The national 'Playing for Success' scheme was established in 1997 by the, then, Department for Education and Skills (DfES), in partnership with local education authorities, the FA Premier League and their clubs, with the aim to establish out of hours study support centres. Due to the success of the first centres, a variety of other sporting clubs including cricket, rugby, gymnastics and tennis joined in 2000. Since then the scheme had gone from strength to strength, with 150 clubs covering a range of sports. The centres used the environment and medium of football, rugby and other sports as motivational tools, and focus on raising literacy, numeracy and ICT standards amongst KS2 and KS3 pupils who are struggling a little and often demotivated.
In 2001 Durham County Council opened the first PfS Centre based in a cricket club in partnership with Durham County Cricket Club at their Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street. Since opening well over 2000 pupils have benefited from the programme.
Due to the success of the scheme a second centre was established in partnership with Durham Amateur Rowing Club.
Following changes to the educational landscape the educational programmes within Durham County Cricket Club are now being developed by and delivered through the education centre as part of the new ‘Learning Beyond the Boundary’ initiative. This partners Durham County Cricket Club, Durham County Council and Durham County Cricket Foundation who are continuing to offer unique opportunities to young people to develop core skills using the inspirational setting of the Emirates Durham ICG.
More details on the Learning Beyond the Boundary initiative can now be found as part of the Durham County Cricket Foundation section of the website. Learning Beyond the Boundary