Goodison Park recently played host to a visit from Mr Pan Yundong, Chinese Consul General, when he called at the home of the Blues to find out more about Everton Free School.
During his time at the stadium, Mr Pan met with a party of Everton officials including Denise Barrett-Baxendale, CEO of Everton in the Community; Adrian Packer, Principal of Everton Free School and Blues’ legends Graeme Sharp and Ian Snodin.
The purpose behind Mr Pan’s visit was to sign an Agreement on behalf of the Hanban Ministry to supply a Chinese teacher to Everton Free School. From September, the designated teacher will promote Chinese language and culture in the School as well as being a resource for Everton Football Club with lessons and activities linked to Chinese language and culture being available to all staff
During the visit, Adrian Packer and Denise Barrett-Baxendale spoke at length to the Chinese Consul General and his delegation about the success of Everton Free School to date, the new site at Spellow Lane and plans for the future.
Mr Pan and his delegation – including the Chinese Education Consul, Mr Fu Hengsheng – were then given a short tour of Goodison by Graeme Sharp and Ian Snodin who talked about the rich history of Everton Football Club and their own playing careers before sharing anecdotes of their own experiences in China.
Speaking about the signed Agreement, Adrian Packer said:
“Today's agreement marks an exciting next phase in this important and valued partnership. The appointment of a teacher through the Hanban Ministry will give our students, and their families, the opportunities to learn more of China's rich cultural heritage, language and history.
“Our work with Everton in the Community is allowing us to develop some impressive international partnerships. We are extremely grateful to Mr Pan for his support for this pioneering new initiative as part of our global education strategy."
“It has been very enjoyable to come to Goodison Park to find out more this world famous football club,” addedMr Pan, Chinese Conul General. “It is admirable that the Club is using its special influence to provide an education service in the community.
“I hope that the arrival of a Chinese language teacher at Everton Free School will provide the students and Club with a deeper understanding of Chinese language and culture and further enhance the community exchanges and cooperation with China.”
Launched in September 2012 by Everton in the Community, Everton Free School caters for young people aged 14-19 and offers an alternative education pathway to those who have become detached from traditional schooling. The school delivers an innovative, personalised curriculum supported by local stakeholders, industry partners and Further and Higher Education and is currently accessed by over 100 participants.
Everton in the Community are the first Club community scheme in the country to be awarded funded by the Government to open a Free School, a ground-breaking initiative for young people across Merseyside.
For more information on Everton Free School, click here.