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Progress In Free School Bid

by Suzie Parker @Everton

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Everton's official charity has been successful in reaching the financial stage of the Free School application process.

Everton in the Community confirmed its intention to submit an expression of interest to establish a Free School in Liverpool with the Department of Education (DoE) earlier this year.

The Blues are the only Premier League football club to have progressed to this stage, after charity chiefs met with the DoE in August.

The Free School, funded in its entirety by central Government, would be run day-to-day by the Blues' charity (which boasts senior practitioners from the full range of educational provision) and will use the power of sport to engage pupils and their wider families with an alternative learning experience, which would enhance and work with existing educational providers in the city.

Everton in the Community's Free School would be open not just to Evertonians, but to all young people aged 14 to 19 who would benefit from a wider range of learning styles and approaches to prepare them for the world of work.

Dr. Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Chief Executive of Everton in the Community, said: "We are delighted to have progressed to this stage of the Free School application process.

"Our intention is to provide a high quality, inspirational and transformational educational experience for the young people of Liverpool for whom school is not always the best place for them to learn. Everton in the Community aims to work in partnership with the Local Education Authority and local secondary schools to create learning and development opportunities for those young people who are most at risk of exclusion.

"With the full support of the Local Education Authority, we wish to engage students with a new innovative approach to educational provision backed by the brand and values of Everton Football Club, which are already firmly embedded within our community scheme."

The school would be an extension to the charity's existing highly successful community programmes, which provide opportunities for sport, health, education and social development.

Robert Elstone, Everton's Chief Executive, added: "We conducted a rigorous appraisal of the project ahead of making the decision to express our interest and absolutely considered it the right thing to do.

"We are proud to be associated with a project that will make a difference to the lives of many in our local community.

"Everton is a football club built on a history of being brave and innovative, leading groundbreaking initiatives both on and off the football field.  

"We have played a huge part in the Liverpool and Merseyside community for over 100 years and this latest move demonstrates our desire to continue to make a difference where it counts."

Free Schools are being introduced by the Government with the aim of raising the standards of education by encouraging a range of new and diverse providers to play a much greater role in the delivery of learning.

It is hoped that by delivering this change, the quality of education will be increased, parents will be provided with greater choice about the school their child attends and it will encourage innovation in the education system.

For more information about Everton in the Community visit evertonfc.com/community.

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