Premier League: Primary Stars scheme aims to help 10,000 schools

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Football can improve education - Scudamore

The Premier League is aiming to provide teaching resources to 10,000 primary schools by 2019 - and believes it can be helping every one in England and Wales by 2022.

Its Premier League Primary Stars scheme aims to boost learning by tying education to football.

"We're doing it because we can," chief executive Richard Scudamore said.

"Young people are engaged by Premier League football. You can see the impact it has," he added.

Sky and BT Sport paid £5.136bn for TV rights until 2019-20, with clubs criticised for how the money is used.

However, Scudamore feels that criticism is unfair - the Primary Stars scheme is the latest in a long line of community projects supported by football. "The clubs have been doing all this for over 20 years," he said.

"They have huge involvement in their local communities, and yet the message never gets across."

However, he stressed top-flight clubs are not seeking "credit" by getting involved in the project.

What is the scheme?

Premier League Primary Stars will provide free resources linked to the national curriculum to boys and girls aged five to 11.

After the initial reach, Scudamore says he hopes the scheme will extend to every primary school in England and Wales by 2022.

The initiative will supply free to download lesson plans, activities and video content in Maths, English, Physical Education (PE) and Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE).

Scudamore added that schools located close to professional football teams could also benefit from club coaches coming into schools to assist with PE lessons.

Saido Mane
Football "has a power" to engage young people, according to Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore

'Football improves engagement in education'

The programme aims to use the appeal of Premier League clubs "to inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills" - an impact Scudamore says the clubs already see in their involvement in community projects.

"We do an awful lot of this anyway - the clubs have been doing a lot of work in communities, a lot of our clubs are involved in schools, not just Premier League clubs but English Football League clubs too," he said.

"Nobody out there really knows - clearly those actively involved know - but many parents will not be aware that these things are happening."

Despite a fall in viewing figures for live Premier League games, Scudamore says the organisation is "not seeing any diminishment" in the interest in football of primary school students.

"The take up is going to be enormous because the one thing we all know is if you can attach footballers to education then it does improve the engagement of young people," he added.

"Hopefully some hearts and minds will alter in their perceptions towards what the Premier League stands for."

Juan Mata
The Premier League Primary Stars scheme aims to provide teaching resources to 10,000 primary schools in England and Wales by 2019.