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Groundbreaking Esports Leadership Programme Announced

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Secondary schools, colleges, community groups, alternative provision schools and football clubs are offering more young people the opportunity to take their first steps onto the esports career pathway from an earlier age.

British Esports, the national body for esports in the United Kingdom, has announced a brand new strategic partnership with the leading awarding organisation, Leadership Skills Foundation (formerly SLQ Sports Leaders), to deliver a set of groundbreaking esports leadership qualifications for young people in England.

The Esports Leadership Programme offers the first set of esports qualifications for those aged 11+, allowing younger people to take their initial steps onto the esports career pathway. 

Two qualifications – the Level 1 Qualification in Leadership Skills and the Level 2 Qualification in Leadership Skills – will launch in September 2024. These are currently being delivered in Trailblazer Centres, including secondary schools, alternative provision providers, community groups and other education settings such as professional football clubs and further education colleges. And centres that take up the qualifications from September 2024 onwards will be known as Pioneer centres or early-adopter centres.

The new esports leadership qualifications aim to nurture the essential leadership skills for leading esports activities. They develop these essential skills by tapping into the passion many young people have for video games and esports and provide schools and colleges with a way to introduce esports learning pathways for their students. 

Level 1 is 16 tutored hours and Level 2 is 20 tutored hours.

In comparison, the existing Level 2 and 3 Esports BTEC qualifications from British Esports and Pearson are designed for students aged 16 to 18 and usually take one to two years to complete. 

The new Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications in Leadership Skills will be the start of an esports education journey, opening up new opportunities and inspiring future careers linked to an educational pathway covering Level 1 to Level 6 and beyond.

The programme can also act as a stepping stone to formal qualifications for those who already compete in esports. For example, the Esports Leadership Programme is ideal for competitors in the British Esports Student Champs, a nationwide tournament series for students aged 12 and above.

The Esports Leadership Programme is being taught and tested in Trailblazer centres across England. Organisations interested in delivering the qualifications can still apply to become a Trailblazer centre, with applications closing at the end of March 2024.  

The 16 Trailblazers currently signed up to deliver the Esports Leadership Programme are:  

  • Sophia High School
  • MidKent College
  • Barnsley College
  • Argyle Community Trust
  • Bolton Wanderers Community Trust
  • Dearne Valley College
  • Port Vale Foundation
  • Stockport County Community Trust
  • Sheffield United Community Foundation
  • Sheffield Wednesday FC Community Programme
  • Lytham St. Annes High School
  • Sandwell College
  • Tranmere Rovers Education Hub
  • School of esports
  • Exeter City Community Trust
  • Belfast Metropolitan College

Kalam Neale, Head of Education, British Esports Federation, said: 

“We talk often about the transferable skills that esports offers, but there hasn’t been an opportunity for younger students to get recognition for those skills, that is until now, For the first time ever, those aged as young as 11 can now gain an industry-recognised qualification for the skills they develop through esports and esports leadership. This will enable more young people to take their first steps onto their esports career pathway at an earlier age. 

“It’s also flexible as alternative provision schools can deliver programmes to those with disabilities online, for example, without the need for an esports classroom.”

Lucy Supperstone, Director of Innovation and Standards at the Leadership Skills Foundation, added:

“Working with the British Esports Federation, our aim is to support young people to be able to lead esports activities that engage their local communities and promote the opportunities that esports offer in terms of skill development. Just like our traditional sports leadership programmes, the community-building and camaraderie found in esports is a great bedrock on which to build essential leadership skills.

 “Ultimately, we hope that the Esports Leadership Programme will be the foundation for many young people to develop the skills that will be so vital for their future.”

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