Ex­pand­ing NI e-learn­ing firm scores with English foot­ball ed­u­ca­tion deal

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY RYAN MCALEER

A NORTH­ERN Ire­land e-learn­ing com­pany has signed a deal with the English Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion to de­liver a foot­ball ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme.

Learn­ing Pool, which has grown into one the UK’S largest providers of on­line learn­ing, said the new part­ner­ship will sup­port the delivery of the pro­gramme by 2020. It’s the lat­est deal se­cured by Paul Mcel­vaney’s com­pany.

The value of the deal has not been dis­closed.

In June Learn­ing Pool ac­quired Scot­tish firm Me­di­a­corp for an undis­closed sum. It was a fur­ther ac­qui­si­tion after a pre­vi­ous deal to buy Not­ting­ham-based Mind Click.

Based in the Old City Fac­tory in Lon­don­derry, Learn­ing Pool’s growth saw its turnover grow from £7.6m in 2017 to £11.1m in the 12 months to April 30, 2018.

Pre-tax prof­its were £2.5m for the same pe­riod.

English FA chair­man Greg Clarke said its strate­gic plan sets out a clear vi­sion for the fu­ture of the game. He said it “recog­nises that pro­fes­sional, ac­cred­ited train­ing is cen­tral to the growth and con­tin­ued suc­cess of foot­ball in the UK”.

As part of the strat­egy, FA Ed­u­ca­tion, which is re­spon­si­ble for man­ag­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tions within English foot­ball, sought an on­line learn­ing part­ner.

It said that its search for “the ex­per­tise, cre­ativ­ity and cus­tomer ser­vice to sup­port and ac­cel­er­ate its dig­i­tal learn­ing roadmap” brought it to the door of Learn­ing Pool, which won a com­pre­hen­sive ten­der process.

The Derry com­pany will now work with FA Ed­u­ca­tion to cre­ate an ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme to im­prove the ski­ills of the cur­rent foot­ball work­force and de­velop new coaches, ref­er­ees, medics and ad­min­is­tra­tors.

Mr Mcel­vaney said: “We’re in­cred­i­bly proud to have this op­por­tu­nity to work with the English FA.

“Their se­lec­tion val­i­dates Learn­ing Pool’s unique po­si­tion to de­liver the best in learn­ing plat­forms, cus­tom learn­ing con­tent and cut­ting edge in­no­va­tion.

“The ini­tial phases of our en­gage­ment with the FA are pro­gress­ing ex­cep­tion­ally well and we’re con­fi­dent that we can meet and ex­ceed their ex­pec­ta­tions as both the on­line learn­ing mar­ket and their learn­ing au­di­ence de­velop over the com­ing years”.

Lucy Pearson, the FA’S head of ed­u­ca­tion, added: “By in­vest­ing in our dig­i­tal learn­ing plat­forms and ca­pa­bil­i­ties, we will fur­ther en­hance the high qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion pro­grammes that un­der­pin our out­stand­ing foot­ball work­force, and in turn sup­port and de­velop the play­ers they are work­ing with across all dis­ci­plines.”

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