i's campaign receives backing from Government

Minister supports involvement, praising 'brilliant idea'

Share

i's campaign encouraging people to return to their old schools to give pupils inspiration and advice on careers has received Government backing, as the number of new volunteers soars into the thousands.

Elizabeth Truss, minister at the Department of Education, said she thought the Back to School initiative, run by the charity Future First and supported by NUS, was "a brilliant idea".

"I really hope as many people as possible get involved," Ms Truss said. "I would love to go back to my old school – in part to see how my old teachers have changed.

"But more importantly it's immensely valuable to current students to see the opportunities that are out there for them. And who better to help them see that than the people who has been to the same school where they are now?

"It's all about giving children as many opportunities as possible during their formative years."

Her backing for the campaign came as Future First announced that i's support has led to a huge jump in volunteers, with more than 2,000 former state school pupils signing up in the past week.

Last night, Jake Hayman, Future First's chief executive, said the number of alumni joining the movement signalled the success of the "first national campaign to get former students engaged in supporting current students at their old schools".

He added: "Forty schools and colleges have been in touch to discuss how they can make better use of their alumni and 2,500 young people have benefited from inspiring events this week alone."

Back to School "will become a regular feature from now on" said Mr Hayman, calling for people to continue coming forward.

"It's the first time a campaign like this has been run and it's been more successful than we could possibly have hoped for – we've got the i and NUS to thank for that as well as our many other employer and student union partners," he said.

Nurses, consultants, marketing managers, barristers and musicians have flocked to their old schools, while alumni taking part have included the former England footballer Ledley King. "It's important for me to let them know that I grew up just the same as them," said King.

Earlier this week a YouGov poll indicated that one in 10 people would be "very likely" to give careers talks or offer current pupils work experience placements.

Private schools have long pushed the importance of the so-called "old boys network" that nurtures future talent by giving students access to the experiences of school leavers. Fee-paying schools frequently invite leavers back to give talks, offer career help and work experience placements.

Labour's Stephen Twigg, who until recently served as the party's shadow Education Secretary, also described the campaign as "brilliant" while visiting his former classrooms at Southgate School in Enfield, north London.

Report by Sam Masters

Mrs Clegg inspires girls

Efforts to recruit 15,000 women from a wide range of occupations to visit state schools and inspire girls to aim high in their careers have been launched by Miriam Clegg.

The international lawyer, who is the wife of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and is known professionally as Miriam Gonzalez Durantez (pictured centre), yesterday attended a speed networking event for 100 girls from state secondary schools to speak about their career ambitions.

The session was part of the "Inspiring the Future: Inspiring Women" campaign, which aims to give 250,000 girls access to advice about the range of jobs available to them, encouraging them to overcome sexism in the workplace.

"Through taking women into state schools to talk face-to-face with girls around the country this campaign will help to remove the stereotypes and absurd labels that still today surround women," she said.

Report by Chloe Hamilton

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Internal Sales Executive - Hair & Beauty - OTE £25,000

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company supplies the ultim...

Recruitment Genius: Design, Marketing and Media Manager

£27000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: HR Assistant

£17447 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is a leading centre fo...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Case Handler

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Case Handler is requi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Voices in Danger: How can we prevent journalists from being sexually assaulted in conflict zones?

Heather Blake
 

If I were Prime Minister: I would ramp up Britain's spending on science

Paul Nurse
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence