The World of Schools' Football

ESFA has Record Number of Girls’ Entries in 21/22

On the International Day of the Girl – the English Schools’ Football Association confirms record numbers of girls’ team entries into National Cup competitions for 21/22

On the day that The FA launches its #LetGirlsPlay campaign, the ESFA, National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England has confirmed that the Association has reached a record high of girls’ team entries into National Cup competitions.

The ESFA, which has been running Girls’ National Cup competitions since 1995 has been delighted to see the biggest uptake to date for girls’ participation in the game for 21/22.

Participation figures for girls have grown year on year and, despite the ongoing pandemic issues, the numbers of girls’ teams has increased by over 200 in the last three seasons to 1,703.

This figure equates to approximately 26,000 school girls representing their secondary school or college from U12 – U18 for 2021.

The ESFA’s National Schools’ Cup for Girls’ competitions run from U12 – U18, taking on a 9-a-side format for U12 – U13 and encompassing a Women’s Super League format at the U18 level. Whilst mixed teams are permitted within all schools’ football up to the age of U18, boys are not permitted to take part in Girls’ Cup competitions – these competitions are in place specifically to help to develop the girls’ game.

At primary level, the ESFA sees over 20,000 U11 girls taking part in National activity each season with this figure is just the tip of the iceberg. Routes to the National level of the game branch off into regional and district participation.

ESFA Chairman, Mark Hignett saidThe ESFA is delighted to see such positive numbers of entries in the National Cup competitions for this season, despite the difficulties of the last two seasons. To therefore see the vast increase in girls’ participation is overwhelmingly positive. It’s very important to us to know that we are supporting the development of the girls’ game from U11 right up to U18 and the consistently rising number of entries into our competitions, shows us that we are certainly continuing to move in the right direction. The ESFA is consistently trying to improve everything we offer to Schools, pupils, parents and our Associations season on season and we will continue to focus on girls’ football as a key part of our footballing portfolio”

In May of this year, the ESFA’s Schools’ Football Week saw over 100,000 school pupils across England take part in football-related activity both on and off the pitch. Schools’ Football Week 2022, scheduled for 7 – 13th February, will see a bigger focus on girls’ football and encouraging further activity within schools for girls to get involved in.

The ESFA is delighted to be able to provide girls’ football to well over 40,000 school girls each season and are looking forward to seeing that number continue to grow over the coming seasons.

To find out more about The FA’s #LetGirlsPlay campaign, click here.

For updates on girls’ cup fixtures and the England U15 Schoolgirls’ squad for 21/22, follow the ESFA on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@SchoolsFootball).

Photo credit: 353 Photography

The World of Schools' Football

Welcome to Season 2021/2022

The Schools’ Football Season kicks off for 21/22 – and it’s planned to be better than ever!

September is here, schools have reopened across England after the summer break and the ESFA Schools’ Football Season is due to kick off for 2021/2022. With the Covid-19 pandemic causing significant issues, delays and cancellations to both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, it is with high hopes that we enter into the new season, armed with new competitions, partners and activities for school children, teachers, volunteers and supporters to enjoy.

National Schools’ Cup Competitions

The first National Cup deadlines aren’t until the 25 September, giving schools a chance to settle back into their weekly routines before the tournaments kick off, but fixtures are already scheduled to take place in the first rounds of some National Cup competitions. The National Competitions have attracted almost as many entries as was being received pre-pandemic, a huge boost for the ESFA and confirmation that the schools’ cup competitions offered are of high importance and value to schools and school pupils who take part.

ESFA handbooks and information emails will be distributed to participating schools in the coming days, with full information on competition participation and rules.

Representative Football

The ESFA has changed its competition format for representative football in a shake-up for the 21/22 season, with the Champions Cup now being the title for all District and County competitions. The new format will not only provide more opportunities for teams to play (as the competition is structured in a ‘champions league’ format, rather than knockout), but will also provide a pathway towards more funding for this type of activity. You can read more about the Champions Cup and Player Passport here.

Sponsors & Partners

Keep an eye on our website and social channels throughout September and October, to find out all about the ESFA’s sponsors and partners and how they’ll be supporting the Association throughout the coming months.

We’ll be re-launching all of our partnerships for the new season with lots of information on how we can spread the joy of schools’ football further than just the pitch. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for regular updates and also insights into team accomplishments throughout the coming months!

To find out more about the ESFA’s current sponsors and partners, you can click here.