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League Football Education Digital Transformation

October 6, 2021

League Football Education – Digital Transformation


We caught up with Simon at League Football Education to talk about the Personal Development and Life Skills programmes they offer. Supporting children and young adults, these programmes cover mental health, debt management, doping, racism, discrimination and so much more. We discuss the League Football Education digital transformation story, the tools, outcomes and the amazing benefits they have experienced as an organisation.


Meet the speakers


Mollie Cross Solutions specialist at BookingLive


Simon Williams – Alumni Liaison Officer at LFE



League Football Education’s mission is to empower young people to reach their full potential. In this conversation, we discuss the Personal Development and Life Skills programmes they offer, and how they utilise BookingLive to manage these programmes up and down the country. This video outlines the education digital transformation journey they have gone through over the last few years, and the results they have seen.





If you’re an education provider of any sort, or an organisation looking to use automation tools to enhance and progress your digital transformation, if you’re looking for booking and scheduling software to manage your courses, classes or programmes, then this video will give you insights and valuable hints and tips.

Discover more about education scheduling tools and solutions below.

education digital transformation

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Full Education Digital Transformation Transcript:


– [Mollie] Hi Simon, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today, could you start by telling me a little about LFE? 


– [Simon] Thanks for having me. We are a charity that was set up by the English Football League known as the EFL. And also the Professional Footballers Association. So what that means is we are responsible for the education and welfare of Young Academy footballers from the ages of 9 all the way through to under 23s. So it’s our responsibility to check that everyone’s making progress and having a good experience, ensuring there is holistic development there for everybody. And when we support clubs in making sure that happens, which ultimately means we do some things which of our youth helps us with in terms of making them happen for football clubs on the ground. 


– [Simon] Now, we have a life skills programme, which is also working with external people, organisations, subject specialists etc. who will go into the football clubs and deliver education on different subjects, and also trying to provide the academy players with practical skills, it’s on subjects and topics that are relevant for young people, and also those that are involved in football too. 


– [Simon] For example, we work with Sporting Chance who will deliver mental health education that discusses addiction as well and other issues that people may face more often than Western support.  We work with Red Star education, who deliver financial education across all sorts of matters, such as credit and budgeting, insurance, and other things too. So those are two very different things. 


– [Simon] We also work with other partners; which cover social media, nutrition, health, sexual health, equality, and diversity. So we’ve got a whole bunch of people getting out and doing things in all four corners of the country, to put it simply.


– [Mollie] How has BookingLive helped you?


– [Simon] The BookingLive system has had 350 bookings in the last three months. Now they’re from one of 72 football clubs all over the country. 

It’s a combination of 18 different organisations going out and doing those things. So we would, previous to working with BookingLive, set those up and coordinate them ourselves, trying to organise dates with a club, and then find a good fit for the deliverer as well. We were very much again, between a lot of emails, a lot of calls, you know, “can you do these days?”, “well, can’t do those dates”, “right, only Wednesdays will do” etc. That’s like a full time job in itself trying to navigate all of that. It really is, it really is. 

So this has really provided us with a solution that displays everything that’s needed to be known. When it can happen, we’ve got availability in the calendar, everyone can see and update from something so we can register as much information as we need from the broker. And it just worked perfectly. What it means is we can now use our time a little bit more effectively. So, like the conversations and time that was saved during that we’re able to put into looking at the quality of what we’re doing, and the impact of actually having. So all in all, we’ve ended up with something that saved us a lot of time and is enabling us to do a better job of what we wish to do. And you see things in the media where you know, people will assume there’s not a great deal happening for young people in football clubs. We know football is a big part of young people’s life. With that comes a responsibility of football clubs and us as governing bodies to make sure that there’s support to sort of match the level of investment that players and families are putting into the sport. And this is absolutely not only us trying to do the right ethical and moral thing but we also believe it’s going to enrich their experience and help them develop as people.  


– [Simon] The wish list shows that we have to do our best job to upskill people to be able to deal with everything that life’s gonna throw at them, especially in professional football. And where can you go for support and trying to help them understand where that that network is. But then also, the other side of it, which is their responsibilities in terms of being a good person and a strong role model for the society too. So it’s kind of both sides of it, really. How it works is that anyone attached to the football club will have been recruited based largely on performance. So the scouting networks and all the pathways that happen, you know, throughout 9 to 16 times. People will play football for the school or local team, and the clubs will recruit,  based on performance. So once the players are within the football club, they’ll be part of the Academy. And they’ll be going through the academy programme throughout the season. And it’s the club that will put together a schedule and start the season, which maps out everything that wants to do with the Academy, not just the football, but all the stuff we’re talking about now with a club who he will book those in with us. 

So although clubs will often speak to the players and ask, what would you like is what’s on offer. And what’s important to you, you know, the player voice is very much important, it will be the copy or coordinator. And so, you know, it is a close shot to just the general public, which is what you’ve helped us with in terms of the front end and being able to log in. The system will be accessed via the club, the club staff who work with setting up the programmes. Everybody is everywhere, which means that BookingLive is national as well.

So, you know, there’s a few sort of niches to the system, which you wouldn’t think, necessarily the beginning of putting together a booking system. But all of a sudden, you think, well, we need the availability to only allow someone to be booked in once per day, because you could essentially have a call in the northeast, booking somebody in for the morning, or for, you know, any slot throughout the day. 


– [Simon] And then, you know, in the south, east or west, ask him for them in the afternoon, which isn’t possible. And so, so the system’s allowed us to literally just give everybody an allocation of one delivery per day, and then they’re out of the system. And likewise, we don’t want people booking the day before because obviously people need to arrange logistics to get to wherever it is. Yeah, so we’ve got a leading time, you can’t put anyone in for three days before the delivery. So yeah, there’s a lot of geographical and logistical sort of puzzles to be to be worked out for, for setting up what we’ve got with you. And we didn’t hit it straight off. From the beginning, there were a lot of things that we just hadn’t thought through. But we’ve gotten to a place now where the system’s working, we’re not nervous about it being available and people using it. Because more often than not, what happens takes place, we’ve got that reassurance that when a request comes in, we’ve still got the opportunity for delivery to, to accept it, confirm it, or amend it, which, which really works well for us. Seamless, really, because we joined the conversation in the early days with one or two people we got moved on, everything sort of carried through in terms of the information we passed on


– [Simon] We were well informed upfront that it was worth spending time discussing what our needs were, and what the booking journey looked like, before the system was built. Because going back isn’t necessarily easy for anyone who can contribute some of the other bits of that we will set up. I think that was helpful because we really got our heads around what we needed.

Training that took place from all that time ago then, to now, still being available, essentially we were sort of trained as trainers I suppose for selling our stakeholders after us.

You know, we created a video cast you know, with our particular system, which we’ve only had to update a couple of times after we’ve changed some things, and it’s all worked so well. 


– [Simon] People have actually been trying to look for the BookingLive page on our website because it looks so similar. It’s obviously hosted in your domain. So that’s, you know, aesthetically, exactly where we would hope to be, if not too similar. 

You know, but like I say, it’s just worked so well and saved everyone so much time, I think it was quite a big jump, because we’ve got so many people using it. And we’re used to a different system. And not forgetting that there’s so many systems, we’ve all got access to now for work, I can think of three, four off the top of my head that I know, our stakeholders are using for other things. 


– [Simon] So then, it was quite a leap of faith to say, “right, here’s another system.” But I promised everybody that it would be more helpful than a hindrance, and then hoped that that would be the case. And it has, the feedback we’ve had, it’s been delightful, I really didn’t expect so much good feedback. Even when I’m just talking about the programme people just mentioned, at the end of the call the education digital transformation booking systems work so well, you know,  it remembers bits and pieces of the duplicate things, and it’s a streamlined process. So we all get notifications, feedback forms go out afterwards, automatically. It’s just so much better than one person starting with a phone and trying to connect people’s diaries together, there’s so many added extras that that we’ve been able to get out of the back of jumping in booking wise. So the whole experience has been one that we haven’t regretted, and would recommend to other people. 


– [Mollie] Tell me a little more about the programmes you offer.


– [Simon] I think probably the most exciting activity that we’ve got at the moment is our personal development mentoring programme. So as part of the holistic journey that we want all of our academy players to have, we’ve always felt like with one or more interventions to talk about who they are as people, their broader identity beyond their sport, and really help them set meaningful goals to develop as a person off the field.


– [Simon] And so again, we’ve got deliveries happening for that programme. And this is something that we’ve now added into the education digital transformation BookingLive system as a new programme, we’ve been able to slide straight in. We’ve got mentors being trained off, we’ve got unbelievable insight from the academy plays for what the program’s doing for them. So yeah, that’s probably the next big thing. We’re willing to get the mentoring programme out to all the clubs and just try and improve and develop our young people as best we can. 




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