Ellesmere College is one of three UK schools to be given a World Academy of Sport (WAoS) accreditation, which enables national and international level athletes to follow a more flexible study programme to achieve the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB).
The school has a global reputation for high-performance sports programmes with swimmers, shooters, horse riders, golfers, and athletes amongst its ranks. Ellesmere’s WAoS Athlete Friendly Education Centre (AFEC) status gives greater flexibility to IB students trying to balance their studies with heavy training and competition schedules.
Student athletes are required to make significant sacrifices on their journey to national and international competition. The World Academy of Sport works closely with schools to connect them to the international world of sport.
Ellesmere recently completed its accreditation visit by the World Academy of Sport (WAoS) and demonstrated its impressive sports programme and the way in which it supports the requirements of its high performing students in order for them to continue with their academic programme alongside their training regime.
The AFEC criteria used to assess schools and universities has been supported by the International Olympic committee (IOC) who provide information to young athletes, parents and others within the athletes’ entourages to assist in the process of deciding the best school to attend which may support their educational and athletic aspirations.
Headmaster, Brendan Wignall, said: ‘We are delighted to be the first school in Shropshire to be accredited as an Athlete Friendly Education Centre. Ellesmere will be a lead school in providing flexibility and support to exceptional athletes following the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, enabling them to combine their dedicated training schedules and commitments with their academic studies.’
This institutional approach to assist student athletes in balancing their academic, sport and personal lives is increasingly being addressed at universities in various countries around the world; however it is unique as a global initiative at the school level.
Ellesmere College has been an IB World School since 2005 and is currently the only school in North Shropshire to offer the qualification, which runs alongside an extensive range of traditional A-levels.