Dereham Education and Soccer Academy (DESA) is now in its fourth year and is thriving with over 50 aspiring footballers who have been given the opportunity to study a BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport alongside an optional A Level or GCSE retakes and additional vocational qualifications, including the FA Level 1 and 2 Coaching Certificate.
You will be based at Dereham Town Football Club and follow a bespoke timetable that includes 8 hours of football training delivered by UEFA qualified coaches and a weekly fixture programme competing in the top National Colleges League, FA Youth Cup, U18 Floodlit League and prestigious fixtures against professional academies. Progression to senior squads at the Football Club is seen as a realistic option with students having represented the First and Reserve Teams in all three seasons. During the 2015/16 season, one DESA student represented the England Schools Under 18 team against Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The course is aimed at talented individuals who have the desire, ambition and focus on both education progression and/or employment in the football and sport industry.
The academic pathway consists of 19 sport specific units of study. This course gives you the perfect foundation to progress on to Higher Education, a Sports Scholarship in America or employment in the sports industry. In the two graduate years since the programme began, 12 students have progressed to degree courses at English universities, 11 students have graduated to soccer scholarships at American colleges and 15 students have entered apprenticeships in the sports industry.
In your second year you will have the opportunity to showcase your talent in America as part of a tour that, last year, included 5 nights in Las Vegas followed by 3 nights in San Diego and 2 nights in Los Angeles competing against some of the top colleges in the USA while gaining football, educational, social and cultural experiences.
Our aim is to be a leading provider of education and football in the country and this was reflected in our quality review by Pearson: ‘The Sport BTEC program is outstanding in terms of quality resources available and the organisation of the course. Students were observed at the time of visit and it was clear how focused they were on their studies and how much they enjoyed the course. The administration of the PSA and documentation is an excellent example of BTEC provision and a credit to the Sixth Form.’
We are driven to provide lifelong learning experiences and opportunities through our provision and the standards that we set.