Edstart Schools appoints football manager as director of leadership and culture

  • 13th November 2023

Micky Mellon (photo credit: Oldham Athletic Football Club)

Independent special educational needs and alternative provision school group EdStart Schools has appointed the manager of Oldham Athletic Football Club, Micky Mellon, as its director of leadership and culture.

EdStart aims to teach recognised qualifications to young people with special educational needs, or who are unable to maintain regular attendance at a mainstream school. It seeks to identify issues which underlie non-attendance and disengagement from education and to support young people in addressing and resolving these issues.

Published author Mellon will divide his time between managing the club and working for the school.

Mellon said: “What I’m doing at EdStart is constantly evolving and the more I get to know the business, the more I love it. I love the kids because they are kids of character and kids of need, and we are working to develop them under my mantra of ‘making brilliant 16-year-olds’.

“Working alongside the Edstart CEO, James Lowe, we’ve just put together a year-long leadership course for 10 leaders of 10 SEN and alternative provision schools with the aim that they take the learnings back to their schools, put leadership into practice and find the next generation of leaders within the organisation.

“I’ve also taken over as manager at Oldham Athletic and the crossover has been really interesting; I’m taking things that I have developed within education into football and vice versa, and it’s very exciting to see that standards are improving in both worlds as a result.”

EdStart’s chief executive James Lowe commented: “I didn’t know we needed a Micky Mellon, until I met Micky Mellon. We had an opportunity at EdStart to increase leadership within the organisation, but we are not about just employing new people to tick a box, we are about developing the skills and qualities of our amazing existing team members.

“We met at an education conference where Micky was speaking about the book that he wrote alongside Phil Denton The First 100 Days: Lessons in Leadership From the Football Bosses and he invited me along to the facilities at Tranmere Rovers, where he was manager at the time

“When I walked in, the culture within the training facilities and the attitude of every member of staff from players to chefs blew me away; they were all proud leaders and it was clear that Micky had put all of this in place. His passion for working with young people matched mine, and we knew we had to work together to move our ideas forward. The impact he has had in just two months at EdStart is quite remarkable.”

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