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College Becomes First to Receive Three Stars from ECFA and AoC Sport

Posted: 9th October 2023 - 4:23pm

Loughborough College has become the first further education (FE) setting in the UK to be awarded the maximum three stars from the ECFA and AoC Sport as an accredited college for football.

Evaluated by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam, the College was awarded three stars across all four of the essential criteria pillars – Participation, Competition, Workforce, and Community.

Highlighting the inclusivity and support offered by the sports team, led by Academy of Sport coordinator Dan Jackson, the assessment noted the outstanding performance support provisions, and dual career principles adopted by the College for all sporting learners.

The ECFA (English Colleges Football Association) in partnership with AoC (Association of Colleges) have developed a new framework aimed at elevating the standards of football in FE establishments. Formed in collaboration with sector experts at Sheffield Hallam University, this framework allows colleges, including Loughborough College, to demonstrate their offers on a national scale.

Reflecting on the College’s outstanding rating, Dan Jackson said, “This three star rating really does reflect the hard work of the staff and students at College. We are so proud of all our learners and are so pleased our commitment to championing football across both the men’s and women’s game has been recognised.”

Adding to the celebrations was the news that former Leicester City striker, and lecturer in sport Steve Wilkinson has joined the ECFA Committee, contributing to a nationwide strategy of developing women’s pathways in football. Steve joins the College’s Principal and CEO, Jo Maher, the current Chair of the committee.

The ECFA Committee for Football works to advise the AoC Board on strategies to grow football participation and competition in colleges across the country.