Braidhurst High School in Motherwell has been recognised for its valuable contribution to grassroots football.

The school is the first in North Lanarkshire to receive the Scottish FA Quality Mark Standard Award, and one of only nine throughout the country.

The Award, part of the Quality Mark Accreditation Scheme run by the Scottish FA in partnership with McDonald’s, recognises proactive clubs and schools working to increase youth and community participation.

Clubs and schools receive the award after meeting standards in areas such as coach and player development, management, administration, welfare and planning.

Braidhurst High School has three boys’ teams and one girls’ team at various age groups, and is one of six Scottish FA Schools of Football.

As part of the School of Football programme, 20 pupils from across North Lanarkshire were selected to attend Braidhurst as full time students, following a curriculum which includes a period of football activity every day.

The pupils are coached by Scottish FA Player and Coach Development Officer, Ian Ross. Football is used as a tool to motivate the pupils, and their place on the School of Football programme depends on school attendance and academic improvement.

Braidhurst High School Rector, Derrick Hannan, said: “I was absolutely delighted that our submission for the Quality Mark Award was successful. The quality of work going on in the school, particularly through our School of Football and Ian Ross’ work with both pupils and staff, is quite outstanding.

“I am also extremely appreciative of the considerable input into football development from teaching staff including Andy Hamilton, Andy Madill, Peter Gardner and David Gardiner.”

Alan Taylor, Scottish FA Football Development Manager for North Lanarkshire, said: “The level of commitment that goes into providing football development opportunities for both players and volunteer coaches at Braidhurst High School is very impressive. Braidhurst is a great example of what can be achieved when the Scottish FA, local authorities and schools work in partnership.”

Through the Quality Mark Accreditation scheme, McDonald’s and the Scottish FA aim to provide support to grassroots clubs and schools across Scotland as they strive to broaden youth and community participation and to enhance player, coach and volunteer development. 

The Scottish FA has also worked closely with the Scottish Schools’ FA to develop the Quality Mark scheme for schools.

The Quality Mark scheme is supported by the Big Lottery Fund, which contributes to the employment of all Scottish FA club development staff, as well as discounted coach education and first aid courses for grassroots volunteers.