The Essex County FA Coach Education Department have issued an update on course, workshop and development activities looking ahead to 2021 and beyond.
The update clarifies elements of interest to coaches, volunteers and learners involved in local grassroots football, and reads:
Many of you will be aware that the Coach Education landscape has evolved significantly in recent years. During this time, we’ve been fortunate to welcome thousands of learners through our education programme and had the pleasure of meeting so many dedicated volunteers from across the county and beyond.
It’s been fantastic to hear how these courses have positively impacted so many individuals and clubs. Prior to Covid-19 impacting course delivery, we were able to support over 3,000 learners per season through our delivery of FA courses, with over 900 from the FA Level One alone.
Other learners attended the FA Level Two, First Aid, Safeguarding Children, Welfare Officer Workshop, Futsal, Goalkeeping, UEFA ‘B’ and Mentoring courses. Despite the challenges of 2020, we were determined to continue offering learning opportunities for our valued volunteer workforce.
Happily, we were able to run a significant programme throughout October and December, which saw over 600 learners attending our courses. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our fantastic team of Affiliate Tutors and Essex County FA staff, whose professionalism and dedication to supporting grassroots football has been invaluable.
A big thank you must also go to the many grassroots clubs, schools and other facility providers, who have helped to ensure that our education programme has run smoothly.
What is Changing?
As we begin 2021, change is upon us once more, with FA Education now taking full responsibility for delivering coach education later this year. This is part of a new four-year strategy to further improve support to coaches and the game. This will mean that the Essex County FA will no longer administer courses as part of the FA Coaching Pathway.
This change coincides with improvements FA Education are making to the ways through which coaches can learn.
In addition to face-to-face support delivered by The FA’s grassroots coach development team and the tutor-learner interactions which underpin many of the courses, new digital learning opportunities are being introduced to give coaches the option to pick and choose learning which interests them, and to undertake it at a time which suits them.
The first grassroots courses to be re-developed and launched in April 2021 will be:
* FA Level 1 (Introduction to Coaching Football)
* Safeguarding Children Workshop
* Introduction to First Aid in Football
Further information relating to these changes, and how it may impact you, can be found in The FA’s Frequently Asked Questions by following this link.
General information relating to FA qualifications can be found here.
What Does This Mean for Coach Education in Essex?
In the short term, we are going to be working with FA Education on the transition of existing learners, but our long-term focus will be on coach development. Our aim will be to ensure our clubs receive the support they need, to enable their coaches to provide a great football experience.
Although we will no longer administer courses as part of the FA coaching pathway, the Essex County FA are committed to offering a localised, face-to-face coach development programme. This will be offered on an individual and club basis, which complements the formal FA qualifications.
Planning is underway, and we will share information in due course, as our offer evolves. This will be shared directly with clubs and advertised via our social media channels. We’ll also be working with FA Education to deliver an exciting programme of learning opportunities, across a range of topics, relevant to our coaches and the grassroots game.
We look forward to working with you in the months ahead to continue to develop coaching across Essex. Keep up-to-date with grassroots football in the menus above, by following @EssexCountyFA and @EssexCoaches on Twitter and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.