A large training provider for apprentices at English Football League (EFL) clubs has netted another ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating – 11 years after scoring its first grade one.
League Football Education was given the education watchdog’s top rating in a report published today following a visit in February, having last been inspected in April 2012.
The organisation, formed in 2004 by the EFL and the Professional Footballers Association, works with 64 EFL clubs, nearly 1,200 learners on level 3 sporting excellence apprenticeships and 584 on the level 3 programme in sports coaching and development.
It also runs level 2 sports education programmes, and, since 2016, has offered community trust study programmes in partnership with the EFL and EFL Trust for 16-to-18-year-olds to study sports qualifications while representing their football club.
The provider has arrangements with 39 subcontractors.
Ofsted’s report praised learners’ “exemplary” behaviour and positive attitude to learning, finding that learners and apprentices with the provider “do extremely well”. Many apprentices scored distinctions in their final assessments, it said.
The watchdog found learners quickly improved their public speaking and gained confidence from their work experience, while apprentices were “prepared exceptionally well to develop their resilience by transition officers in case they are not successful in achieving a professional football contract”.
Inspectors said that apprentices frequently participate in community activities such as supporting foodbanks and fundraising for charities, as well as volunteering to provide football coaching for primary school children.
Ofsted reported that specialist training was offered from external organisations to promote positive mental health and learning on sexuality and gender issues in the sport, while specialised careers advice is also provided by regional officers to help them make informed decisions about their next steps.
Inspectors described the relationships with subcontractors as “very strong and highly effective”, and had helped reduce the number of people not in education, employment or training in their local areas.
The curriculum was sequenced logically, and deemed “highly ambitious” by the watchdog, and included additional teaching to support learners’ development in the wider industry.
The report said that “high-quality bespoke teaching” in English and maths included one-to-one teaching applying those skills to areas like nutrition, while off-the-job training was “highly effective”.
League Football Education chief executive Sarah Stephen said: “Once again, we are extremely proud that Ofsted have rated us ‘outstanding’ in all areas, an achievement that confirms all our staff and stakeholders are committed to providing outstanding, tailored education programmes for all young people and go above and beyond everything we do.”