Everton Football Club’s official charity has been successful in gaining Governmental approval to open a Free School in Liverpool.
The Everton in the Community Free School will be Government funded and run 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.
Everton is the only Premier League football club to be granted the funds to open a Free School, something which will represent an extension to the charity's existing highly successful and award-winning community sport, health, education and social development programmes.
The new Free School, which was officially confirmed today in the House of Commons by the Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, will aim to enhance provision and work with existing educational providers in the city. The new establishment will be open 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.
The school, which will be located in Liverpool, is due to open in September 2012 with an initial intake of 120 pupils.
Dr. Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Chief Executive of Everton in the Community, said: "We are absolutely thrilled to have been given the go ahead to open the Everton in the Community Free School.
“The Free School will provide a high quality and inspirational 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 will work in partnership with the local 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."
Everton manager, David Moyes, was similarly enthusiastic, saying: “This will represent a fantastic opportunity for Everton Football Club and its charitable arm, Everton in the Community, to further extend its reach into a wide variety of communities across the Merseyside region. It will, unquestionably, provide a real chance for some less-privileged, less-fortunate children to embrace - and benefit from - a high-quality education.”
Commenting on the announcement Robert Elstone, Chief Executive of Everton Football Club, added: “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 ground-breaking 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 instigating 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 www.evertonfc.com/community.
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