West Ham United
Second Chance Academy
Chadwell Heath

Full time education and sports development programme

No tuition fees for 16-18-year olds

Romford, London


Combine your passion for football with a full-time education and development programme, and benefit from an outstanding learning and teaching experience which will push you to achieve your best and set you on the path to establishing yourself with the industry.

September 2020

NCFE Level 3 Diploma in Sport 
Individual offers may vary; however, you’ll normally need 4 GCSEs Level 4-9, preferably one being English or maths.

NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport 
Individual offers may vary; however, you’ll normally need 5 GCSEs Level 4-9, including English and maths.

Up to 168 UCAS points* available (equivalent to 3 A-Levels)
*Request a prospectus below for full breakdown of UCAS tariff points.

This programme is government funded.
You will not need to pay tuition fees but other costs may be applicable.



Your Education

You will study a nationally recognised qualification in sport, delivered by SCL. 

Year 1 - Complete an NCFE Level 3 Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity
Year 2 - Complete an NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity

Where required, you will also study maths and/or English GCSE or Functional Skills.

Request a prospectus below for 2020/21 course information.

SCL Education & Training are the UK’s leading independent provider of education through sport.

  • We are a government funded education provider
  • We are experts in sport and education delivery with over 20 years’ experience
  • We are creating the next generation of sports professionals
  • We are working in partnership with 70+ football, rugby and cricket clubs nationwide
  • We are nationally recognised for high quality information, advice and guidance

NCFE Diploma

What is an NCFE Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity?

Developed with employers in mind, your NCFE qualification will combine a mix of practical and theoretical learning.

This qualification is designed to be taken by those wishing to progress to a career in the sport and physical activity sector and aims to provide you with the specialist knowledge, skills and understanding relating to the sport and physical activity sector.

Your NCFE Diploma will:

  • Use a range of delivery methods across all units
  • Provide you with realistic insights into the world of work and opportunities to improve your performance
  • Provide you with a range of learning resources to support with your studies
  • Provide optional units to complete, depending on your personal interest or career aspirations
  • Offer a variety of progression routes and help towards entry criteria for university application


Your Football

During your education and football development programme, you'll benefit from:

  • Play Football in the Conference Youth Alliance League
  • Chance to play in the FA Youth Cup
  • Daily training from highly qualified FA coaches
  • Guidance on individual football fitness
  • Nutritional advice
  • Regular appraisal to monitor development both on and off the pitch

There will be a subsidised cost for purchasing training kit at the start of the season. Further details about this will be provided upon the player’s acceptance onto the programme.

West Ham United Second Chance Academy 

West Ham United Second Chance Academy and SCL are giving teenage footballers, aged between 15 and 18 who have been released by their previous clubs, a second chance to continue their footballing journey in a full time football programme.

Throughout the country there are teenagers in the final months of their contracts who may never play another game for their club, among hundreds of other young players who have been told they will not be retained.

This presents huge challenges to players - both from a professional perspective but also in terms of their mental health. There will now be hundreds of players who will no doubt be anxious about what the future holds for them.

Usually players would be able to sign up to compete at assessment trials or apply to other professional clubs. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, trials are not able to take place which now leaves hundreds of academy players uncertain of their futures. This has left players fearing for their careers, facing an anxious and uncertain period ahead.

In a huge effort to avoid players from dropping out the game, West Ham United Second Chance Academy and SCL are supporting unsigned academy players with a guaranteed opportunity to win back their dreams of becoming a professional footballer through the player placement programme with a trial in front of the club’s senior scouting and management team. By offering this opportunity, the youngsters can take reassurance from an undoubtedly stressful time that there is a programme out there for them.

The West Ham United Second Chance Academy programme will also offer 15-18 year old released academy players with an unconditional offer to become a player on Academy programme whilst gaining valuable qualifications.

West Ham United Second Chance Academy illustrates its commitment to support young home-grown players and is excited to attract the massive pool of talented young footballers from across the south East of England.

To be part of this innovative and exciting programme, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your name, dob, contact details and former club.


Your Future


Successful completion of your study programme will provide you with the option to apply for university. As part of your weekly tutorials, you will receive support and guidance with your UCAS and student finance applications.


If you decide to combine further study with employment, you will be eligible for an apprenticeship within the sport and leisure industry.


Upon successful completion of your study programme, you will receive information, support and guidance on a variety of aspects to support you in securing meaningful employment. This will form the basis of your tutorial sessions, in addition to the academic monitoring and target setting.


Studying with SCL provides you with an opportunity to play professional or non-professional football, as well as a pathway to progress to a USA Scholarship. An American Scholarship will allow you to continue your studies whilst training and competing at a high level.

Your Application

A member of our SCL Student Services Team will then be in touch to provide more information about the programme and book you onto an education interview, if eligible.

Your telephone interview is your chance to find out more information about the programme and ask any questions that you may have.
An SCL Tutor will be using this time to find out more information about you and collect important information in preparation for your enrolment onto the programme.

Following your telephone interview, if eligible, you will receive a conditional offer to start the programme in September 2020.

We will be in touch with you to arrange your next steps, which will give you the chance to find out more about the sport element of the programme.
This will be either a phone call with the Academy Manager or Coach or a training session, dependent on government restrictions being lifted.

We will review your qualifications and work with the club to confirm your acceptance onto the programme.
You will then be enrolled onto the programme, and we will look forward to seeing you in September!

Your Team


Jim has been at the West Ham United Academy for over 20 years in both a head coaching and recruitment role. Jim has been fortunate to be at the club and see a large number of incredible players come through the Academy of Football which include Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Jermain Defoe and more recently Mark Noble and James Tompkins.

Jim is now very excited with the prospect of developing more future stars for the club via the route of the ‘Second Chance Programme’ at West Ham United Academy. 

Course Location

West Ham United First Team Training Ground, Chadwell Heath, Saville Road RM6 6DT

Eduction Provider

SCL Education Group

Football Provider

West Ham United Foundation

  • SCL are pleased to announce that they are Finalists for the Apprenticeship Provider of the Year!

  • SCL are an Ofsted registered Childcare provider.

  • SCL have partnered with De Montfort University to launch a Sports Coaching Degree programme,

  • The Flame Awards are the largest celebration of innovation and excellence from across the sector.

  • SCL are strategic partners with UKactive.

  • EU EFS

  • Matrix

  • Traineeships are a stepping stone to future success for young people, businesses and the wider economy.

  • Our Saturday Soccer Coaches are FA qualified, Level 2 and above

  • SCL's School Sport Apprenticeship programme has been designed specifically to give those wanting a career in coaching and physical education the skills, knowledge and qualifications to help make it happen.

  • SCL is an employer partner of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity.

  • SCL were awarded an Ofsted outstanding in 2015 for their Holiday Activities.

  • HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme.