Alternate Education

The project is aimed at year 10 and 11 students who are closest to permanent exclusion and offers them the chance to attend Bloomfield Road once a week, for a full day, over two academic years, to complete a Level 1 or Level 2 qualification in Sport

Students must agree to attend school through the rest of the week and improve their behaviour to continue their involvement.

Ashley Hackett, Chief Executive Officer at Blackpool FC Community Trust said; “This is a very important support we are giving to our local schools, to try to help some of the hardest to engage pupils into a subject that interests them. We ran the programme with one group last season, as a pilot with St Georges School and the impact on the eight students has been very positive and all the credit has to go to Sophie Breakell from our team, who worked with the Year 10 group for the whole year. We are now very excited to role this offer across the town and to expand to five groups for the next season is a great success. We believe this programme will become a key feature in support for schools and comes at a great time with the opening of our brand new Education and Community Centre at Bloomfield Road.”

In September 2019 the delivery continued with the Year 11 St Georges group and we also welcomed a new Year 10 Group from St Georges as well as our first ever intake of Year 10 Students from Ed Diversity, Highfield and Unity. Students have the opportunity to gain either a Level 1 or 2 Sports qualification which is equal to one GCSE whilst they study at Bloomfield Road one day a week for both Year 10 and 11. 

We offer two pathways for the Alternate Education programme, offering either a BTEC Tech Award Level 1/2 in Sport, Activity and Fitness or OCR Cambridge National Sports Science Level 1/2 Award/Certificate.

So far, the students have made a great start to the academic year working hard on their studies in the new ECC facility. Students have taken part in a range of theory and practical lessons exploring the principles of training, sports nutrition, anatomy and physiology and injuries in sport so far this year. Students have also had to opportunity to experience new sports since studying at the club due to the range of facilities, equipment and coaches available at the Community Trust.

In February 2020, students on the BTEC Pathway sat an exam for the unit, ‘Component 2: The Principles of Training, Nutrition and Psychology for Sport and Activity’. We are delighted to say that an 89% pass rate has been achieved and students will now progress onto the rest of the programme building their knowledge and understanding of sport, activity and fitness. Following the exam, the students have started to explore anatomy and physiology looking into the cardio-respiratory and musculo-skeletal system.

The students on the Cambridge National Pathway made a great start to the year despite being small in numbers. The students successfully completed their ‘Principles of Training’ unit with a 100% pass rate for the unit, which included written and practical assessments. The Cambridge National students are now working towards their ‘Reducing the Risks of Sports Injuries’ exam for which they are exploring the different types of injuries, factors which cause injuries and the preventative measures that can be put in place to reduce the risk of sports injuries.

Some of our students on the programme have also been lucky enough to be selected to represent the Community Trust in a 5-a-side tournament at Manchester City’s Etihad Campus (Link for Kicks). Students who were selected to represent the Trust at the tournament had shown improvements in their behaviour and engagement whilst at the club and at school.

The students will soon be heading into their final year on the programme and they will continue to work hard to achieve their qualification. Over the two years students will have been provided with the knowledge and experiences to progress onto studying sport in further education (Link to BFCCT Sports College).

Kai Brannan, Highfield Leadership Academy and Alternate Education Student said: ‘’Since September when we first started, I’ve gained more knowledge on how the body actually works and changes which has also helped me massively on my P.E theory. Also, it is a good thing to look forward to on Mondays.’’

Maisie Costello, Unity Academy and Alternate Education Student said: ‘Since studying at the football club I feel a lot more educated and informed about sports and how our body works. I enjoy the environment because it is a lot more relaxed which makes it easier to learn.’’

Eddie Clugston, Alternate Education Officer at Blackpool FC Community Trust said: ‘‘Since the start of the year I have seen a huge growth from each student who is part of our Alternate Education programme. I stay in regular contact with the schools and the feedback we have received over recent months is showing that this programme really does make a difference to the student’s school lives.’’