In August 2008, Newbattle High School became one of the first SFA (Scottish Football Association) Schools of Football in the country. There are now 2 schools of football in the Midlothian area and a total of 40 schools of football across Scotland. There is an SFA group in both S1 and S2, with each class containing up to 19 pupils.
The Scottish FA Schools of Football are about more than just playing ability, they aim to mould better citizens and develop social and academic abilities through the vehicle of football. As part of the programme, pupils follow an enhanced timetable which includes a period of football activity every day. As part of the programme they also take part in a purpose-built theory programme that looks at developing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of key concepts such as Growth Mindset.
Football is used as a tool to motivate the pupils, and to enhance their social skills such as communication, listening and behaviour. The programme’s success is evaluated through factors such as school attendance and academic improvement. The pupils are coached by Scottish FA Coach Michael Burgess.
Due to the fact that the players are involved in daily sessions for the first two years of their school life, they must possess a reasonable playing ability to cope with the demands however their selection is based on much more. Their social circumstances, academic performance and attendance are all important indicators in deciding whether or not they are appropriate for the programme.
Scottish FA coaches lead the selection and football aspects, but the programme is very much a partnership with local authority education departments, school teachers, active schools co-ordinators and football development officers.
Throughout the programme, players have the opportunity to be identified by senior clubs involved in the Scottish FA Youth Initiative programme.
The Scottish FA Schools of Football are supported by the Scottish Government's CashBack for Communities initiative which uses the proceeds of crime - recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 - and invests them into community programmes, facilities and activities to fund diversionary activities for young people. The Scottish FA is one of four national CashBack sports partners of the Scottish Government.
|The S1 SFA squad 2016-2017
||The S2 SFA squad 2016-2017