If the students I met are in charge in 20 years I think we’ll be alright
Building a state school alumni networkWhat do you wish you had known about working life whilst you were at school? With many young people struggling to find employment and a bewildering variety of jobs out there, career advice is more important than ever.
But while many private school pupils have the advantage of an ‘old boys club’, pupils in state schools don’t necessarily reap those benefits. It’s not that old students don’t want to give back, it’s just that traditionally state schools haven’t been so good at asking if their former pupils want to help.
Charity Future First, the National Union of Students and the i newspaper want to change that. We want to encourage people to offer their time to their old schools and help build school and and college alumni communities. From joiners to police officers and barristers, former pupils from all trades can offer advice and even work experience placements. . It’s never been more important to go back to school.
The meteorologist was visiting her old school in Neath
After leaving 10 years ago, Stacey Gregory has a message to the children at her old school
The BBC presenter spoke candidly to current students about her time at Hatcham College
Together we can help give our schools the sense of permanent identity they need to thrive
During a Back to School event in Westminster, Lord Deighton said he feared that a 'golden age' of social mobility was over
It's the kids who should be exerting themselves the most, and not everyone around them
Launching today, the i's Back To School campaign helps professionals inspire state school students
A full-time job is not key for many in Generation Y
Jonathan Mills outlines the three key points
Going back to school has become a popular way to kickstart a career change
The vocational route can be more rewarding
Victoria Matthews gives some pointers for creating your CV
And where we go from here
There are benefits to the practice, recent graduates tell Katie Grant
Be in control of your social media image
Ofsted is looking for new ways to judge schools' careers education
Students should put themselves out there
80 universities and 400 further education colleges are taking part
All teachers can be involved in careers education
The Labour Shadow Secretary visits Airdale Academy in Castleford
I hope more and more i readers will sign up to become be part of the movement
'Try to work on something that has a purpose,' says the US-born executive
‘I was just the same as they are, with the same dreams’
'He is a constant trouble to everybody and is always in some scrape or other'
'Find out what it is in life that you don't do well, and then don't do that thing'
Poet and novelist Tobias Hill and rapper Doc Brown visit their old school
'I understand what life is about now'
NUS president Toni Pearce, age 23, writes to her teenage self
But what led the people behind this charity to begin their campaign?
'Don't miss the back page off your English Literature exam and get an E'
The Schools Minister gave his support to the campaign at Westfield Academy
Find out more about the mission and our charity partner
'Listen, learn and soak up as much knowledge as you can to continue to improve yourself.'
'Pick up a thread of interest and pursue it doggedly until you find your niche'
Kingsmead Academy is a shining example of how state schools can enourage alumni to return
'I wanted to be an astronaut. Why the laughs?'
'Getting drunk wasn’t as funny as it seems at the time.'
'It was only when I rubbed shoulders with private school children that I realised what we had missed.'
'How I went from getting a U in English to studying at one of Britain's oldest colleges.'
'The best thing about my job is that every morning when I wake up, I realise I’m in charge of my fate.'
'It was helpful to meet someone who motivated me to go out and achieve.'
Back to School
A campaign by i and the charity Future First.
The aim: Help people from all trades and professions to return to state schools to give inspirational talks or practical career advice for students. To inspire and inform young people about their futures.
How can I help?
1. Sign up to the Back to School network, which Future First uses to link state schools with their former pupils.
2. Or, if you prefer, you can contact your old school, or a school near you, directly.