SCL & Darren Bent Academy: Inspiring learners to achieve their full potential, on and off the pitch

Posted by SCL Education Group on 26.02.19

Darren Bent Academy have partnered with official education providers, SCL Education Group, to deliver a full-time education and football development programme like no other.

The two-year programme provides 16-18 year olds with a unique opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification, whilst enjoying an excellent full-time football training programme, delivered by experienced coaches.

All educational aspects of the programme are fully managed by SCL; a leading independent provider of education through sport, with a track record and over 15 years’ experience in engaging, educating and developing young people.

Learners at Darren Bent Academy benefit from a fantastic sporting setup, as they experience a professional sporting environment and daily football training, alongside expert advice and guidance on nutrition and individual football fitness.

In addition to a 3G surface and three grass pitches; one of which being in a stadium environment, the venue includes an indoor arena suitable for training in adverse weather conditions, a fully equipped gym, spin studio with 24 spin bikes, and a fitness studio.

As one of the programme’s mentors, Darren Bent maintains high involvement with the programme. Bringing not only his wealth of knowledge and experience, but also a strong work ethic and high status within the professional football world, the striker provides learners with an influential figure who will inspire them to realise and achieve their full potential, both on and off the pitch.

Darren Bent explains: “I’ve been fortunate enough to live out my boyhood dream; to play against some of the world's best players and score goals in some of the world's best stadiums, but now I am in a position where I can share my experiences to inspire the next generation.

“Whether it be in professional football or other sporting avenues, our full time education and football programme can provide the students with some great opportunities.”

With a background as an Arsenal Youth Player, before enjoying a semi-professional career at Exeter, Sutton United, Woking and Havant & Waterlooville, Academy Manager, Craig Watkins, perfectly compliments Bent’s delivery.

Couple this with a support network from SCL consisting of specialist tutors, curriculum managers, quality assessors and operations support; it’s a programme that is hard to rival.

Watkins adds: “We at the Darren Bent Academy are committed to producing athletes both on and off the pitch. Our 16-18 year old education programme provides students to study full time with our partners at SCL whilst playing and competing in development leagues, with potential pathways into professional football through our extensive network of contacts in the game.”

“Our experienced coaches strongly believe that all players should be guided and encouraged to reach their full potential and this can be achieved by following our well-structured professional player programme”, Watkins continues.

Learners will compete in the SCL Development League, as they utilise opportunities to experience competitive fixtures and put their training into practice.

Upon completion of the programme, learners will have the opportunity to progress onto fantastic exit routes, including professional or semi-professional football, further education, scholarships abroad, training or employment.


If you are interested in finding out more about the programme, or know someone who would like to apply, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

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