In order for the Vale Academy to retain its operating licence, it is subject to a 3-yearly review by the Football League. As part of this process an assessment visit has recently been made by two government advisers and Ofsted inspectors to review and report on the Academy’s education programme.
The report received has complimented the Academy in almost all the key facets of its education plan and praises Chris Taylor, the Head of Education, for developing an impressive range of tracking and monitoring documentation which has been used to build links with local schools and also for his work assisting players and parents with GCSE support and revision.
The key points highlighted in the report include: -
- The Academy is well supported by the Club and education features highly in the Academy’s priorities with a well thought out and clear strategic plan.
- The Manager of the Academy and Head of Education are clear in their vision to put the Academy at the centre of the local, socially diverse community.
- The Education partnership with local Colleges and in particular Staffordshire University was viewed positively. Players from the Academy make regular visits to the University and higher education staff provide support at the Academy assessment evenings.
- The Academy’s social and personal skills development programme encourages boys from the Academy to become independent learners and complements lifestyle courses received at school.
- The recently introduced mentoring programme for Youth Team members was highly praised. A similar initiative for younger Academy players aged 9-16 is likely to be implemented in the future.
Academy Manger Sevvy Aslam was delighted with the positive nature of the report which stated in conclusion: -
In the opinion of the visiting Independent Education Ombudsmen, Port Vale FC Academy more than adequately meets the educational requirements of a Category 3 Academy.
Sevvy commented further by saying “I am pleased to receive the feedback provided in the report and Chris Taylor fully deserves recognition for the steady and progressive improvements he has made within the education department. His diverse knowledge and approach complements the Academy and more importantly adds expertise in an area that is just as high on our commitment of deliverance as developing players into professional footballers”.
“Whilst it is great to receive this praise, everyone in the Academy has to accept that this is a new benchmark for our education department and that we have to continue to work hard in the future to maintain the standard that we have now set.”
To complete the overall EFL review of the Academy’s performance, reports covering Sports Science/Medicine and Coaching are anticipated in the near future.