Rishworth School (@Rishworth1724) will offer boys and girls aged 13 to 16 the opportunity to experience a truly unique programme that combines high quality education and professional football coaching with the formation of the Rishworth International Football Academy (RIFA).

Delivered in partnership with the Street Work Soccer Academy, RIFA pairs the school’s 300 years of heritage in education with elite football coaching and world-class facilities, starting September 2022.

RIFA will develop young people’s sporting skills while offering a clear pathway into the professional football arena, thanks to its strong partnerships with professional football clubs based globally.

Rishworth School already boasts an enviable reputation in sporting excellence, having produced professional stars across sports including rugby, cricket, badminton and football, while 40 current pupils represent club level, regional and national teams in sports including hockey, netball, dressage, athletics, swimming and tennis.

The RIFA programme will be delivered to students by UEFA-licensed coaches who have served in senior coaching positions at elite clubs in England and around the world. This includes head of football development, Lee Lockley, who has worked as a coach for Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City.

The Academy’s director of football, Paz Shan, brings more than 30 years of experience as a player and football coach, most recently working in player recruitment at Manchester City.

Young players aged 13 to 16 from around the world will be eligible to apply to join the Academy, which will also see students receive a world-class education at Rishworth School.

Students may also opt to extend their spell with RIFA for a further two years, with the Academy offering University pathways.

The RIFA ‘total football’ philosophy will emphasise supporting the ‘whole person’ whilst playing attacking football with freedom and creativity.

The programme will also include site visits to elite training facilities across the country, complementing sessions held at the school, as well as visits to Premier League matches and participation in national tours and tournaments.

The RIFA site at Rishworth School will include a full-size 11-a-side grass pitch, indoor sports hall, weights room, cardio gym and swimming pool.

Director of Football Paz Shan said:

“Football is so important to many young people, and this aspect is never lost, but RIFA will maintain a philosophy that supports the student’s wider development needs.

“At RIFA, we prioritise the importance of all our students having an appropriate balance of education, football and cultural experiences, while our ‘total football’ philosophy enables us to produce more skilful and ball-comfortable players, who are equipped both physically and mentally to play the game at the optimum level.

“Our dedicated staff will support them in gaining confidence and self-belief to give their maximum effort in achieving their dreams and aspirations whilst here in the UK.”

Abdulla Alkhater is a former Rishworth School student who went on to play professionally for Al Jazira FC and Emirates FC in United Arab Emirates.

He said: “My time at Rishworth School was truly amazing. I learned so much about British football and culture, and it enabled me to have a life changing experience that I would have been unable to get back in my home country.

“The football coaching programme was a vital part of my development as a professional footballer, while the teachers were a great support in me achieving my academic qualifications – they really treated me like I was part of the family.”

Head of Rishworth School Anthony Wilkins said:

“Creativity and achievement flourishes throughout Rishworth School and we are immensely proud of our standing as one of the best schools in the region for sports, with academies and scholarships in rugby, cricket and badminton.

“The establishment of RIFA will see us build on that pedigree and enable us to offer even more opportunities to young people, locally, nationally and internationally, through a truly unique programme.

“The introduction of RIFA very much strengthens our focus on service, leadership and the building of character, which helps Rishworthians become well-rounded, productive and successful contributors to modern society.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page