A SCHEME that uses football to tackle issues with pupil attendance is looking to help more schools in the region.

The Roary’s Class Acts Primary School Attendance Programme, which already runs in Middlesbrough is aiming to provide support to an additional 16 schools across the Tees Valley, engaging with up to 300 pupils per school and 5,000 children in total, across the next three years.

Each school has been given a variety of promotion material to help motivate the students, including Boro stickers and certificates, and the children are collectively rewarded for good attendance, which is displayed on the class wallchart.

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The scheme is part funded by the Premier League, The Professional Footballers’ Association, and the Cleveland Centre, and is being further enhanced by a new partnership between the Tees Valley Community Foundation and MFC Foundation, the charity arm of Middlesbrough Foorball Club.

Schools will also compete for prizes such as behind-the-scenes stadium tours of the Riverside, as well as match tickets for Boro.

Hugh McGouran, chief executive of Tees Valley Community Foundation, said: “Education is pivotal for children at primary school level, and that all starts with good attendance.

Helena Bowman, head of MFC Foundation, added: “We believe the Roary’s Class Acts programme will have a huge benefit to those who struggle with their attendance.”