January 2020

You are browsing the site archives for January 2020.

This year, Future First turns 10.

What a decade it’s been! Over the past 10 years, we’ve worked with:


We’re delighted to be celebrating 10 years building alumni communities who improve students’ confidence, motivation and life chances. Thanks to all of the alumni, schools, colleges, employers and partners who have helped us to support students across the UK.

We’ll be sharing stories to celebrate throughout the year. Read our latest blog post from our Director of Operations and Finance about why she chose to work at Future First and what she’s been doing over the last 5 years. Keep an eye on our social media on the 10th of each month throughout 2020 as we celebrate a decade of Future First.

In January, we celebrated our birthday by sharing the 10 best pieces of advice given by former students.

In February, we celebrated our birthday by sharing 10 videos from some of our Future First staff, letting us know what they’ve been up to in the 10 years since finishing their GCSEs!

In March, we celebrated our birthday by showcasing 10 of our incredible alumni volunteers who have given up their time over the years the support students in their old schools and colleges.

Keep your eyes peeled for more birthday stories throughout the year.

The national education charity Future First has appointed a new Chief Executive Officer; Justin Smith will lead the charity as a quarter of a million former students sign up to broaden the work horizons of current students at their old state school or college.

Justin said, ‘250,000 signed to Future First is a huge army of people contributing to the social change agenda, but we have to be far more ambitious. Ex-students working in alumni associations create an excellent opportunity for the school community to come together and have lasting impact on young people’s life chances. I want all schools to provide a clear pathway from the classroom to the workplace with local role-models providing the inspiration.’

Justin Smith, Future First Chief Executive Officer

Justin brings a successful history in education enabling social mobility through educational achievement. He joins the charity as it reaches the milestone of 250,000 former state school students registered to volunteer careers support at their former school or college by taking part in workshops and assemblies designed to inspire current students to career confidence and academic success.

The charity has helped more than a thousand UK state schools and colleges to harness the wealth of talent and experience of former students who return to the classroom as relatable role models to talk about their career paths and the skills needed to succeed in work.

Research by Future First has revealed the extent to which young people in Britain worry about their future career with 65% of 15-year-olds saying they have worried about what job they will do as an adult. 1 The polling also showed that 75% of 15-year-olds, the age many sit GCSEs, 77% of 11-year-olds and 69% of six-year-olds felt it would be helpful to meet former students who could talk about their jobs and career pathways after school and help broaden young people’s jobs horizons. But state school teachers are far less likely to harness the talents of alumni to motivate and inspire current students with 77% of private secondary school teachers using alumni as relatable role models for current students compared with just 47% of state secondary school teachers. 2

Robert Clack School in Dagenham has worked with Future First for more than five years and runs regular in-school events involving alumni. Ellen Monk, Alumni Engagement Officer at Robert Clack School said, ‘We now have 1500 of our former students registered to support the current generation as relatable role models sharing a common background with today’s students. Our work takes place across the whole school and has become an important part of helping students make informed decisions about their future careers. Our dedicated alumni volunteers also provide opportunities for our students that they would not otherwise have.’


1YouGov poll. Total sample size was 1136 children. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21st – 26th June 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB children (aged 6 – 15)
2Teacher Tapp. 21 05 2019. Total sample size was 2,787 teachers and 1,136 young people between 6 and 15. The survey was carried out online