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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Suzie Parker @Everton

Everton Free School is celebrating after welcoming its first intake of students.

The country’s first ever Premier League-backed school, which opened at the beginning of September, has taken on its first group of students aged 14-19 who, for whatever reason, have not benefited from mainstream education.

Everton Free School will continue to offer up to six places  each week to students who do not currently attend school or are at risk of being excluded, until the School reaches its target of up to120 for the first two years, rising to a capacity of 200 boys and girls from year three.

Adrian Packer, Principal of Everton Free School, said: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome our first students who have helped to make history not only for the School but for the Club too.

“Everton Free School provides the highest quality alternative educational environment for vulnerable young people. We offer a range of accredited programmes tailored to the abilities and interests of students which will lead to recognised qualifications.

“Each student will receive a personalised curriculum plan and high levels of pastoral care so we have established a policy to only accept a small number of students each week to ensure that each young person is given the best personalised provision we can offer.”  

Everton Free School works on a referral basis and can only accept students who have been nominated by commissioners, who include other schools or the Local Educational Authority. This approach ensures that only vulnerable and those most in need of this personalised approach to learning will benefit. The students are taught by a team of highly trained and experienced staff, which includes fully qualified teachers, progress coaches and learning support mentors.

Adrian continued: “We have appointed experienced, qualified teachers on the basis of their ability to motivate, inspire and support students. Our School is a thriving and positive learning environment for all and something everyone is very proud to be a part of.

Everton Free School’s motto mirrors that of the football club: ‘Nothing but the Best’ and the Principal believes the Club’s ethos will have a positive effect on the students.

“We believe passionately that Everton Football Club, through its values, brand and reputation can contribute significantly to helping young people who often face challenges in achieving positive educational outcomes,” continued Adrian.

“Our students enjoy inspirational and transformational learning opportunities to support them develop and thrive as successful citizens, which are supported by local stakeholders and partners from Further and Higher Education and in business.”

The School is based at Liverpool Community College’s (LCC) Learning Exchange on Roscoe Street and through its strategic partnership with the College, has access to all LCC buildings in addition to the Club’s facilities, Goodison Park and its training ground Finch Farm, to complement its non-traditional approaches to learning.  

Students will also be able to access other spaces across the city, including those of local employers, as Everton Free School prepares students for the world of work.

Adrian added: “Everton Free School is a fantastic opportunity for young people in this city who have not benefited from mainstream education to find the right pathway in life.”

For more information about Everton Free School, click here .

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