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

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Brand Consultant / Brand Strategist

£50-80k DOE + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Brand Consultant / Brand Strategist is...

Recruitment Genius: Chef

£14500 - £16182 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: CCS Pricing Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£20000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Apprenticeship Tutor Assessors and Verifiers

£24000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprenticeship Tutor Assessors ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The era of graduates from the university conveyor belt is over

Hamish McRae
The UCAS clearing house call centre in Cheltenham, England  

Ucas should share its data on students from poor backgrounds so we can get a clearer picture of social mobility

Conor Ryan
Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks