amazing how you start to see a difference in the standards of the players.” “So it’s looking at the level of learner, trying to get them into adult football, we’ve had boys go on to play semi-professional football which is great.” West Ham United Foundation currently have 5 teams in the SCL Development League, giving learners more opportunity for competitive matches. Talking about SCL’s League Sam Said “The Aoc college league is great for the lower level footballer, The SCL league works really well in that mid to better standard of football provision.  We like the way it’s managed and the way it’s run and quite a hands on secretary, he’s good to work with.” Connecting with the education West Ham United Foundation and SCL pride themselves on monitoring learner’s development on and off the pitch. Sam told The FLP: “If someone excels on the pitch, great, you can potentially be in this squad, what are you like in the classroom? That’s when the tutor comes in and works with them. “If the boys are going to be effective with the football they need to connect to the education, we are constantly telling these guys, it’s education, education and the football comes secondary. “Through regular contact from the tutors and Emma who oversees our region, we are daily, weekly seeing who is attending who is not attending.” “In terms of the education, definitely the boys are getting tested. “It’s a fantastic qualification, the options we have got for some of our exit routes in regards stuff we can offer as a club and SCL can offer as well. It’s perfect for the level of player we get onto these programmes.” Glenn Pennyfather, SCL Education Group tutor, told The FLP: “They are all keen to do work as well and they have the opportunity to learn in a fantastic environment.   “They have had some great people come in and do talks and they realise this could lead on to a degree. West ham have really shown them the opportunities they could have if they work hard and get their head down. They get to play football every day and not many people get to do that. On top of that they get educated which we know is vitally important. It’s important because once they have finished with us, once there 18/19 they got to go out into the big wide world and they have to be able to work and make a living.”   SUCCESS The programme boasts some great successes in both the academic and football arena. Sam said: “The exit routes and the work placements for them, that’s one of the most important parts of the programme. “When they came as a 16-year-old lad, they probably never thought they would get into coaching, education or mentoring. In my role, I am as happy to see that happen as much as some lads going round and travelling with the U23s. “Depending on what sort of route they want to go down; our Foundation degree tutor would have already spoken to most of our group. “Making these boys understand that, if this is the route you want to go down then you need to start speaking to Andy, these are the qualifications you need to hit. “It’s great to see players who have gone down university routes, maybe take up teaching qualifications.” “We had a lad, Prince, last year, went out to the States, got a full scholarship, again great case studies for our players where we can show them that these are avenues these players took, look we can help you get there, but this is what we need from you.” “I’ve had guys come through, some are good at football but some are our weaker players but they are working within the Foundation now, they’ve gained their coaching qualifications, they have gone into our delivery across east London and Essex. “ “Roque Nchaso, last year from our Chadwell programme got invited out to the Hong Kong for the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens with a mixed U18s and U23 squad, then he got asked back to preseason training, played in a couple of pre-season games. “That’s a fantastic case study for us because Roque come over last year, wasn’t really involved in football. Off the back of that he got called out to the Equatorial Guinea national side. “He went out to Africa two months ago with the national team and he’s out there now playing with professionals from other countries.” Looking to the future Talking about the future of the programme, Sam told the FLP: “Based on what we have done this year I can see it running on many more years to come. We just want to give the best experience to these boys. Giving them every opportunity which is possible. “ Steve Franks, Managing Director, Education and Training at SCL Education Group told the FLP: “We have been privileged to work with West Ham United Foundation for the last 4 years and have developed a fantastic working relationship with them. “We are confident that our partnership opens up opportunities for these young people which they would otherwise not have. If our partnership stops young people taking the wrong path, then I think that is a true mark of success.” Bryan Glover, Head of Football Development told the FLP, ‘It is fantastic to see West Ham United Foundation SCL Learning academy’s growth over the last 4 years, it shows what a great programme we jointly deliver and look forward to the future expansion into London and Essex.” To find out more about the programmes West Ham run with SCL or if you know someone aged 16-18 years old would like to apply for the programme visit

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  • Pulse Tomlinscote Football Academy & SCL’s Adam Liddle signs professional contract with Reading FC

    Pulse Tomlinscote Football Academy & SCL’s Adam Liddle put pen to paper earlier this week, signing his first professional contract with Reading FC, having impressed at grassroots club, Camberley Town. Striker, Liddle, linked up with Reading in March whilst completing his studies, scoring an impressive two goals in his four appearances at the end of the campaign. One of seven young footballers to have signed their first professional contract with the Royals, Liddle will move up to the under-23 squad in the coming season, with ambitions to establish himself in the squad and eventually push for a first-team place. Austin Harris, SCL Education Group tutor, explained: “Adam joined Pulse in 2016 and has recently completed his 2-year full-time football development programme based at Tomlinscote School and Sixth Form College in Frimley, Surrey. During his Year 12 and 13 tenures, Adam played an important part in our Elite Team's league and cup winning double seasons and was our top goal scorer in all competitions. “Away from football and under the guidance of his education tutors from SCL, Adam successfully completed his Level 2 & 3 Diploma in Sport, as well as his FA level 1 coaching qualification which he used to gain employment during the holiday periods as a part-time football coach.” “Harris continued: “Adam is in every way a role model to any young and aspiring footballer as he worked tirelessly both on and off the pitch to fulfil his childhood dream of earning a living out of the game.  “This achievement is even more remarkable as unlike many of his new team-mates, he has only played at grassroots, having never experienced the demands and expectations of Elite academy football. This further reflects his sheer determination and work-ethic of proving that dreams can come true. “We wish him all the very best for his future in football and we are delighted to have supported him through his post 16 education and football pathway.” Top goal scorer in his first year at Pulse Tomlinscote, and turning heads in grassroots football at Camberley Town last season, Adam Liddle has worked hard to achieve his dream. Celebrating his first professional signing, Liddle announced: “I am delighted to have signed my first professional contract for Reading FC which fulfils my dream of becoming a professional footballer. “I experienced 2 hugely rewarding and successful years at the SCL & Pulse Tomlinscote Football Academy who provided me with the guidance and support I needed to pursue my ambitions. “From a football perspective, I want to say a huge thank you to Mark Anderson, Academy Manager, who helped me develop my fitness, game understanding and offered invaluable advice from his own playing background as a striker to play at the top level.” Liddle continued: “In addition, my SCL Education tutor, Austin Harris, ensured that I remained focused and grounded and he supported me in completing my studies even though education was at times, not always my priority. “I would thoroughly recommend the Academy for anyone who like me has an ambition to work in the football industry and follow their dreams through the support of in-house industry experts.” Pulse Tomlinscote Football Academy Manager, Mark Anderson, added: “Adam put his trust in myself, Pulse and SCL, especially Austin Harris, to not only give him the footballing opportunities but also to secure a plan B. “Austin gave him a lot of advice off the pitch and ensured he concentrated on his studies whilst I tended to look after his football and personal life. “He deserves this chance as footballing wise he has always remained hungry. He has trained one on one with myself as well as the group and made sacrifices to give himself the best chance. “He has always remained a great lad, makes time for everyone and I have no doubt that he will always be grateful for his time on the course. “A magnificent achievement and one that the whole of Pulse is delighted about’. Steve Franks, Managing Director, Education and Training at SCL Education Group added: “We are always very proud when we hear that one of our Academy students have been signed professionally. Not only does it reflect the excellence of our Academy football coaching but we also know that our students will have educational qualifications to help them in the future. He continued: “We wish Adam every success for his future career. We are genuinely thrilled by his achievement.”   To find out more about the Pulse Premier Football Academy programme in partnership with SCL, or if you know someone aged 16-18 years old who would like to apply, visit The Sports Academy study programme for young adults combines full-time education with sporting excellence and is delivered in partnership with professional and grassroots clubs. By Hannah Cameron

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  • All-Rounders: Yorkshire Cricket Foundation & SCL deliver on the pitch and in the classroom

    As the Yorkshire Vikings revel in delight following the ECB’s decision to award Emerald Headingley both an Ashes Test in 2023 and host venue status for the new T20 competition, spirits are high for the White Rose players. With 33 titles under their belt as they head into this April’s Cricket County Championships, Yorkshire are undeniably the most successful team in English cricketing history. Maintaining their record for the most players produced for England, and having progressed the likes of Joe Root, current Captain of England’s Test side, through the club, Yorkshire CCC are no strangers to developing its young stars into some of the world’s best cricketers. Refusing to rest on their laurels, the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, the official charity and community arm of Yorkshire Cricket, have teamed up with leading education providers, SCL Education Group, to deliver an education and cricket development programme for young and aspiring players. The two-year, full-time BTEC programme, delivered in partnership with SCL, aims to utilise the power of cricket alongside Emerald Headingley’s world-class facilities, to provide 16-18 year olds with an unforgettable educational and cricketing experience. SCL Education Group Tutor, Rebecca Bissett told The Cricket Paper: “The course offers a wide range of modules from anatomy, psychology, coaching, fitness, and exercise health and lifestyle, giving the learners the opportunity to explore their interests within sport. “This allows and encourages them to discover different aspects of sports that they didn’t know existed, giving them a wider view and understanding of the sporting environment.” SUCCESS
    Since its first intake in September 2017, the Yorkshire Cricket College (YCC) has gone from strength to strength, as students shine both on the pitch and in the classroom. “The current students on the course have excelled since starting at YCC. All are achieving at least their target grade, if not beyond. Although some of the content can be difficult, the lessons are catered for all learners to succeed to the best of their ability”, explained Bissett. “The learners understand that if they want to succeed, they have to throw themselves at every opportunity and take advantage of the extensive resources used in each unit. This will then develop their understanding and enjoyment of the course”, she added. While finding a first-class, first-team player in the programme would be an added bonus, the main aim is clear. Nick Robinson, Education and Participation Manager at Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, told The Cricket Paper: “The college isn’t necessarily where we’re going to breed the next Joe Root. It’s a place where they are going to come and get themselves a BTEC and progress to University or a job, and cricket is going to have helped to benefit their lives.” On the importance of the education and cricket mix, Robinson continued: “Having that physical activity built into your education means that you’re not sat in a classroom for 6-7 hours a day. I think just having that break and being active during those sessions really helps with their concentration. “Regular activity is hugely important for anyone, and to see those developments and those improvements in their fitness is very satisfying. There can only be positive side effects on their lives, and their concentration in the educational side of things as well. “That whole healthy body, healthy mind mantra is quite true and it’s something that they’ve got the opportunity to do here.” DEVELOPMENT
    But it’s not all eyes on the ball at Yorkshire Cricket College. On developing the students not only within cricket, but as people, Robinson told The Cricket Paper: “One of our primary aims is to give those opportunities, and to develop the students as part of the SCL course. “There’s help with UCAS forms, help with CV writing, and we want to embellish that with work experience opportunities”, he added. “Time is purposely used to develop the learners as an overall person, not just an academic student, offering support with work experience, volunteering, coaching qualifications and much more”, explained Bissett. With cricket proving to be a great motivator for the students to complete assignments on time, whilst ensuring a mature attitude in the classroom, Robinson told The Cricket Paper: “If you don’t do your coursework, you’re not doing the cricket. That’s a really good tool to make sure that they knuckle down and hand their coursework in on time.” With high standards to uphold, Robinson explained: “When you’re wearing the white rose, you’re representing something a lot larger than just The Yorkshire Cricket College”. “It’s vital that they’re well mannered, they’re respectful, and their behaviour is good. The coaches and tutor work really closely together and we try and keep that consistent message that you are representing more than just a college. The white rose is a historic badge”, he added. OPPORTUNITY
    Outside of the classroom, The Yorkshire Cricket College provides unique opportunities for development through work experience, volunteering and extra-curricular qualifications. “The opportunities available at YCC are extensive”, explained Bissett. “Learners have direct contact with the pro squad, often training alongside and occasionally with some of the pros themselves. This all results in a friendly and productive environment where the learners gain a sense of community and pride to be based at the club”, she added. “We’ve got them coaching, we’ve got students working with the strength and conditioning team here at Yorkshire, and hopefully in the next couple of months, we’ll start some of the group who are interested in groundsmanship. They’re going to start doing some work experience with some of the Yorkshire Cricket grounds staff as well”, Robinson explained. With an unconventional learning environment and the YCCC pros as role models for the students, Robinson explained: “Seeing professional cricketers that you idolise and never thought you’d meet walking past your classroom on a morning, I think that’s really made a difference.” “We’ve got a strong volunteering programme here at the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation where there’s placement opportunities available. Many of those do go onto get jobs inside the club, or certainly inside a sporting environment”, Robinson added.
    With the brilliant Emerald Headingley Stadium to call home, the Yorkshire Cricket College students are looking to impress at all times. “There’s the opportunity to bowl in front of elite players at the club, and be watched by elite coaches of those players”, Robinson explained. “If you want to get a name for yourself, there’s no better place to do it. People talk within the organisation and if someone is really standing out, they’re going to get quite a reputation and get spotted. It’s an incredible opportunity to show off your skills in front of Yorkshire coaches and if you’re good enough, get the chance to bowl at the Yorkshire batsmen. “Ultimately, if they’re good enough, they get spotted. What better way to get scouted?”, Robinson continued. THE FUTURE
    On Yorkshire’s thriving partnership with SCL, and the future of the programme, Robinson told The Cricket Paper: “SCL’s involvement has been great. They have been as hands on as they need to be, without being too prescriptive of how we deliver the course. “We’ve had the carte blanche to run the programme how we feel it should look, but the curriculum side of things have been taken care of.” Steve Franks, Managing Director, Education and Training at SCL Education Group told The Cricket Paper: “It’s been an absolute privilege for us to be working with Yorkshire Cricket. Notwithstanding their world-famous name and sporting pedigree, they have been an absolute pleasure to work with. “The facilities are second to none and the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation’s commitment, professionalism and enthusiasm to ensuring that the boys get the very best education and sporting opportunities goes hand in hand with SCL’s ethos and values. “We are really proud of what we have been able to achieve at Emerald Headingley Stadium.”  To find out more about the Yorkshire Cricket College programme in partnership with SCL, or if you know someone aged 16-18 years’ old who would like to apply, visit The Sports Academy study programme for young adults combines full-time education with sporting excellence and is delivered in partnership with Professional and grassroots clubs.
    If you would like to speak to SCL about running an academy programme, or about how an apprenticeship programme could help your club, call SCL on 0345 644 5747 or request a call back by emailing By: Hannah Cameron

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  • Giving kids a chance

    Strachan Foundation and SCL partnership: Giving kids a chance not just in football but in life. Both on and on the pitch, Gordon Strachan has enjoyed a glittering career. Not only did the fiery Scotsman star play for the likes of Aberdeen, Manchester United and Leeds, but he’s also shone on the touchline. During Strachan’s club career, the Scot won some of the most glittering prizes in the game, including the English Division One title (now the Premier League), the FA Cup, the Scottish Premier League and the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Gordon also represented Scotland 50 times – appearing in two World Cups. He has since managed Coventry City and Southampton in the Premier League and Celtic in the Champions League and also had a short spell at Middlesbrough. He was then in charge of Scotland for four years - which he described as a ‘dream job’ and an absolute honour to lead his country. In partnership with SCL, the Strachan Foundation is now looking to pass on the 60-year-old’s wealth of experience to the next batch of stars, by running a two-year football training and education programme for 16-18 year olds, based in Rugby. George Mackie, Director of Football at the Strachan Foundation has a wealth of experience in Football. George plied his trade for Dundee, Partick Thistle and Odense of the Danish Premier League as a player, before moving into coaching with Coventry City, Dundee, Livingston and Arbroath. George has attained the prestigious UEFA PRO License qualification – the highest honour in coaching. George has had some great achievements in his coaching career guiding Coventry City Youth team to two consecutive FA Youth Cup Finals against Arsenal and West Ham United. The high level of football training available coupled with an excellent education programme from SCL, creates a great opportunity for youngsters looking for a career in sport which is run at some fantastic facilities. George Mackie, Director of Football at the Strachan Foundation told The NLP: “The link at Rugby Town junior football club is some of the best facilities in the country, gives us the opportunity to work with them to improve the site and enhance our programme. “ Ian Cooper, Curriculum Manager at SCL Education Group told the NLP “It’s an outstanding all round facility, range and size and services of the pitches are phenomenal with better facilities than most league football clubs, classrooms on site, a safe environment.” Gordon Strachan, Director at the Foundation and former Scotland manager is a regular face at the training ground and takes a strong interest in the goings on with the Foundation. The programme gives students the opportunity to go onto many exit routes such as University, Apprenticeships, playing professional and semi-professionally, football coaching, sport, leisure and fitness jobs. Students will also benefit from fixtures against professional clubs, US college and touring teams, visits from guests with premier league experience, physio from Coventry University and regular visits to St George’s Park. Paul Shepherd, Tutor "The programme that the staff have developed here has led the way since its formation in 2011. Since the senior coaching staff have unrivalled experience, coming from top professional academies, this model was followed from the start (which many competitors now also use) allowing an academy experience to rival (and by all accounts surpass) the academies of professional teams.” “We were recently praised by Ofsted for our progression rates on to higher education being well above national averages after supporting our learners through both the UCAS system and the US Scholarship application process to send 85% of one of our cohorts to Universities in the UK and USA.” CREATING OPPORTUNITIES George told the NLP, “Our motivation is to give kids a chance not just in football but in life.” “There is a lot of kids who come out of things and don’t have a target in life, their parents have targets for them which mainly is education, going to university, college and staying on at 6th form to do A-levels, some just don’t have that mentality to be able to do that, so really it’s a go between where football is an enticement for them but they also have the education which gives them that pointage to be able to make that university choice 2 or 3 years down the line. So then we try and teach some life skills and actually just knowledge of life and an understanding of what adulthood is and how they can go forward in life to a passageway to university or into jobs, into work.” “They may be kids who did not like exams and could not meet up to that we try to change that so they to face up to that and become more self-assured and self-confident.” “We try to give them the discipline of coming up every day being on time and make sure they have the right profile for someone going into interviews or actually into the workplace.” “We hope they become more rounded people going into society and are more beneficial to employers.” Talking about the education side of the programme George told the NLP “I think SCL gives us everything we require to have the education in place, to have the proper people in place, to have people with drive, people who are heading in the same direction as us, they are now giving us that extra degree course at the end of it and I know they are pushing to do other things” “I just think they are a really positive provider; I just think they are an outstanding provider. “ SETTING THE STANDARD George told the NLP, “We have a full time teacher and a part time teacher so we have a good staff there and they have 56 boys this year on the programme, they do their BTEC in sport.” “The standard that we set and the standard that has to be set is that if they don’t keep up to speed with their education, they don’t train, they don’t play. “Where Football is a carrot for them Education is a priority that they have to adhere to because if they don’t get the education right then there is no 2nd chance for them.” “And we really need to give them as many options and chances as we can. “ “And now with that added bonus of the degree course on the end.” Ian Cooper, Curriculum Manager at SCL Education Group said We are trying to work a lot more closely with the local community. Students get a chance to go on whatever course is best for them. “ We offer a bespoke approach in a flexible environment where the tutors and the students are supported throughout the year.” “Education has always been at the forefront of the Strachan foundation, so the parents and the students really appreciate the importance of a good education alongside football and how learning benefits them on and off the field. Ultimately the gap between football and education is closing. The students, the coaches and the tutors are all working off the same hymn sheet which is beneficial to the students. “ “We don’t just want to encourage the academic approach we also want to encourage the social and personal development so they are not just leaving with a qualification, they are leaving as a better person. “ DEVELOPMENT IS KEY Talking about the continual development of the programme George said. “Absolutely because that’s what it’s all about, I’m 63 I don’t want things out of this and it’s the same with Gordon, Gordon is a huge advocate of the not for profit because it is for the kids, of course he comes in a lot to take training sessions and pass on his knowledge.” “That’s the only way we want to carry on, everything is on offer for the kids, it’s for our kids, it’s for our coaches.” “We hope to develop our coaches to go on to professional clubs and then we will bring in new ones out of the boys, we have just taken on a boy who has been 3 years with us and we have employed him to be one of our coaches.” “One of our coaches who was with us last year has now gone to Coventry city to be head of a department.” George told the NLP about the games programme they have in place “Wednesday we play football and have games, 1 team in the National College League and 2 teams in the SCL League, Thursday we give them a day off. A team in the Midlands Floodlit League and Saturday, in the Midlands Junior Premier League.” Talking about the SCL Development League George told the NLP, “it develops them as players to play in a way which we would hope will stand them in good stead, which ever level of football they end up playing at whether its professional or semi-professional we try and get them up to level of understanding, game understanding which hopefully makes them aware more of how the game Is played.” The SCL Development League currently has 45 clubs and is for players aged 16-18 years to compete for the chance to win the divisional championship and go on to win the “Champion of Champions” title. SUCCESS The programme has seen much success, George told the NLP “We have had 3 boys go on to professional football from the academy which is a great success.” “One went to Falkirk in Scotland and has now progressed to play for Worshall” “We have a boy who has just made his first team debut at Coventry City and another one who has just gone down to Bristol Rovers. “ “We have had 8 or 9 boys go to scholarships in America where football is still the attraction within that scholarship but the season in America is very short so the rest of the time they are working on their education. “ When asked about the competition in the local area and other opportunities for young people George told the NLP, “Other people will do it and that’s fantastic and they will do it their way and we do it our way but you can’t stand still it’s like every other thing, you can’t be living on things that have happened in the past you have got to be looking for new things.” “We have to up our game with what we do.”  “We have to up our game in what we deliver.” “We have to up our game in all the things we can deliver to them.” “We hope a great level of education and a wider spread and obviously the football on top of that.” WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP George told the NLP about how he feels that SCL is the right partner to help them meet their objectives, “ “We would not have joined with SCL if we hadn’t though that.” “We have every faith, had every faith and look forward to having more faith in what SCL are going to do for us and the kids especially.” “We are both very forward looking both the Strachan Foundation and SCL and I hope in partnership we can develop one of the best providers for kids in this country.” Steve Franks, Partnership Director, SCL Education Group said: “We are proud and privileged to be working with Strachan Foundation. Their dedication and mission to put young people first and give them an opportunity in life is something we feel very strongly about. “   Find out more about the Strachan Foundation’s programme in partnership with SCL at  

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  • Fulfilling their potential – shooting for success on and off the pitch

    A gleaming future lies ahead for Grantham Town as the high-flying Gingerbreads continue to show the skill and passion required to maintain their title push from Evo-Stik Premier. However, it’s not just the first-team players who are pressing forward at pace. Since partnering with SCL Education Group in September 2016, the lads at Grantham Town Academy have gone from strength to strength, with a spot in this season’s SCL Development League to prove it. Unique and experienced in progressing players through the youth teams, into the first team, and onto professional set-ups, Grantham Town strive to create and improve opportunities within football, helping to prevent 16-18 year olds from becoming NEET, and giving them an opportunity to channel their passion for sport. The two-year education and development programme, delivered in partnership with SCL, provides aspiring players, coaches and referees with the knowledge, attitude and skill required to go pro. The Academy programme boasts fantastic exit routes into higher education and employment, with learners going on to play professionally, secure jobs or enrol in apprenticeships and Higher Education programmes. Academy Manager, Alex Watson, declares SCL Education Group to be “the only provider” for the club. “It’s different to school. We found that most of our learners are kinaesthetic learners, and this course is very friendly towards them. There’s lots of learning by doing,” Watson tells The NLP. “It’s a different take on academic life, it’s a different environment,” adds Academy Tutor, Leon McSweeney. “You’re treated maturely and you gain a lot of independence.”Ensuring the young players get an education while plying their trade is something which Grantham reinforces as SCL champions. McSweeney keeps his lads disciplined and incentivised by rewarding classroom behaviour with on-pitch opportunities. “If they don’t hand in their work, or if they fall behind on attendance, they don’t get to play football,” he explains. Appealing to youngsters of all backgrounds, the Football Academy programme has transformed the lives of many. When one lad was taken out of school with no qualifications, amid concerns from his mother that he’d end up in prison, Grantham Town took a chance on the troubled teen, enrolling him on the Academy programme. “The different style of learning suited him extremely well, and he’s now settled and succeeding,” explains SCL Regional Manager, Ian Cooper. Progression “We have two lads constantly involved in the first team, and we’ve had other players included in match day squads, so the progression is there,” Watson boasts. “If they play consistently, train well and show a good attitude, then they’re given the experience of travelling with the first team, sitting on the bench and maybe making an appearance. “There’s a lot of positivity, and once the lads see other guys doing it, that pushes them to try and achieve the same. “It’s all about fulfilling their potential,” Watson continues. Academy Tutor, McSweeney, adds: “When students come to us and see the programme that we’re offering with SCL, and hear how other players have progressed into the first team, they see the programme as a pathway.” With such a great response to the Academy so far, it’s no surprise that Alex and the club are already looking ahead to bring their lads new opportunities in partnership with SCL. “There’s so much more that we’re part of than just football and education. You’ve got the next step in their career. It’s about looking after their future pathway,” adds McSweeney. Inspiring Attitude Steve Franks, Managing Director, Education and Training at SCL Education Group tells The NLP: “The support we have received from Grantham Town has been phenomenal and SCL’s partnership with them has enabled us to run a first class Academy. “SCL and Grantham share the same ethos of helping educate 16-18 year olds who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to follow their passion with a career in sports. “We are very excited about the future and working closely with Alex and the Grantham team.” But it’s not just about personal development for the lads at Grantham Town. The club recently kicked off its disability football team, as scholars swap their lunch hour for coaching a group of adult disabled footballers. On his team’s inspiring attitude, Watson concludes: “It’s not essential, it’s voluntary, but they’re all keen to get involved and most lunch hours they’ll play a game against them. The scholars cheer on the adults, they love it, and it’s really inspiring for them. “We strive to achieve excellence in everything we do.”   To find out more about Grantham Town’s programme in partnership with SCL, or if you know someone aged 16-18 years old who would like to apply, visit The Sports Academy study programme for young adults combines full-time education with sporting excellence and is delivered in partnership with Professional and amateur clubs. If you would like to speak to SCL about running an academy programme, becoming part of SCL’s development league or about how an apprenticeship programme could help your club then call SCL on 0345 644 5747 or request a call back by emailing By Hannah Cameron

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  • Giving back: Claridge inspires with first - class football and education programme

    Tallying more than 1,000 professional appearances and over 250 goals before hanging up his boots in 2012, English coach, pundit and former footballer, Steve Claridge, has enjoyed an impressive career both on and off the pitch. Managing the likes of Weymouth, Portsmouth FC, and currently Salisbury, while establishing a successful media career with BBC Sports, the proven goalscorer is considered somewhat of an expert on the Football League.

    Turning attention to developing the next generation of sporting star, the Steve Claridge Foundation have teamed up with leading education providers, SCL Education Group, as they strive to pass on Claridge’s wealth of experience to young and aspiring footballers. The two-year full-time education and football development programme for 16-18 year olds, in partnership with SCL, combines on-pitch learning with first-class, academic study.

    Delivering Level 3 programmes from two academies across the South of England, the Foundation equips young learners with the tools required to succeed within the illustrious game.

    SCL and the Steve Claridge Foundation work together to provide all learners with the skills, motivation, work ethic and qualifications needed to enhance their football and sporting opportunities.

    On Claridge’s inspiration to set up the programme, Paul Addis, Academy Manager, told The NLP: “The main thing is to give back. He always says that he never had this opportunity when he was this age, and if he did, he would have taken it with both hands.”

    Based at the Foundation’s Wiltshire Academy, Addis added: “We allow people to come into the Academy, learn how they want to see their future, and give them the best opportunity to do so. Whether it’s within sport or not, it allows them to develop within themselves.”

    Combining daily training with classroom study, the Foundation programme boasts fantastic exit routes into higher education and employment.

    “It’s that constructive and also unconventional pathway in terms of going into higher education, a full time job, or a different level of football”, added SCL Education Group Tutor, Aaron Rogers.

    “We put them through their FA Level 1 for free and help them get their first aid qualifications. There are other elements as well, they can get work experience by coming along and helping on matchdays, and they can go and speak to anyone in the club and find out how the football club runs.”

    “One of our students did some work experience with Salisbury Journal”, explained Rogers. “He got his write up of the Salisbury game in the Journal. Without having that doorway into the club, he might not have got that opportunity”. INDIVIDUAL LEARNING
    Developing far more than just gameplay, Rogers told The NLP: “It’s not just what they do on pitch, it’s about what they do outside of the pitch that we look at.”

    “We get to know them all”, explained Addis. “We’ve got that individual learning plan ready to go, because we get to know them.

    “We know what’s good for them, what they enjoy, what they don’t enjoy. We’ve got that flexibility with them which improves their confidence. When you can instil a bit more confidence in them, they do excel”, he added. Understanding the importance of the education and football mix, Addis told The NLP: “There are practical elements, but a lot of people want to know why; Why is that technique important? Why is that training programme important? It’s with the education background that they’ll get from us that they’ll be able to answer those questions and develop that a little more.” “I think when we show those lads the same respect that we want from them, they excel. Learners that we’ve had that have maybe struggled through GCSE’s are now getting merits and distinctions, because they enjoy the environment”, he continued.

    “It’s slightly more relaxed. They’ve still got those driven targets and they’re hitting those achievement milestones, but it’s in a different environment completely and it has a more relaxed approach”.

    As the spearhead of the academy, Steve Claridge maintains a regular presence at the training ground, offering the boys one-to-one coaching tips, as well as training sessions with the former Premier League footballer himself.

    A proven motivator for the boys on the programme, Addis explained: “He has a front-row seat and he’ll be down to the club to speak with them.”

    “Because of his media connections, he offers a different aspect to us. We’ve got two lads coming from Salisbury that are going on to Sport Journalism. That’s really off the back of the way that Steve talked about his radio, and the work that he used to do with BBC.

    “Those that do well with us in the Academy, he’ll look after.” THE FUTURE
    Looking to the future of the programme and the Foundation’s thriving partnership with SCL, Addis told The NLP: “It’s only ever going to go from strength to strength, in my opinion. I’ve been impressed with the way that SCL look after and support the members of staff.

    “SCL help us with recruitment in terms of bookings, which is a better process than we’ve ever had before.”
    Steve Franks, Managing Director, Education and Training at SCL Education Group said: “Steve, Paul and the team at the Foundation are really inspirational and are providing the boys with fantastic opportunities, both sporting and educationally. “We are proud to be partnering with them and to be able to provide the lads with the education that will hopefully open up new pathways and careers moving forward.” To find out more about the Steve Claridge Foundation programme in partnership with SCL, or if you know someone aged 16-18 years’ old who would like to apply, visit or The Sports Academy study programme for young adults combines full-time education with sporting excellence and is delivered in partnership with Professional and grassroots clubs. If you would like to speak to SCL about running an academy programme, becoming part of SCL’s development league or about how an apprenticeship programme could help your club then call SCL on 0345 644 5747 or request a call back by emailing   By: Hannah Cameron

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  • Finger on the pulse! Creating opportunities through education and football

    With a booming reputation and a growing trophy cabinet, the high–flying Pulse family continue to disrupt the world of Non-League football, enjoying an impressive two Development League wins and two Champion’s Cups victories to match. As a result of their long-standing relationship with education providers, SCL Education Group, Pulse proudly hold the status of one of the first academies to partner with SCL. Taking The NLP back to the very roots of the now established Academy programme, Paul Harkness, Co-Founder of Pulse Premier Football, explained: “We wanted to create something that wasn’t a club. It was an independent programme that was for the benefit of the player and their career.” Having met in New Zealand whilst playing at North Shore United, Harkness and Pulse Co-Founder, Paul Seaman, shared a vision of bringing young players opportunities within football across the world. Harkness added: “It wasn’t about developing a player to go into a first team with us, it was about providing career opportunities.” Opportunity
    The carefully curated programme in partnership with SCL delivers a mix between in-classroom and on-pitch learning, and has gone from strength to strength since it opened its doors to 16-18 year olds in 2011. Harkness hails much of the programme’s success to a strong and aligned vision with SCL, telling The NLP: “It’s very much a partnership. We work together. It’s that solidarity as a team. “SCL are recognised in the area, Pulse are recognised in the area, and partnered together it’s known as a strong programme”, he continued. Steve Franks, Managing Director, Education and Training at SCL Education Group continued: “The fantastic football provision delivered by Pulse, coupled with our education programme, gives students a great stepping stone into the world of sport. Our long running partnership is testament to the hard work that has been put in by the team at Pulse since day one to create such a successful programme. “We are proud to partner with Pulse, and be part of the Pulse family.” The two-year, full-time education and football development programme prides itself on its unrivalled exit routes and progression opportunities for its learners. Austin Harris, SCL Education Group Tutor, added: “We offer a very integrated career progression pathway depending on each student’s career goals and targets. “Options include accessing higher education either in the UK, America or New Zealand, careers in teaching and coaching, or sport related apprenticeship programmes.” “Competition for students has increased but none of our competitors can rival our education offering, especially the FA Level 1 and Level 2 coaching qualifications, as they don’t have the tutor experience or expertise.” Academy Manager, Mark Anderson, the former Aldershot Town striker, went on: “The opportunities the course provides are second to none. “We’ve seen huge success. We’ve had over 50 graduates from the Football Academy go onto America on USA Scholarships, and to New Zealand and Australia on playing and coaching placements. “We’ve got three of our boys flying out to New Zealand on Monday. They’ll be coaching the junior teams after school, and representing the club at the weekend, playing in the senior men’s team.” But it’s not all eyes on the game at Pulse Premier Football Academy. Harkness explained: “It isn’t just about football… it’s about creating that person”. Transferrable
    “Everything that we do is transferrable”, added Harkness, who turned out for Camberley Town and Farnborough Town. “I think we actually do a lot to make good people. “It’s not necessarily about what you do on the pitch in terms of matches, it’s the substance that’s going in day after day; the work that’s being put into improving and developing you.” On the importance of the education and football mix, Harris explained: “Education is the most important part of the Academy offering. We operate a no education, no football policy, and football is used as the carrot to ensure that our values both on and off the pitch are upheld.” SCL’s Football Academy programme provides Pulse Premier learners with an opportunity to not only find their feet, but their future career path. “We just reignite a fire. There’s a spark there, and by the time they’ve finished with us, they don’t want to leave us”, said Harkness. “They enjoy it so much, and we develop those skills around basic things like shaking hands in the morning with the staff, eye contact when you’re talking to someone. “Through the power of football, we’re able to really engage and hone in on that and for some, inspire them further to go and get a good job and be successful.” Speaking about development opportunities and SCL’s Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching and Physical Education, Harkness added: “I think it’s the next step for SCL to continue the development and the pathway after the BTEC. I think it’s good for young people to get the opportunity to do a degree with SCL.”   To find out more about the Pulse Premier Football Academy programme in partnership with SCL, or if you know someone aged 16-18 years old who would like to apply, visit The Sports Academy study programme for young adults combines full-time education with sporting excellence and is delivered in partnership with Professional and grassroots clubs. If you would like to speak to SCL about running an academy programme, becoming part of SCL’s development league or about how an apprenticeship programme could help your club then call SCL on 0345 644 5747 or request a call back by emailing   By Hannah Cameron

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  • SCL sign up for 'Respect' Campaign

    SCL Youth Development League sign up for 'Respect' Campaign SCL have joined forces with Kappa UK and MJm sports to setup a fair play initiative to help increase sportsmanship, encourage good behaviour and set an example for fair competition. Steve Franks, Co-owner and partnership director said “SCL are pleased that Kappa UK and MJM Sports have signed the SCL development league as part of the respect campaign to encourage to the lads the benefits of playing by the rules and setting an example which is a fundamental part of the game.”  The SCL Development league gives players aged 16-19 yrs to play in regular competitive fixtures and engage young people through the power of sport. SCL is the UK’s leading independent provider of education through sport and currently partners with over 60 football, cricket and rugby clubs to deliver study programmes for young people. SCL use the power of sport as a medium to engage young people in education and help them build career pathways and opportunities in sport. “Kappa UK are delighted to have signed the SCL youth development league up to our respect campaign in conjunction with our retail partners MJM sports. With MJM sports Kappa continue to target grass roots football and rugby throughout the country and in particular we are pushing the whole respect element which under pins our joint ethos. The SCL league is a perfect vehicle for the respect campaign.” said Dave BANDELL, Team Sport Manager “MJM Sports are proud to deliver the Kappa respect campaign across the UK and see this new signing as one of the best to date, we are looking forward to working with the SCL Youth Development League and helping to promote Respect” commented Terry Schofield Managing Director MJM Sports. You can find out more about the SCL Development League and the teams that play in the different divisions at

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  • 7 Simple ways to get your family active

    We know that staying active is important but family time is too…so why not combine them? Here are 7 simple ways to get your family active while enjoying some quality time together.

    The NHS recommends that children receive at least 1 hour of physical activity a day. This will encourage growth of strong bones and muscles, help to maintain a healthy weight, and build confidence.

    1. Make the most of the great outdoors! There are plenty of local nature trails out there for you to enjoy. Take a hike through the beautiful English countryside and if your little ones are prone to ‘tired legs’ then why not encourage them ride their bike or scooter instead?

    2. Go on a scavenger hunt…Take a step outside and go on a hunt for ‘treasures’ – and to keep your children occupied later, release their creative side and use what they’ve found to create pictures (all you need is a piece of paper and glue!)

    3. Set up an obstacle course! This can be outside OR inside so there’s no worrying about the weather ruining your plans

    4. Make ‘family dance night’ a thing - Get together to create a dance routine to your favourite song or watch a video and copy someone else’s – there’s plenty on the internet. Or why not teach your children some of your favourite childhood moves and learn some of theirs?

    5. TV Adverts don’t have to be boring! Use ad breaks as an opportunity to get active and have some fun? See who can do the most jumping jacks before the TV show comes back on or play follow the leader and take it in turns to copy one another to run on the spot

    6. Find your inner yogi – There are so many health benefits to yoga and it is incredibly calming. Why not gather together to give some of the basic moves a try as a family? It’s a great way to start or finish a day!

    7. Get mucky! Don’t be ashamed of getting a little muddy or wet…jump in puddles, roll down hills, climb trees and have fun with it!

    Here at SCL we’d love to learn how you keep active with your family. Tag us in your photos on social media and don’t forget to use #SCLFamily. Looking to keep your child active in the school holidays? We guarantee that your child will part-take in at least 1 hour of physical activity per day at our Holiday Clubs. Click here to find a venue near you.  

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  • New partnership - Premiership Rugby

    SCL are pleased to announce a new partnership with Premiership Rugby.  SCL has teamed up with Premiership Rugby to deliver HITZ Programmes across England, with the aim of improving the lives of hundreds of 16-18 year olds. HITZ uses rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship to support young people not in education, training or employment (NEET) back into education, training, apprenticeships or employment. HITZ is funded by partners Land Rover, Comic Relief and Wooden Spoon. The HITZ programme, which will be delivered in partnership with SCL at five Premiership Rugby clubs, is targeted specifically at 16-18 year olds to help them develop valuable life skills and gain key qualifications alongside experience from work placements. The HITZ Programme also offers a variety of enrichment and sporting activities, such as basketball, karate and BMXing, which supports the overall development of participants through not only improving their mental wellbeing but physical health as well.   All educational aspects of the Premiership Rugby HITZ Programme at Bath, Exeter, Harlequins, London Irish and Northampton Saints will be managed by SCL, a leading independent provider of education through sport with over 15 years’ experience in delivering a range of forward-thinking and successful sports academy study programmes for young adults. All HITZ Programme participants will get the opportunity to study a variety of nationally-recognised qualifications within sport, coaching and fitness to improve their employability.. HITZ Programme participants regularly report an increase in resilience, self-confidence and aspiration afterwards, with over 70% going on to achieve a positive progression into further education, training or employment. With the launch of this exciting partnership, Steve Franks, Partnership Director and Co-owner at SCL, commented: “SCL are proud to partner with Premiership Rugby to give young people from all walks of life more opportunities to gain life skills while getting an education.” Wayne Morris, Community and CSR Director at Premiership Rugby, added: “With this new partnership, Premiership Rugby’s HITZ programme is set to move from strength to strength. Benefitting from the expertise and experience of SCL at these five clubs, it is our aim to be able to reach and help more and more young people each year, using rugby and its values to help learners return to education, training or employment.” If you’re interested in finding out more about the Premiership Rugby HITZ Programme, please visit 

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  • Former Villa stars link up with SCL to help pros of the future

    With over 1,000 professional appearances under their belts, it is fair to say that David Norton and Mark Draper know a thing or two about what it takes to have a successful career. After starting in the ‘Second City’ with Aston Villa, Norton forged an impressive career for himself that saw him enjoy spells at the likes of Hull City and Northampton while Draper, who played over 200 times for Notts County, turned out in the top-flight for Villa and Southampton via time in La Liga with Rayo Vallecano. But instead of basking in their past glories, Norton and Draper are now using all their experience to help the stars of the future – in whatever career path they want to take – by running the Team DNF (Draper Norton Football) Academy. Team DNF Academy has formed a new partnership with SCL Education Group to run a two-year football training and education programme for 16-18 year olds, based in Nottingham. Players will train and educate, in brand new world-class facilities at Nottingham Trent University which boasts a sports hall, gym, classroom, a variety of pitches including a new 3G pitch and a nutrition centre. Players will be taught the knowledge, attitude and skill they can apply in their professional careers making for an educational experience like no other. Players who graduate from The Football Academy programme have the opportunity to go on to play professionally, secure a job in sports coaching or leisure, enrol in university or an apprenticeship programme. Norton and Draper plied their trade at the highest level but at DNF they believe that talent at all levels should be nurtured, and that players should receive the recognition they deserve so that they may aspire to reach their goals. Experienced DNF’s ethos is a perfect fit for SCL, whose mission is to engage and develop young people giving them a platform to launch a career in sport. SCL is an innovative OFSTED approved provider that allows grassroots and professional clubs to inspire youngsters in their communities into education and help develop future first-team stars. Over the past 15 years, SCL has teamed up with over 60 Non-League and professional clubs to create academies for 16 to 18-year-olds and they have developed, educated and graduated over 7,000 students. Steve Franks, Partnership Director, SCL Education Group said: “We are pleased to partner with an academy like DNF who believe in what we do. Our success with helping our partners run successful programmes stems from our passion for developing people, this is what motivated us in the beginning and is what still motivates us today.” The academy programme offers opportunities to young people who have become disengaged from traditional education. Draper, DNF Academy Manager told The NLP: “All these lads don’t want to be stuck in Sixth Form and a lot of them end up dropping out, whereas on these courses we have retained a high percentage of the lads for the two years.” Many clubs or private academies who are currently with education providers may be deterred from switching provider, as the process can be difficult but SCL are well experienced in managing this process. Unique Draper added: “We weren’t very happy with our education programme at the time so we reached out to Matt at SCL. “I had known other clubs that had used SCL and there was good feedback and I had done a bit of research into SCL and everything looked exactly what we were looking for at the time and it has proved it was a good decision.” When asked about the switching process at SCL and how SCL are now working with and successfully running the educational side, Draper said: “It’s been brilliant. Obviously, we needed to get it done pretty quickly, we had 45 lads on the programme, and it was all done within three or four weeks which was fantastic. As football coaches it makes our job a lot easier whereas before we had to deal with different bits and bobs and obviously SCL took care of that. “We had two good teachers in place which stayed on with SCL, which is even better. It gives us more time to concentrate on the football side. “We’re sort of getting more established now, our reputation is growing and we are quite happy with SCL and we want it to be a long-term relationship.” Andy Roach, who is the FE Sports Lecturer on the programme, told The NLP about how the programme improves the life of the players. “At Draper Norton we feel we have an extremely strong provision both on the football side with two experienced ex-professional players and highly qualified coaches, but also on the education side. We have two tutors who between them have over 15 years of delivering Level 2 and Level 3 BTEC courses in a range of higher education institutions. “The tutors and coaches work very closely every day in supporting our learners to make sure we offer the best possible support and provision. We are all passionate about improving the life chances of our learners in both football and the world of work.” Draper Norton have also put one of their teams into SCL’s development league to give their players the opportunity to play regular competitive matches. The SCL Development league currently has 45 clubs and is for players aged 16-18 years to compete for the chance to win the divisional championship and go on to win the Champion of Champions title. Find out more about the DNF’s programme  in partnership with SCL at If you would like to speak to SCL about running an academy programme, becoming part of SCL’s development league or about how an apprenticeship programme could help your club then call SCL on 0345 644 5747 or request a call back by emailing

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  • Addicks youngsters combining education with football development

    The last few years have been a rough ride for Charlton and the club’s fans, with relegation from the Championship.

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  • Player heads to Hong Kong!

    West Ham and SCL Education player Roque Nchaso heads to Hong Kong!

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  • Millwall scheme a roaring success with SCL

    Last season, Millwall came heartbreakingly close to reaching the Championship, but fell at the final hurdle as Barnsley denied them promotion in the League One play-off final at Wembley. For many clubs, that would have been hard to come back from. However, at The Den they do things differently. Instead of remaining down and distraught by the events that occurred under the famous arch, they’ve bounced back and Neil Harris’ men are on the brink of securing a top-six spot again, and could be back in the second tier next season. Off the pitch, the mantra is very much the same. While the first team looks to have a bright future, so does Millwall Community Trust in partnership with SCL education group as they go from strength to strength to help young people achieve their dreams. For two academic years, Millwall Community Trust and SCL have been working together to provide an education programme for young players alongside their footballing careers, giving them a helping hand as they aim for successful futures – whether that’s as a professional player, or down another pathway. Speaking to The FLP, Freddie Ruby, Education and Employability co-ordinator at Millwall Community Trust, said: “The hook of the Millwall badge, the good work the trust has already done in the community and the brilliant support and knowledge of SCL together combined has worked out really well. “Our CEO Steve Bradshaw and Steve Franks (Partnership Director and SCL co-founder) have put together a programme whereby we can work with young people looking for a career in sports, provided down different pathways, whatever they may be. “If a young person wanted to go down the route of higher education, they could access that with us, if they wanted a pathway into an apprenticeship or employment they could access that, and also potentially further their career in football.” Ruby, Millwall Community Trust and SCL are all passionate about providing young people with the greatest chance to succeed. SCL is one of the leading education providers through sport, and alongside the Lions, they’re providing 16-18 year olds with an education as well as the opportunity to become a star. “It’s absolutely massive to get the balance right between football and education,” said Ruby. “We are always firm believers in giving young people an opportunity to succeed, whatever their goal, and we’re not there to put the fire out on their aspirations.   “If they’ve got aspirations to reach the highest level then good on them, that’s a fantastic mentality to have and we will help them all we can. “But, alternatively, we’ll bring it to them that they have to think about the other considerations, they have to think about a contingency and we’ll offer them a bespoke education with SCL that is based around sport and what they love in order to give them another option. “We are inclusive about who we accept on our programme. A lot of people have this perception that they have to be the greatest footballer to go on the programme but they don’t. “You don’t have to be an Academy player, you don’t have to be a semi-professional or future professional, what you have to be is willing and keen to work hard and follow a career path in sport, and we’ll help you as best we can.” Kiran Dingri, a tutor who was recently awarded the quarterly inspirational award as part of SCL’s excellence awards and works within Millwall’s programme, agrees, saying: “The Millwall Community Trust Academy provides a fantastic opportunity for 16-18 year olds to combine full-time education with their passion of football and sport. “Many of the students who attend the programme come from a variety of backgrounds and have overcome a number of different barriers to excel both in the classroom and on the football pitch.” But, despite the excellent work Millwall and SCL are doing within the programme to provide young players with every chance to succeed on the pitch, the education is of course vital. In a footballing world that can be so cruel and unforgiving, not every young player who dreams of reaching the top will do so – but that’s exactly why the opportunities provided by SCL and Ruby at Millwall are so priceless. SCL’s Franks said: “Our Academy programme uses the power of football as a tool to motivate and encourage young people to stay in education while keeping one eye on the dream of progressing through the ranks to the first team or other opportunities in the sporting sector.” The education being provided at Millwall Community Trust varies from BTECs to VRQs, and depends on the GCSE grades of the person involved. One player who did knuckle down, completed a course at the Trust and continued a career in football was Ella Rutherford. The 17-year-old, who plays for Millwall’s women’s team, the Lionesses, and England Women’s U17, is a prime example of the success SCL and the Trust are having. Ruby said: “She’s a female who has come through the programme to play for the first team of the Lionesses, starts every week, has not long turned 17 and has become one of their most important players. She’s a real success story – and has become almost an inspiration.” By the sounds of it, there could be quite a few more success stories to come. *This advertorial originally featured in the April 30th edition of the FLP.

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  • Play and learn for a bright future

    SCL is a private education training provider, specialising in sport, aiming to help clubs benefit from rugby’s showpiece being on home territory. By creating a partnership with SCL, clubs can set-up their own private academies for 16-18 year olds to train and gain a Diploma in Sport. They guide clubs through the whole process while offering the unique opportunity to run the programmes from their own ground or facility. Partnership Director and co-founder Steve Franks told The Rugby Paper:  “We’re not looking to take over a club’s existing scholarship programme where they’ve got players aged 16-18 on professional contracts. The SCL Rugby Academy is almost a second chance programme for those who didn’t quite make the grade, but the club still want to keep an eye on. It gives them an opportunity to take on another squad. “We originally piloted the programme with Blackheath RFC. It has proved to be an outstanding programme and we are now in our third season with them. We’ve had 100 per cent pass rates and the club has benefitted a lot from it with players being selected for their first team. “There’s a lot of young people who aren’t in education but are inspired by rugby. This offers them a chance to be motivated and engaged to stay in education whilst developing their sporting performance with a rugby club. It also ticks a lot of boxes for clubs’ social responsibilities in the communities they serve.” As well as the BTEC Diploma in Sport, students can gain sports coaching qualifications and undertake GCSE resits in Maths and English if needed. For clubs who have community trusts, players also undertake work experience and provide coaching at schools or holiday camps. “The programme works because it combines two experts in their field. SCL concentrates on delivering the education, the club on the rugby training and player development.” Franks said. “Our USP is that we deliver the education programme from the club alongside the rugby training and match play. In short, we are an onsite college but with many advantages. Instead of students taking time out to go to a college, they are immersed full-time in the club environment and experience what it is like to be part of a rugby club.” Franks continued, “The clubs benefit from on-site delivery too. Having the education delivered by a college may restrict when the rugby training takes place. By having the education delivered at the club’s facilities, we can create a bespoke timetable that suits both our needs. A lot of the clubs are also keen to progress players from the second chance programme into their scholarship programme or any late developers even into their first team. Having the players at the club full-time, training day in, day out gives club the ability to monitor their progress closely as well.” “It’s all together on one site and it’s made for excellent success rates. For education, across all our 40 Sports Academies our overall success rate is 95 per cent, which is about 12 per cent above national average. “We pride ourselves on delivering a quality education and parting with clubs to offer a first class Rugby experience for young people that creates opportunity. At the end of the education programme, players can progress onto Apprenticeships or university, find employment within the sport and leisure industry, or within rugby itself.” “We also offer excellent training and support for our clubs. In-service training for coaches, club-specific pages on our recently launched website, a marketing toolkit and an online trials booking system are just examples.” “We believe in creating the correct relationship with our club partners for long-term success and work hard to ensure we deliver for the clubs and for our learners.” Franks concluded, “We have funding availability to establish new programmes with clubs for 2016/17. So whether clubs are looking to set up a second chance programme to work along-side their main scholarship programme or indeed set up a scholarship programme, SCL has the expertise, support structure and experience to make it happen.” This piece first appeared in The Rugby Paper on Sunday, September 13th.

    More News From SCL 

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  • Plan B’ stacks up for Cards

    WOKING Football Club has worked in partnership with SCL for over five years and the club’s community co-ordinator and welfare officer, Jane Spong, could not be happier with the relationship! SCL is an innovative private education provider that works with grass-roots and professional football clubs to create a unique football academy that aims to both inspire young adults into education and also develop future first team stars. Spong told The NLP: “We have had a really strong relationship with SCL that has helped us to get the best out of the boys, not just on the field but in the classroom as well.” To date SCL has teamed up with over 40 Non-League and professional clubs to create a full-time education and football/coaching development programme for 16 to 18 year olds. Football training plays a key role at the academies but a strong emphasis is also placed on education. “It is really important for us to provide a Plan B for the boys,” said Spong. “We all know that not everyone is going to make it into the first team so it is vital the boys have qualifications to fall back on. “We make it clear how important these qualifications are by telling the boys if they are behind with their education they don’t get to participate in the football.” Through SCL’s educational provision, players at Woking’s Academy are able to enhance their footballing development and also work towards BTEC Diploma in Sport, sports coaching qualifications and Maths and English GCSEs. Opportunities SCL’s co-founder Steve Franks told The NLP: “Our Academy programme uses the power of football to motivate and offer young people an unique programme which enables them to stay in education, while keeping one eye on the dream of progressing through the ranks into the first team or onto other opportunities within football.” In recent years Woking FC has built on the Football Academy model by introducing an Apprenticeship scheme for their community department in partnership with SCL. “The gap is widening between academy football and first team football and we wanted to find a way of bridging this gap whilst also providing a career progression here at the club for graduating Academy players into employment,” said Spong. “We select ten players who successfully completed their two years in the Academy and invite them to continue with the club for a third year. “The apprentices have a unique job role working within the community department delivering sports coaching and assisting with the delivery of PE lessons in primary schools. Plus our apprentices continue their football development and have the opportunity to be around, and play with, the first team or go out on loan to other clubs. “We have had a number of successes from the Apprenticeship programme. For example, Andrew Mills is one of our boys who has appeared regularly for the first team this season.” This year Woking have further expanded their relationship with SCL by creating a brand new Coaching Academy. “We take on a lot of young people on work experience within our community department and a lot of them probably don’t have the right skills to come onto the Football Academy, but enjoy the coaching side of the game,” said Spong. “SCL created a bespoke education and sports coaching work experience programme and we are the first SCL partner club to set up a Coaching Academy. “In a similar way to our Football Academy, school leavers are offered a one or two year programme, only here the emphasis is placed on providing them with qualifications and skills to create the next generation of coaches. Experience “The students are educated five days a week. Students at the Coaching Academy undertake a Sports Diploma alongside their Level 1 and Level 2 FA coaching badges. In addition they receive vital on the job mentoring while out undertaking work experience in local schools and the community.” Students at the Coaching Academy have the opportunity to work within Woking’s much applauded community department. This year the club beat off stiff competition to win the 2015 Community Club of the Year at the Vanarama National League Annual Congress. “We do quite a bit in the community!” said Spong. “We coach about 110 hours a week in schools delivering curriculum time and after school clubs at around 23 schools around the Woking area. “We also run walking football for the over 50s and the Surrey Community Football League, which is a league for adults suffering from mental health issues. We are very proud this league has now been affiliated with the Surrey FA.” Woking have clearly benefited from their flourishing relationship with SCL and the organisation’s Managing Director and Co-Founder Lewis Field told The NLP that SCL is always looking for new opportunities and partnerships. Field said: “Whether clubs have an existing Academy and are looking for an alternative education provider or want to set up a programme from scratch, SCL has the expertise, support structure and experience to make it happen.” This piece first appeared in The Non-League Paper on Sunday, October 25th.  More News From SCL  More about Woking FC Academy 

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  • Academy Student to Football Pro

    Lamar Reynolds, scores himself a win as he hits the big shot & lands himself a position with Newport County FC.

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  • Champions of Champions Match

    All in all, an excellent game for second time champions Pulse Tomlinscote.

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  • Getting children fit for the future

    New research shows that after school clubs can improve the academic performance and social skills of children. 

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  • David Peplow selected as finalist for the HITZ awards

    Worcester Warriors’ & SCL Tutor David Peplow was 1 of 3 finalists selected for the HITZ Champion award supported by Comic Relief.

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  • FC United and SCL are paving the way

     FC United of Manchester boss Karl Marginson is a huge supporter of the work SCL are doing at his club and had praised the way they are teaching his aspiring young first-team stars in the right way.  Last weekend, 17-year-old academy defender Samuel Baird made his first-team debut, playing a starring role in a vital 4-2 win over local rivals Stalybridge Celtic, and was named man of the match. On Saturday, he attended an England schoolboys training session at Manchester United’s training ground with team-mate Kamahl Fuller. Clearly, they’re doing something right at Broadhurst Park. First-team manager Marginson keeps a keen eye on the Academy at FC United, and says players such as Baird are a great example of the impressive work being done behind the scenes at the National League North side, with help, of course, from SCL. SCL is an innovative private education training provider that allows grassroots and professional football clubs to inspire youngsters in their communities into education and develop future first-team stars. Over the past 15 years, SCL has teamed up with over 50 Non-League and professional clubs to create football academies for 16 to 18-year-olds. Football training plays a key role at the academies, but the main emphasis is on the players’ education. “SCL have been brilliant for the players,” said Marginson. “We had a meeting over the summer, and were so impressed by what we were shown, and the partnership has started fantastically well. “Since SCL took over the education at FC we have seen a new side to the lads. Their tutor, Paul, has invigorated the lads and it’s great to see them actually excited to attend college. “He has been fantastic in many ways, and not only does he deliver a fantastic education programme, but his pastoral care has also been brilliant, and he ensures the lads develop their emotional intelligence to ensure they not only develop as students, but as individuals who want to have a positive impact in the local community. “When I took over [in 2005], it was a lot harder for our academy, especially as we didn’t have our own ground, and where we had come from. “But things have moved on a lot since then. This is our first partnership with an organisation such as this and SCL have been fantastic. “It’s helping the academy, no doubt. Attendance has been great, and with the programme held at our ground, it is bringing everyone together. The lads can spend time together away from the training pitch, and it also helps our staff who can now get to know the players more.” Education Sadly, not every Academy player will break into first-team football, or make it as a pro, but with the help of SCL, footballers are being provided with an education to fall back on. SCL’s Partnership Director and co-founder Steve Franks told The NLP: “Our Academy programme uses the power of football as a tool to motivate and encourage young people to stay in education while keeping one eye on the dream of progressing through the ranks to the first team or other opportunities in the football sector.” This is a value FC United and Maginson also pride themselves on, and he said: “Of course the football is important, because at the end of the day we are a football club, but the values our players are taught are also important. “It’s all about creating good people, and making a balance in people’s lives. We want to develop them as footballers, but we also have to show them the right behaviour, the right way to act and how we want them to represent our club. We have to keep them grounded.” And the hard-work being put in by SCL and FC United of Manchester is clearly paying dividends, with success in the form of players such as Baird and Fuller, and the form of the club’s second year Academy side. As well as reaching the first-round of the FA Youth Cup for the first time in the club’s history, they are also unbeaten so far this season in the league. “Sam [Baird] made a real impact last Saturday,” said Marginson. “The standard of our Academy is now great for their growth and development. With the help of SCL, it’s now a great environment to learn on a personal and team level.”   Run a successful football academy with SCL    More News From SCL   More about FC United of Manchester Academy

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  • 10 Minute Shake Up this Summer

    ukactive are supporting the 10 Minute Shake Up this summer, an exciting initiative from Change4Life with Disney. 

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     This has capped off a tremendous season for all the Pulse Tomlinscote boys.

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  • A Great Achievement for Educoach

    Educoach College have had great success in winning the East Division of the SCL Youth Development League. 

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  • Success for the Blues Academy

    The Blues Academy have had great success in reaching the final of the FCYA league

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  • Primary PE and Sport Premium will be doubled to £320m

      ukactive have responded to the 2016 budget and in particular George Osborne's announcement that a levy on sugar will get the next generation 'fit for the future', and welcomes the extra investment for children's activity programmes. Responding to the announcement that the Primary PE and Sport Premium will be doubled to £320m to spend from 2017, Executive Director Steven Ward said it was a chance to turn the tide on generation inactive. Ward said that it was absolutely crucial that the extra funding be put to use to tackle the childhood inactivity crisis and focus on ensuring that every child in the UK has the opportunity for an active start to life. ukactive Executive Director Steven Ward said: "I join every ukactive member in welcoming this opportunity to provide a fitter future for our children. Today's announcement from the Chancellor of a near half-billion pound boost to children's activity is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get more children active and we need to grasp it with both hands. Whilst recognising the good work that is already happening in schools thanks to the Primary PE and Sport Premium, this means going further than just getting children playing sport at school, by looking at building activity into lessons, on the walk to school, on the weekend, during the holidays and at home. From pre-natal to post-natal, right up to college age, we have an opportunity to get this right, right now and this injection of resources is our chance to do that. We look forward to working with government, our stakeholders, members and partners to use this chance to look at the whole picture and to prioritise funding to projects and programmes that will have the biggest impact in getting the most children active. There are 168 hours in a child's week so we'd be naïve to think that by driving investment towards a small proportion of those hours via PE and school sport that we wouldn't be making a mistake. We've got to look at the whole picture. The Chief Medical Officer called for 60 active minutes every day for every child - that now has to be our single minded goal." We at SCL echo the thoughts of ukactive in making sure that we use this once in a lifetime opportunity to turn the tide on generation inactive.  Responding to today’s 2016 Budget announcement that the Primary PE and Sport Premium will be doubled to £320m to spend from 2017, SCL CEO Lewis Field said “This near half-billion pound boost to children’s activity is a fantastic opportunity to provide a fitter future for our children. Schools now have the funds to really help every child achieve 60 active minutes every day – the recommendation of the Chief Medical Officer, and one wholly supported by SCL. Be it through playing sport, building activity into lessons and break times or encouraging children to be active during holidays and at home, this is our chance to turn the tide on generation inactive and get them ‘fit for the future’.”   More News From SCL   More News From Ukactive  

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  • The National Game Awards return

    The return of the National Game Awards signals the start of what the business end of the season.

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  • Academy Player signs for Norwich

    Ebou is a product of our extremely successful Academy programme, working very closely with Tony Burman, Steve Mosely, Deren Ibrahim and Jason Long.

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  • Engaging Young People in Physical Activity

    Reflecting on the Active Training Awards, SCL Education Group CEO, and co-founder, Lewis Field explores the impact young people can make and how best to harness their energy to drive the sector forward. "At SCL we were delighted to be involved in the Active Training Workshop and Awards in November; contributing to a panel discussion on the importance of youth engagement in Apprenticeships in the physical activity sector. How to ensure our sector is helping to shape young people into positive leaders of the future is an important area to explore and it was fantastic to deliberate this with experts in the area including Marcus Kingwell from the Association of Colleges and with awarding bodies and training providers such as Active IQ and Sports Leaders. The Active Training Awards are a great way to develop the priorities of the sector in regards to training and this is particularly significant as the government reforms Apprenticeships, aiming to have 3 million starts in 2020. The sector has to take charge to ensure we make the most of the opportunities a newfound focus on Apprenticeships could bring to developing the skills of young people and how this will contribute to the growth of the sector and increase activity levels. As I outlined at the Active Training workshop SCL - both an employer and training provider - understands the power that sport can have for engaging young people in education; and it's incredibly important that for young people who may not have found school the right environment for reaching their potential are able to elsewhere. We therefore must be engaging people from a young age, helping them to hone their skills and allowing them to grow into the culture of their employer. At SCL we have seen a real progression in some of our students who once disengaged, then went on to further education, became apprentices with us and are now part of the management team at SCL. It just shows that in the right setting with the correct approach everyone can reach their potential and make a positive change to their lives. One of the fantastic things about Apprenticeships is the on-the-job training it provides, for developing both technical and soft skills. While technical skills can to some extent be taught in the classroom I don't believe there are truly embedded until there are applied in the work environment. And we really see this work in practise at SCL - giving our apprentices the opportunity to teach young children allows them real responsibility which helps them to develop skills in organisation, leadership and teamwork - all of which are necessary for any job. So, while it is great to see young people thrive in the physical activity sector it is also fantastic that the skills they gain are valuable for any future job they may have. What's great is that at SCL we can see the importance of engaging young people both from an employer's and training provider's perspective and how this helps prevent them from becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).  Through our sports academy partnerships SCL educates 2,000 16-18 year olds each academic year and we also provides children's activities and school sport services to hundreds of thousands of primary school children each year. We can therefore see what employers are looking for in employees and ensure these skills will be developed through our training.  It was fantastic to be part of an event alongside a coalition of organisations that recognise, celebrate and promote best practise in the training of physical activity professionals. It should certainly be interesting to see how the Apprenticeship reforms impact the sector and how we can harness the energy and enthusiasm of young people to improve health and wellbeing."   More News From SCL   More From Ukactives's Blog

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  • SCL's Model Sub-contracting Partnership

    The Department for Education (DfE) has unveiled a detailed report spelling out Education Funding Agency (EFA) 16 to 19 subcontracting arrangements for the first time. The Skills Funding Agency has published its subcontracting data for years, but yesterday (January 28) was the first time the EFA followed suit. The largest lead providers by student numbers subcontracted were Central College Nottingham (930), South Essex College of Further and Higher Education (835), Weston College of Further and Higher Education (797), NCG (730), and Greater Merseyside Learning Providers’ Federation (516). When asked why it subcontracts the provision, deputy principal and chief executive of South Essex College Anthony McGarel said: “We work with skilled collaborative partners that are specialists in their field, these partnerships have been extremely successful for many years. “Working alongside the best local providers, on targeted curriculum areas, reduces unnecessary course duplication and provides more choice for young people in Essex.” One of its subcontractors was Surrey-based SCL Education and Training Ltd. SCL, which had the most learners among all subcontractors, dealt with four lead providers — South Essex College (633 learners), Jancett Childcare and Jace Training (38 learners), Access to Music (344 learners) and Bromley College (39 learners). Lewis Field, director at SCL, said they ran courses from level one to level three in sports and active leisure, and also provided GCSE maths and English as well as Functional Skills. He said they were in discussion with the EFA about becoming a lead provider, when asked why they operated as a subcontractor. A South Essex College spokesperson told FE Week it had subcontracted with SCL for three years. She said that “the work they’ve done has been amazing”.

    This piece first appeared in FE Week on Monday, February 1st. You Can view the original piece here.    SUB-CONTRACT WITH SCL IN 2016/17   More News From SCL

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  • Player signs for Tottenham Hotspur

    Ebbsfleet United Academy midfielder Shilow Tracey has completed his move to Tottenham Hotspur for an undisclosed fee. The highly rated 17-year-old has been creating plenty of ripples lately with clubs including Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Ipswich Town, Reading and West Ham monitoring his progress. But having trialled with the North London club and been taken on the Spurs development squad’s recent Florida tour – where Shilow scored twice in three appearances – it is the White Hart Lane club that has won the race for his signature. Shilow was part of the first intake of players to the Ebbsfleet United Academy since club owners KEH Sports created it and Fleet vice chairman Peter Varney said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for Shilow and we are proud of the fact that our youth academy is producing quality young players just one year after we set it up. “I would like to thank Spurs for the professional manner in which they have handled the transfer negotiations. I must also recognise the work done with Shilow by Daryl McMahon and his staff in our youth academy.” Following completion of his move to White Hart Lane, Shilow was due to join up with the Spurs’ academy in Mexico to take part in the Copa Chivas, competing against teams including Benfica, Boca Juniors and River Plate. It is also fitting that in the 125th anniversary of senior football in Northfleet, that Shilow’s move to White Hart Lane recalls the years before the Second World War when Fleet served as Tottenham’s nursery club and helped produce so many stars in the famous white shirt. Ebbsfleet United will be announcing forthcoming Academy trial dates next week as the club prepares to cast its eye over the intake for the next season. Several other players have signed first-team contracts in the past season and budding players in the 16–18 age category are encouraged to apply for trials on announcement of the dates. This piece first appeared in Ebbsfleet News on January 13th.   Find out more about Ebbsfleet FC academy    More News From SCL   More News From Ebbsfleet

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  • Academy Player signs for first team

    George Hallahan came through the Basingstoke FC academy programme run in partnership with SCL and went on to sign for Basingstoke FC's first team in 2015.  Hallahan’s debut with the first team on July 11th saw him score two goals away at Beaconsfield before coming off the bench and scoring another brace against Reading u21’s on Saturday Manager Jason Bristow has seen Hallahan’s goalscoring capabilities for Basingstoke Town Youth Team first hand over the last couple of seasons and has backed the forward to grow with the club “In his first 90 minutes of first team football football, George scored 4 great goals. He’s a great prospect and with help of the players around him, we all look forward to seeing him continue his development with us”. Hallahan said on the new deal “I’m really happy to sign for my home town club again and so grateful for this big opportunity. It feels like my hard work has paid off and it’s a privilege to represent the club. The forward scored 25 goals in 16 games for Jason Bristow’s academy side last season and won the golden boot award.   Find out more about Basingstoke FC academy    More News From SCL

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    It was a fantastic, once in a lifetime experience, to celebrate all our amazing and very worthy winners from throughout the year. 

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  • Functional Skills in sport

    Successful delivery of Functional Skills in vocational training can prove challenging for many FE providers. However, SCL has managed to not only engage young learners who would not otherwise be interested in full-time learning, but have produced Functional Skills results which are excellent by anybody’s standards. Delivering study programmes and apprenticeships in partnership with a number of lead providers across the South East, London and Midlands, SCL are funded by both the Education Funding Agency and the Skills Funding Agency, focusing on providing sports provision to the sector based on learners’ interests. Mindful of the complexities and difficulties involved with delivering theory, SCL has developed a model which develops the sporting prowess of their learners while simultaneously enhancing their employability, study and Functional Skills resulting in high retention and success rates as well as a workforce for the future with a significant array of transferable skills. Lisa MacCormac, head of collaborative partnerships at South Essex College, notes that:

    ‘SCL have significantly contributed to changing the perception of vocational sports programmes, particularly apprenticeships, which had previously had a very poor reputation with the funding bodies. They provide excellent success, retention and achievement rates, have cracked the very challenging task of providing excellent Functional Skills results and are a model sub-contractor. I can’t recommend them highly enough.’ A significant part of their success is due to the fact that programmes are delivered in real sports environments which expose learners to working life on a daily basis. Working closely with employers leaves them with a realistic view of how the industry works and the opportunities on offer. By simultaneously developing their subject knowledge and skills set, the learners leave with a profound understanding of the applied nature and utility of the skills they have developed. However, it is the inventive delivery of Functional Skills that really makes SCL stand out. Having tried discrete delivery by specialist staff, yielding limited success in their first year, SCL experimented with fully embedding these skills into the curriculum by training up its own core staff. The curriculum was linked to the sporting activities contained within the main learning aim thereby taking advantage of the natural interest of learners in their chosen subject. Following this, Functional Skills results rose from 53% in 2012/13 to 87% in 2013/14. Their overall success rates for the past 12 months make for impressive reading with 95% achieving levels 1 and 2, 97% retention and 97% progression into employment, FE or HE. The focus on staff pursuing better learning was key: all staff are trained to deliver Functional Skills through continuing professional development, working in partnership with providers with exemplary practice. Equally important was the fact that all staff are actively encouraged to gain their own Functional Skills qualifications.
    This ability to embed skills and produce learners who are employment-ready is highly valued by SCL’s partners and lead organisations and is highly acclaimed by its awarding body. Adrian Armstrong, chief executive of Access to Music, an SCL partner, said: ‘SCL provides outstanding learner outcomes in terms of quality, success and learner satisfaction. I have personally witnessed the positive impact their
    Sport & Education Academy programme has on the learners’ motivation.’ Originally published by The Learning Consortium, 2016 -    More News From SCL

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  • SCL Welcomes ukactive’s Blueprint for an Active Britain Report

    SCL welcomes ukactive’s 'Blueprint for an Active Britain report,’ which was launched on Thursday 5th November. 

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  • Play hard and work smart

    NON-LEAGUE clubs can inspire youngsters in their communities into education – and develop future first team stars.

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  • SCL is an employer partner of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity.

  • SCL are pleased to announce that they are Finalists for the Apprenticeship Provider of the Year!

  • SCL are an Ofsted registered Childcare provider.

  • SCL have partnered with De Montfort University to launch a Sports Coaching Degree programme,

  • The Flame Awards are the largest celebration of innovation and excellence from across the sector.

  • SCL are strategic partners with UKactive.

  • EU EFS

  • Matrix

  • Traineeships are a stepping stone to future success for young people, businesses and the wider economy.

  • Our Saturday Soccer Coaches are FA qualified, Level 2 and above

  • SCL's School Sport Apprenticeship programme has been designed specifically to give those wanting a career in coaching and physical education the skills, knowledge and qualifications to help make it happen.

  • SCL were awarded an Ofsted outstanding in 2015 for their Holiday Activities.

  • HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme.