The FA has produced a document concerning Football Facilities in Schools.
The FA is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the game at all levels. A successful and flourishing grassroots game is essential to the long-term strength of football in England and schools have a huge part to play in this.
An estimated 22 per cent of all grass football pitches in England are located on school sites. However, The FA estimate that as few as a quarter of these are readily accessible to the local community.
In accordance with the Government's extended schools agenda, and as the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme develops, the role and function of these grass pitches, and indeed other sporting facilities on school sites will be reappraised with a view to providing for curricular use and also, providing for the wider community.
It is hoped that as a result of the BSF programme, the offering for football and sport generally will be greatly improved both for the school pupils and the community alike. There are already some excellent examples of local authorities working closely with sport to ensure that the facilities generated through the BSF programme meet with local need and provide a wide range of curricular and extracurricular uses.
As The FA grows and develops the game across the country, opening opportunities for all to participate, the role of schools and the facilities within schools will be key.
The Football Association has been working alongside Partnerships for Schools (PfS), Sport England and other bodies to ensure that wherever possible, local authority BSF project teams and BSF bidding consortia alike, take every opportunity to provide enhanced and new sports provision on school sites.
New and refurbished schools will be a focal point for new sporting facility provision in many of our local communities over the next 10 years. Community use of the sites after curricular hours will also foster a sense of ownership amongst the local population, provide a sustainable income stream and enhance security of the site. Key community partners may include grassroots football clubs, after school clubs, street leagues, commercial leagues, the private sector and other local community groups. Properly thought through facilities and associated management arrangements will position school sites as community hubs and centres of activity.
The BSF programme offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a built legacy for young people and their communities. Sport has a passionate and fulfilling part to play in this legacy through BSF and other capital programmes.
The FA-produced ‘Football Facilities in Schools’ document sets out guidance for those involved in planning new facilities. These are The FA standards for community football.