Wednesday 11 April 2012
The Premier League has been praised by education watchdog Ofsted for best practice in the work it carries out with apprenticeships for young people.
Ofsted highlighted the Premier League in the best practice report, published this week, which analyses the "high-performance" programmes of 15 organisations providing apprenticeships.
The report singles out the Premier League for the work it does with regard to anti-bullying, anti-racism as well as helping apprentices who do not end up as professional footballers find alternative career paths.
"The training, education and welfare of young people in our Academies and Centres of Excellence is one of our highest priorities"
- Premier League's Ged Roddy
"The Premier League's workshops, delivered at individual clubs, helped to develop apprentices into responsible adults," read the report.
"A lot of work was carried out to discourage racism through the 'Kick it Out' campaign, while the 'Don’t Cross the Line' anti-bullying initiative used a black England player as an unofficial ambassador. Workshops to counter bullying were delivered to players, coaches and parents/guardians.
"Work was also done to discourage negative influences such as drugs, drinking or gambling."
The report added: "A flexible approach to theory, alongside a structured, sport-specific, training and development programme enables apprentices to achieve their footballing potential while also developing their academic and personal skills."
The Premier League's Education Department delivers a programme to support the development of all Academy and Centre of Excellence players on a variety of levels including tactical, technical, lifestyle and welfare.
Premier League Director of Youth Ged Roddy said: "The training, education and welfare of young people in our Academies and Centres of Excellence is one of our highest priorities.
"It is a tribute to the skill and commitment of the staff at our clubs and in our Education Department that Ofsted have recognised the outstanding quality of their work."
Ofsted has reviewed apprenticeships with the aim of providing knowledge and examples of best practice to help improve the programme in England.
In September 2010, Ofsted rated the Premier League's education of young players as 'Outstanding' – the highest rating available.
As a result of that impressive inspection, the Premier League was awarded 'Beacon Status' by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service.