Roary’s Class Acts

Roary’s Class Acts programme was originally formed by a consortium including Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation, The Cleveland Centre, Middlesbrough Schools’ Teaching Alliance, Middlesbrough Catholic Schools’ Partnership and Emmerson Marketing in a bid to tackle issues regarding primary school attendance figures across Teesside.

The programme was aimed at originally been trialed at local catholic schools in the Middlesbrough area, which proved to be an all-round success which has now developed to include the majority of primary schools in Middlesbrough.

The materials we have developed, including stickers, posters, door hangers and more, encourage and recognise excellence and improving attendance among primary school children through building a culture of healthy competition between schools, classes and children. Achievement is linked to a range of incentives and prizes for children which include visits from our Mascot, Roary the Lion, and stadium visits for example.

The importance of high levels of attendance are evident in many aspects of education. Government research and statistics indicate that having good attendance leads to higher academic achievement, greater enjoyment and children feeling more settled in school. It is the purpose of this project to support every child in achieving their highest possible attendance levels and developing the mantra that ‘Every School Day Matters’.

John O’Boyle (Head of the Catholic Teaching Alliance) said “The project has been a fantastic success in our schools. We have seen a marked improvement in attendance among those who are typically difficult to engage.

Roary’s Class Acts is now running for a second year and is already in 36 of the 42 primary schools in Middlesbrough and has now received funding to access and supply 16 schools within Redcar and Stockton. This is great for Middlesbrough and its surrounding areas as it will see an all-round increase in attendance in the coming years.

There are incentives in place for the most improved and highest achieving schools, these include; Visits from Middlesbrough football clubs mascot (Roary the lion), P.E sessions ran by an MFCF coach, stadium tours and end of year celebration events. There has already been a number of assemblies at schools with visits from Roary.

Alex.Dore@mfcfoundation.co.uk or give us a call on 01642 282128 / 07852283821


Football Welcomes: Shaygan’s Story

SHAYGAN is from Iran. His story as a 20-year-old began with MFC Foundation around April 2019 as a participant in our Football Welcomes programme, the very same programme we are highlighting today, the EFL’s Day of Action.

The programme is an initiative to create a more welcoming community for those seeking refuge and asylum. He hadn’t been in the country long before he started attending sessions.

A keen student of football, Shaygan began volunteering on the Football Welcomes programme organising warm-ups, cool downs and various other activities for the participants. He also assisted in getting teams together for regular tournaments against other programmes and indeed Foundations from across the country. Other roles during this time included being an interpreter for coaches for participants from Iranian, Kurdish and Afghan backgrounds.

Upon gaining his status in the country Shaygan was able to sign up to the MFC Foundation traineeships programme. As part of his as well as gaining a number of qualifications based around football such as Sports Leader, First Aid and Safeguarding he also completed 100hrs work experience. The work experience involved him getting knowledge of a number of different programmes the Foundation deliver across the Tees Valley area.

His journey continued when he gained employment with the organisation. After completing his traineeship, he was successful in getting a 20hr a week contract as a Business Support Worker. This involved him being part of the day to day running of the MFC Foundation Herlingshaw Centre as well as assisting on many of the different programmes the Foundation delivers.

Shaygan’s next calling has taken him to London and occasional work with Amnesty UK and Fulham. But he never forgets where his new life started.