Plans to set up a second school of football in Renfrewshire have been given the go ahead by Renfrewshire Council.
The Scottish Football Association (SFA) in partnership with Renfrewshire Council have developed a proposal to establish a school of football at Renfrew High School.
The plans follow on from the success of the pilot school of football set up at Castlehead High School in 2008.
Members of Renfrewshire Council’s Community and Family Care Policy Board have now approved the plans and a group of around 16 pupils at Renfrew High are expected to begin the year one programme when the school returns from summer holidays later this month.
The School of Football is a project designed to help develop the social and academic skills of pupils from S1 to S3.
It uses football to develop pupil in a range of transferrable skills such as teamwork, leadership, mutual respect and decision making. These skills can then be applied in the classroom environment and socially. Pupils’ continued involvement in the School of Football is dependent on their attendance at school and their attitude towards achievement.
Councillor Eileen McCartin, Convener of the Community and Family Care Policy Board, said: “The pilot School of Football at Castlehead High School has been a great success with extremely positive responses from pupils, parents and teachers. This project not only gives pupils increased opportunities to take part in sport and physical activity but helps contribute to their academic and social development.
“There is a great deal of enthusiasm for a second school of football in Renfrew. Renfrew High is an ideal location given its proximity to the SFA Regional Team at King George V playing fields.”
Castlehead High School in Paisley is one of nine Schools of Football around the country which are part of the SFA’s mission to encourage more people to play the game, more often.
Scottish FA Regional Manager Paul McNeil said: “We’re delighted to be working with Renfrewshire Council and the staff at Renfrew High School to set up a second School of Football in the area.
“The Schools of Football are about more than just playing ability, they aim to mold better citizens, as well as better footballers, through social and educational development.
“The programme at Renfrew High School will be led by Scottish FA player and coach development officer Brian McLaughlin, an experienced coach who enjoyed a playing career at clubs including Celtic and Wigan.
“Based on the progress made by pupils at Scottish FA Schools of Football around the country, we’re confident that the 16 players who will undertake the programme at Renfrew High School will grow and develop over the next two years, and more importantly, take a lot of enjoyment from the experience.”
As part of the programme a group of pupils are selected to follow an enhanced timetable which includes periods of football activity every day.
A licensed SFA coach is employed specifically for the School of Football and is responsible for the daily delivery and coordination of the project but the programme is run in partnership with the school teachers, active schools co-ordinators and football development officers. Tuition includes technical, tactical, physical and mental skills.