Premier League club Academies have recently been awarded “Outstanding” by Ofsted for their education provisions for apprentices.
It is the third time an inspection by Ofsted, the education body that inspects educational institutions, has awarded the Premier League’s Academies an “Outstanding” grade, maintaining that grade for 13 years now.
The Ofsted report said the League and clubs have established a “broad, ambitious and well-structured curriculum” that “prepares young players for a career in football and beyond”.
It added: “Apprentices thrive in calm, purposeful and highly disciplined environments” and “they consistently live up to the extremely high expectations that staff have of them”.
'Strong culture of safeguarding'
Ofsted identified that “there is a very strong culture of safeguarding at each Academy” and “apprentices benefit from training in an inclusive environment where leaders, managers and staff promote equality and diversity very effectively”.
The League has its own Education Department that delivers a programme to support the technical, tactical, physical, mental, lifestyle and welfare development of all Academy players.
It is also responsible for the formal education programmes for all apprentices aged 16-19 who have signed a full-time scholarship agreement at a Premier League club, which is what Ofsted inspected.
The Education Department also oversees and monitors clubs’ full-time, hybrid and part-time training models to ensure that the academic progression of players is maintained.
Ongoing support and development
“The Premier League is committed to elite player development and personal growth, supporting young people to be the best version of themselves both on and off the pitch,” said David Rainford, the Premier League’s Head of Education and Academy Player Care.
“The acknowledgement from Ofsted that the League and our clubs have established a broad, ambitious and well-structured curriculum that prepares young players for a career in football and beyond reinforces the objectives set out in the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).
“We strive to ensure our Academies are safe and supportive environments, which offer leading coaching and education at elite facilities – in addition to life-enriching experiences which provide value whether they become professional players or not.”
Recent end-of-year exam results have also confirmed the support apprentices are receiving.
Among Academy players taking Level 3 BTEC programmes, there was a 99 per cent achievement rate, with 92 per cent of players studying the 3 A-Level equivalent of a BTEC Extended Diploma achieving distinction grades.
Furthermore, this year there was a 25 per cent increase in the number of players who took A-Levels from 2022.