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Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City Schools Sign Up for AFCCT Education Programme

Written by  Finlay Smith

20 schools across Aberdeen city and shire have signed up to be a part of Aberdeen FC Community Trust’s partner schools programme.

Over the last three years, a rising number of schools have been attracted to the Trust’s partner schools programme due to the extremely positive impact it has already had on pupils.

Buchanhaven Primary, in Peterhead, was the first 2020/2021 partner to be announced, and other schools who have teamed up with the Trust early, so that they can get started after summer, will soon follow suit.

Councillor John Wheeler, Aberdeen City Council’s Education Operational Delivery Convener, said: “By partnering with AFC Community Trust we are opening up new opportunities and strengthening existing links which have been so important to our schools and pupils in recent years. 

“We have a track record in Aberdeen of innovating in education, using music and sport in particular to help engage with young people in new and exciting ways. The Trust shares our passion for that approach.

“Evaluation has shown that the work of the Trust is valuable. Through sport, the engagement with schoolwork has increased and the outcomes for young people who have been involved have been very positive. 

“The partner schools programme will expand, access, and create even greater benefits across the city and for our neighbours in Aberdeenshire.”

AFCCT use a combination of the children’s love for football and their support for Aberdeen FC to get school pupils in the Aberdeen area interested in their learning through the Trust’s work in schools, breakfast clubs, after school clubs and community clubs.

Over the last few years AFCCT have been able to improve the education of pupils by being able to accomplish an improvement in areas such as reducing absenteeism and lateness as well as improving their health and well-being. 

This great work has seen them help more than 14,000 children in 23 different schools and other education schemes to raise their attainment.

The positive effect that the club’s community trust has had on these pupils has been acknowledged by the 20 schools that have signed up to the programme and they understand that the Trust will work incredibly hard to reduce the poverty related attainment split within Scottish education. 

As well as trying to enhance the pupil's education, AFCCT are also there to offer their support to children who need behavioural, emotional or social help.

The schools who have gained the help of AFFCT aren’t the only people who have recognised the Trust’s excellent work, with it being a major reason for Aberdeen Football Club being awarded as Best Professional Club in UEFA’s 2019 Grassroots Awards.

Education, healthy communities and football for life programmes are all closely related and are each area is pivotal in the Trust’s goal to improve the lives of Children in the North East.

Evidence of the Trust’s terrific work was shown in 2019 when they revealed that for every £1 invested into football participation in Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City, a £10 economic, social and public health return is amassed.

Councillor Wheeler added: “We’re fortunate in Aberdeen to have a club that is forward thinking and has been recognised for its work in the community. 

The council has been supportive of that work and is committed to continuing to work together to ensure every young person has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”

“Now, more than ever, it is vital we drive forward with plans to engage with young people in imaginative ways. 

“There has clearly been disruption during the current school year due to the Coronavirus response, but we have been very proactive in our approach in the city’s schools to minimising the impact. 

“We are working hard to prepare for the new school year and are determined to be on the front foot – the partner schools programme is a fantastic example of the many things there are to look forward to in 2020/21.”

(Image courtesy of @AFCCT)

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