featured, The World of Schools' Football

FA Play Safe weekend 2023

This weekend (30th -1st October), English football at every level will unite to promote Play Safe – a national campaign to focus attention of the vital importance of safeguarding in our national game.

The English Schools’ FA is delighted to be supporting the Play Safe campaign by sharing important safeguarding messages to all of those involved in schools’ football and bringing the importance of Safeguarding in schools’ football to the forefront of the minds of all the individuals involved. ESFA Associations will have received Play Safe captain armbands for their representative teams to wear this weekend, and the ESFA will be sharing Play Safe messaging across their social media channels.

The ESFA’s own safeguarding campaign, Stay Safe in Schools’ Football, aims at raising awareness of the actions that players, teachers and volunteers can take to keep themselves safe when playing schools’ football. The campaign, which was launched in 2021, has focused on creating and sharing content specifically for players, to help educate them on the actions they can take and to give them a guide to help them understand the safeguarding processes in place.

You can find out more about the ESFA’s Stay Safe in Schools’ Football messaging here.

Stay tuned to the ESFA’s social media channels and website as we look to push these important messages to everyone involved in Schools’ Football and engage the players taking part in sharing the Stay Safe in Schools’ Football messaging.

featured, Schools' Football Week, The World of Schools' Football

Schools’ Football Week in the community- How the campaign is supporting pupils of all ages

Veritas Primary Academy in Stafford teamed up with the Stafford Rangers Academy to show how Schools’ Football Week can benefit pupils of all ages

Schools’ Football Week, in partnership with Pro:Direct Sport, in an ongoing English Schools’ FA initiative, designed as an opportunity for schools from across the country to embrace schools’ football and the wellbeing benefits it provides to pupils and players.

On Tuesday 7 February Veritas Primary Academy in Stafford hosted some fun training sessions for pupils in years 3 to 5, with the help of Stafford Rangers Academy students. The students, who are enrolled in Stafford Rangers’ full-time education and football programme for 16 – 18 year olds, used the opportunity as valuable work experience, to go towards their university applications.

Sam Brown, one of the students enrolled on the course said “Today has been a great opportunity to get work experience, which links to the university courses I’m looking to do. It has given me a good insight into what I have to look forward to.” Sam, who also has experience in playing schools’ football said “Schools’ football is important because it provides an opportunity to play against different people of all different abilities and it’s a great introduction to football. Playing schools’ football is great for all pupils and is really great for your mental health”.

Schools’ Football Week provides a platform every year for 1000s of schools across England to celebrate the many benefits of schools’ football both on and off the pitch, providing opportunities and resources to take football inside the classroom but also for pupils to experience new opportunities and activities.

Kelly Dean, PE Coordinator at Veritas Primary Academy in Stafford said At Veritas Primary Academy we fully embrace Schools’ Football week and all our children from Nursery to Year 6 took part. We had sessions from Stafford Rangers Academy students, Wolves Foundation and Berkswich. The pupils enjoyed special football puddings at lunch, class tournaments, wear a football kit to school day, mindfulness colouring and penalty shootouts. The children and staff had a lot of fun playing football throughout the week.”

The activities carried out by Veritas Primary Academy in Stafford is just a small example of the plethora of SFW celebrations that have taken place across thousands of schools in England this week. Schools’ Football week has seen activity for over a quarter of a million school pupils and over 108,000 girls in England from the 6th – 12th February 2023.

English Schools’ FA Chair, Stuart Botham said, “Schools’ Football Week has been and continues to be, a fantastic platform on which to truly celebrate the many and far reaching benefits of schools’ football. I have been delighted to see the huge increase in participation from schools across England for this 2023 campaign.”

Schools’ Football Week 2023 has been a record-breaking year for activity and promotion and impact will continue to be prevalent throughout the rest of the season.

Photo Credit: 353 Photography