Educating England.

The FA reports that as the player education manager for England’s technical division, Caitlin Hawkins helps all of our Young Lions and Lionesses when they’re on the road and away from school.

After joining The FA two years ago from Liverpool FC, where she was lead link tutor with Rainhill High School and spending ten years as a PE teacher before that, Hawkins has a strong background in elite level player education.

And with a growing team of staff, she explains how there has been an important shift in attitudes towards studies and qualifications within the England development set-up.

“People have a preconceived stereotype of young elite footballers. Since starting with The FA, I have found that our young players demonstrate determination, focus and a great level of organisation to complete their educational commitments.

Long gone are the days when you would get away with doing the bare minimum and maintaining that attitude. It’s about finding that balance between their football and education and that’s where my role and the team of education officers who are attached to the squads comes in.

We cover the men’s teams from U15s through to U18s and the women’s teams through to U19s and I supported all events on the men’s and the women’s teams last season along with nine consultant staff to help facilitate formal education sessions when the players are on the road.

The environment and expectation is changing and a level of formal education when on trips with England men’s and women’s development teams is becoming accepted and the culture of learning within the teams is changing.

This year has been a busy and successful one for our squads and with UEFA and FIFA tournaments in May and June there is often a clash with GCSE and A Level examinations and these need to be facilitated in whichever country a tournament is hosted in.”

Read more about England’s young footballers and their education Educating England. 

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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