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


MFC Foundation Join Daughters And Dads Active And Empowered Project

We’re delighted to announce we will be part of the Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered project for the next two years.

Women in Sport, in partnership with the Fatherhood Institute, EFL Trust and the University of Newcastle (Australia), is excited to announce that we are the latest to join a growing band supporting this initiative.

We’ll join Leyton Orient Trust, The Albion Foundation (West Bromwich Albion), Foundation of Light (Sunderland AFC) and the Stoke City Community Trust for year two of the project, alongside Fulham FC Foundation, who were part of the project’s inaugural pilot year.

In total, six clubs will deliver the programme for the next two years, supported by Sport England’s Families Fund through National Lottery funding.

The Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered programme has been developed by the University of Newcastle (Australia) and Professor Philip Morgan and his team.

The programme aims to increase physical activity levels, sports skills and social-emotional wellbeing of girls 5-11 years by challenging stereotypes about playing sport and physical activity and increase fathers’ confidence and ability to act as role models in relation to their daughter’s participation.

Rachel Horsley, Girls Football Lead Officer here at MFC Foundation, said: The philosophy behind the programme is very much in keeping with many of our own. We reach across the area with many programmes, but this one is just that little bit different. Programmes like Daughters and Dads help everyone come together, not just the dads and their daughters. Some find it easier than others to show their feelings, or to actively support and encourage. This programme helps on so many levels. It helps emotionally and physically and brings an understanding that the two work together – just like dads and their daughters.”

Eleven families took part in the project’s inaugural year, and the programme had a great impact on those that took part.  Initial findings suggest:

  • Father and father-figures on the programme mentioned growing a stronger bond with their daughters and suggested they would increase the amount of family activity they do as a result of taking part.
  • All the girls that took part in the project showed a strong belief that girls are just as capable as boys at physical activity and should be able to enjoy the same opportunities, both individually and with their family.

Women in Sport and the project partners will explore these initial findings in greater depth with a larger sample size to understand any significant impact in year two and three.

Lee Warren, Innovation Manager for the DAD Project, said: We’re delighted to have five new clubs involved in this project for the next two years alongside continuing our partnership with Fulham who have built strong foundations. We’ve already started to see the impact that the Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered programme can have on its participants and the long-term lifestyle changes that it can deliver. We’re looking forward to seeing these clubs support more families in their local communities to get active.”

Mike Diaper, Executive Director Children, Young People and Tackling Inactivity, at Sport England said: Following a successful first year of testing the Daughters and Dads programme, we are really pleased that our National Lottery investment can now help to extend its reach into new areas across England.   We know that we need to continue to do more to help girls and less affluent families get active, and one thing that hinders this are gender stereotypes that can cause families to believe that physical activity is less important for girls than boys.  We also know that parents and carers often see their role as helpers and less as role models in encouraging their children to be active. This programme, based on a model from Australia, is addressing these challenges and we look forward to seeing the results of this in the North East, West Midlands and London.”

For more information on the Research and Advice Service and Women in Sport’s work visit www.womeninsport.org.