Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit

The Football Beyond Borders (FBB) Schools programme exists to transform the behaviour and attitude to learning of young people. The programme is built around our classroom-based, football-themed curriculum and builds on the strengths and potential of our participants through putting their passions at the heart of their learning.

The FBB Schools programme is a long term intervention delivered in partnership with secondary schools across Greater Manchester.

The programme is delivered to groups of up to 16 students, starting in Key Stage 3, and combines weekly two hour sessions divided between one hour in the classroom and one hour on the football pitch, with expert therapeutic support, wider school engagement and remarkable trips and opportunities. We work with a mix of young people across the spectrum of disengagement with school.

The FBB curriculum is focused on teaching young people the key skills of self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making. These skills are the key to success in school and beyond, as they provide the foundational tools for young people to build relationships with their peers, practitioners and teachers in order to flourish. The development of social, emotional learning (SEL) skills also positively impacts attainment. FBB teach these skills explicitly in the classroom in a way that is tailored to young people’s passions. Each half term, young people work on a project with a final product, to try to tackle young people’s negative self-perception by regularly producing things they can be proud of in a classroom setting. The football pitch then provides the safe space for students to demonstrate these skills in an environment which is familiar and playful. Our football curriculum is designed using reflective questioning to draw out the SEL competency taught in the classroom. It is a place where young people can experience, reflect on, and learn from both positive and negative emotions, which in turn develop the key social and emotional competencies. FBB believe the ‘play’ element is important as it increases the participants buy-in. For young people at high risk of being excluded from school, therapeutic support is needed in addition to the SEL curriculum as it provides the space for intensive, relational work on the underlying causes of their disruptive behaviour. FBB has a team of trauma-informed therapeutic wellbeing practitioners who meet with our most at risk students weekly, to provide this intensive one to one support.

A young person on the programme said, “FBB is great because I get opportunities that not many people in this school can get. I love football and I want to be a professional football player when I’m older. At first I thought FBB was just about football but I understand that they’re here to help me and support my decision making and behaviour as well. They encourage me to do better and I’m working hard to earn my FBB top.”

Find out more by visiting:

Skip to content