Headteachers united to hear emotional accounts of how young lives are being changed through football.
Newcastle United Foundation teamed up with Whitley Bay-based teacher supply agency First Class Supply to host the Schools United conference at St James’ Park.
Michael Tate, school business manager at Moorbridge Pupil Referral Unit in Shiremoor, told how the Foundation had given young people the chance to develop their confidence, self-esteem and football skills.
He said: “The programme has made a huge difference to their lives.”
Lesley Robinson, director of First Class Supply, said: “We have worked in partnership with the Foundation for a number of years and have seen first-hand their work.
“Not only did this conference give teachers the chance to find out more about the programmes offered, it was also an opportunity to discuss other important issues.”
Newcastle United Foundation, who has partnerships with 171 Primary, 36 Secondary and 34 Special Educational Needs (SEN) Schools, also showcased how their programmes integrate with the curriculum to use a passion for football to increase standards in the classroom and boost activity levels.
Football Development Office, Andrew Dobby, also told how the programmes are a great way to find the next Newcastle stars of the future.
He said: “In one of your schools the next star player for Newcastle United is waiting to be discovered.”
Kate Bradley, head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “Football is a way of life in the north east.
“Using the Newcastle United brand, we know there is incredible scope to enable children and young people to flourish, to reach their own personal goals and fulfil their potential on the pitch and in the classroom.
“It was fantastic to see so many schools represented at the event and to have the opportunity to begin discussions with schools we don’t currently work with about how we can support delivery of the curriculum in future terms.
“We are passionate about establishing relationships with the schools in our community so we can help inspire the next generation.”
Keynote speaker David Hodgson, author of Personality in the Classroom; Simon Richardson, accredited Mental Health First Aid Facilitator; and Laura Dickinson, eLearning Lead Teacher for North Tyneside Learning Trust and Lead Trainer for North Tyneside Apple Regional Training Centre, also spoke at the event.
For more information on Newcastle United Foundation visit www.nufoundation.org.uk