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About All Schools

Youth teams applaud at the end of a match

Photo: RFU Archive

All Schools will create a step-change in the number of secondary state schools playing rugby union, by supporting schools new to rugby over a three-year programme. Schools are identified by the local rugby development officer in small clusters of three schools allowing them to play rugby against each other locally, and all are linked to an identified “donor” club to maximise playing opportunities. Each school will be considered against the following criteria:

  • If it is new to rugby union
  • Is able to engage at the same year group as the rest of their cluster for competition and club impact
  • Has potential to be self-sustainable
  • Is in a more socially and economically disadvantaged area
  • Struggles to achieve a strong pass rate at GCSE level
  • Close geographical proximity of the cluster schools to the donor club

The schools are provided with a package of resources that helps them to start and sustain playing rugby, including kit and equipment, as well as coaching and young leaders training. The hands-on coaching support deployed in schools plays a major part in forming the foundations from which the school will become a sustainable rugby-playing school after three years.

All Schools forms one of the seven areas identified by the RFU to deliver the greatest participation legacy for the game in the lead-up to the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and beyond.

Recent research indicates that rugby-playing schools achieve better exam results, with the greatest academic gain in the poorest schools. Case studies support this and demonstrate that playing rugby makes a positive difference to the attitude and behaviour of teenagers out of school, too. This leads to improved employment prospects and active engagement within the community.


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