MHA Kicks Off Curriculum!

Manchester Health Academy is hosting a World Cup takeover of our curriculum next week, in celebration of former participant Marcus Rashford’s involvement in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Manchester United and England star Marcus Rashford attended the Manchester United Foundation Street Reds programme, held at the Academy’s Community Sports facility, from the age of 12 until he made his first-team debut for the Reds at the age of 18.  The Wythenshawe-born striker is an inspiration to his former players and pupils as he makes his senior team World Cup debut next week.

The brainchild of Head of PE, Mr Brown, the week will see teachers across Manchester Health Academy using the World Cup as a starting point for their lessons.  Mr Brown says “The World Cup offers a fantastic opportunity for the whole school to get involved.  All students in Years 7-9 will attend their timetabled lessons and participate in a cross-curricular week based around the World Cup, for example writing match reports in English, using match data in maths, and looking at forces and trajectory of the ball in science.  While Rashford does his thing in Russia, we’ll be learning here in Manchester!”

Marcus Rashford was born in 1997 in Wythenshawe and was a pupil at Button Lane Primary School.  He played for Fletcher Moss Rangers as a child, a youth team with a reputation for producing top players.  From the age of 12, Marcus took part in Manchester United Foundation’s Street Reds programme at Manchester Health Academy’s Community Sports facility.  The programme offers free football sessions and alternative activities to young people aged 8 to 18.  Marcus went on to break George Best’s record as the youngest player to score in Europe for Manchester United, and is looking forward to playing for England in Russia this month.



Marcus Rashford pictured when he visited Street Reds at MHA in 2016.

Aspire to Be in Professional Sports

The Aspire to Be careers programme continues. Every fortnight during Key Stage 4 lunchtime we invite a visitor into the Academy to present to Year 9 -13 students about their job role, their route into the career and the qualifications they needed.
This week, we were joined by Manchester United Foundation’s Director of Operations, John Eades, who talked about careers in the world of sports, and his own exciting career path.Previous sessions have included business and health care sciences. Full details of these sessions along with resources can be found on the Academy website.

Unified by Football

Well done to the students who teamed up with students from specialist school Brentwood High School to take part in Unified Football , a 10-week training programme, culminating in a tournament at Manchester United’s iconic training ground, and aired on Match of the Day on Easter Sunday.

The programme is inspired by a simple idea; training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. In Unified Football, teams are made up of people of similar age and ability, which makes practices more exciting and fun for all.

The training period enabled students from both schools to develop ways of working together as a team and to build relationships between the two sets of students.  In the tournament, two teams were made up of a mix of students from both schools. One of our teams made it to the semi-finals, but was unfortunately knocked out when it went to penalties.

Teacher Miss Steers said “The students were a credit to the academy, with Corey even doing an interview for Match of the Day! Their opponent was intolerance. Only shoulder-to shoulder, as teammates together, could it be defeated. It was a fantastic opportunity and a very enjoyable experience.”

Unified Football is a Special Olympics GB campaign delivered in partnership with Youth Sport Trust, which joins people with and without learning disabilities on the same team.

The tournament was filmed for the Foundation’s annual Match of the Day community feature and was broadcast on Sunday 1st April at 7.25am on BBC1.  It was attended by BBC Reporter and former England Women’s Team player Sue Smith, England Cerebral Palsy football team captain Jack Rutter and members of the Manchester United youth teams including Angel Gomes, Luca Ercolani, George Tanner and Aidan Barlow.

The tournament concluded in a victory for the Co-op Academy Swinton and Oakwood Academy who beat The Oldham Academy North and Redwood School 2-0 in the final.

Manchester Health Academy is linked with Manchester United Foundation through its Partner Schools programme, which bases full time coaches in targeted areas to building lasting relationships and impact the lives of young people.

See more information  here.

A Whole New Ball Game!

Manchester United legend Denis Irwin opens our new community sports pitch.

Legendary former Manchester United FC defender Denis Irwin visited the Academy on Friday to officially open our new all-weather pitch.

The new floodlit playing surface, which can be used all-year-round, compliments our other sports facilities. These include two full-size grass pitches; two 7v7 pitches; one 9v9 pitch and a small-sided AGP.  The Academy worked in partnership with the Manchester FA to secure a £386,583 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund (delivered by the Football Foundation) towards the pitch.

3G opening

Mr Green, Principal of the Academy, said: “I wish to thank Denis Irwin for coming along and making this event so memorable for our students and the pupils who joined us from our Partnership Primary Schools. This brilliant new facility will make a huge impact on grassroots sports locally, providing a top quality venue for more than a thousand local sports players each week.”

A partner school of Manchester United Foundation, the Academy has a strong tradition of sports education. Currently, we have six students who are signed to professional clubs’ academies, including Everton FC; Burnley FC; Oldham FC and Sheffield Wednesday FC.


Our Manchester United Foundation officer, Lee Caldwell, is based permanently in the Academy and will deliver a range of curriculum and community-focused sports activities from the new pitch. These include girls’ development, leadership courses and Street Reds evening football sessions, which aim to give young people opportunities within the game.

Manchester United Foundation also rewards students who have been nominated by their teachers for good progress with free match tickets. More broadly, the charity works alongside the Academy’s lead sponsor, the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, to promote healthy lifestyles at the school.

During the visit, Denis Irwin watched students playing on the pitch before taking part in a Q&A session and officially unveiling the new facility.


The former defender, who won 20 major honours during his 12-year stay with United, said: “Unveiling this new pitch was a pleasure for me, especially seeing so many youngsters out enjoying their football. It’s a wonderful facility and will no doubt become a magnet for people to visit and enjoy playing sport at.

“Having spent 12 great years with United, I am really pleased to see them involved so much at the school. Manchester United Foundation is doing great work to provide opportunities for students here, as well as out in the community. Facilities like this are vital to help them reach people. It’s not necessarily about turning pro, it’s about making sure people stay fit and healthy, make new friends and start out on the right path in life.

“Funding for this pitch has come from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which means money from the top of the game is being shared with the grassroots. Congratulations to everyone who made this possible. Enjoy the new pitch!”


Manchester Health Academy worked alongside the Manchester FA and the Football Foundation to compile a five-year Football Development Plan, which is a vision of how sport will be played on site with an emphasis on increasing participation.

The project will not only benefit the Academy’s students, but will also have a number of other users. Partner organisations Wythenshawe Amateurs FC, Wythenshawe Town FC and South Manchester Girls League will all use the new 3G AGP to deliver training and fixtures, alongside local community clubs including: Altrincham Hale FC; Alderley FC; Brooklands Dragons FC and Timperley Villa FC.

The number of teams using the site is expected to rise from 32 to 92. There is currently a lack of pitches in the area that are of a similar standard, so demand is high. Of the 60 new teams expected to be using the facility, it is predicted that 29 will be female sides. The school hopes to become a hub for women and girls’ football, as improving local female football participation is a key objective. A boost of 175% in female football participation across all ages is expected at the site as a result.


Mike Kane, MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, said: “This is a fantastic new facility, and I am honoured to have been asked to help unveil it. It is evident that the all-weather pitch will be hugely beneficial to the school’s pupils and the local community, offering a way to get active and have fun. It was also great to have Denis Irwin here, helping to inspire the students.

“Thanks to funding from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, the Football Foundation is working to create state-of-the-art facilities for grassroots sport up and down the country. I’d like to congratulate the school for securing this funding and support, resulting in an all-weather pitch that is going to improve the health and wellbeing of its many students.”

Football Stars Break Ground For New Football Facility!

Manchester United star Daley Blind and former midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger officially broke the ground for a brand new full-sized all-weather pitch, and floodlit 5-a-side Multi Use Games Area, at Manchester Health Academy recently.

The £1m project into improving our sports facilities has been supported by a £386,000 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund (PL/FA:FF), which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

The Academy’s site currently benefits from a community gym, sports halls, large playing field, an all-weather pitch and Brooklands Public Library, with on-site parking for Academy staff and users of the community facilities. The next phase of work will see the addition of the new full-sized all-weather pitch and floodlit 5-a-side Multi Use Games Area, plus additional parking opening in the Autumn. This is great news for the area and local amateur clubs, to whom the facility will open outside school hours.

FA press release WEB

The support from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund builds upon it’s significant investment in Manchester towards grassroots sports facilities, which the Fund replicates in all regions across the country. Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 65 grants worth £16m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £37m across the whole of Manchester. Nationally, the Foundation has helped invest more than £1.4bn into the grassroots game.

Principal Mr Owen said “Securing funding for these new facilities is something that I’m very proud of.  Manchester Health Academy strives for excellence in teaching, learning and facilities.  The plans for these new pitches meet FA criteria, allowing our students and the local community to enjoy their sports on top class, professional standard pitches.”

We are currently investing £10 million to transform our estate, including a new dedicated English and maths block and new dining room to welcome new students into the Academy as part of our expansion programme.

Stay Fit, Stay Happy

Mr Owen’s Blog this week:

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, with a focus on relationships.  Here at the Academy, we take the mental health and wellbeing of our students and staff very seriously.  I’m pleased to say that we have an amazingly caring team who really go the extra mile to look out for our students and support them through difficulties they may face, and an Academy-wide ethos of health education that aims to teach our students to look after their own mental and physical wellbeing.  The relationship between the staff and students is one of respect and care and I feel passionate that this makes for the optimal learning environment where everyone can reach their full potential.

One of the things that is known to benefit mental health is staying active.  As the Academy expands and grows we are keen to build on the facilities we provide our students and the wider community, and to this end we plan to add an additional 3G pitch to our grounds.  Our existing one is hugely popular and takes regular bookings in evenings and weekends, so we know there is local demand.  As a keen footballer myself, I enjoy the social aspect of team sport and I know I really benefit from the fresh air and adrenaline that makes such a change from a high-pressure job.  I’d encourage anyone to make time for a physical activity and fresh air to stay well and content with life.

There are lots of stories, ideas and tips on the above website, take a look and you might find something that resonates with you!

“The safeguarding of students’ health and well-being is outstanding”  Ofsted May 2015

Sport Relief: 57 hours of 5-a-side

Manchester Health Academy students helped raise £370,592 for people living incredibly tough lives when they took part in Sport Relief’s 57 hour five-a-side game recently.

Alan Shearer, who captained the Match of the Day team, beat Robbie Savage’s squad, who led the BBC 5 live team with 547 goals to 529.

More than 1,100 people played in the snow and rain outside BBC MediaCityUK in Salford, including two Manchester Health Academy teams from the Sixth Form and main Academy.

The 57-hour duration of the match was chosen because it is the equivalent of a Premier League club’s entire season.

The Premier League is matching all of the public’s donations up to a maximum of £500,000.

The money will go towards helping disadvantaged people in the UK and overseas, and you can still donate if you would like to support the cause here.

Official Team Pic WEB Sixth Form Team WEB

Year 9s Reach National Quarter Final!

Congratulations and well done to our Year 9 footballers, who have got through to the quarter finals in the national English Schools Football Association Small Schools Cup.  The boys beat De La Salle Academy away in Liverpool last night 4-1 on penalties after drawing 1-1 during the game, with a late equaliser from Max H.  Special praise to Louis H in goal for a number of outstanding saves that kept us in the game.  The next round will be drawn on Monday.

Academy Principal Mr Owen said “I am absolutely delighted at how our young footballers have performed in this competition, to get through to the quarter final is a huge achievement.  As a keen player myself I know how much this means to them, and how hard they have worked to get here.  Well done boys, and good luck in the quarter finals.”

Y9 Football Team Jan 2016

Year 7 & 8 Girls Football Team



Manchester United Foundation are hosting the annual Premier League Schools Tournament at the famous Cliff Training Ground again this year, with the winners going through to play at a Premier League ground against the other Premier League sides.

We are looking to choose 8 girls to represent MHA at this tournament and to be selected you will need to attend training sessions on Thursdays 3-4pm after school.

Premier League Schools Tournament