November 2020

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Today’s spending review by the Chancellor of the Exchequer has committed to a three-year investment plan for schools. 

Mr Sunak’s statement also referenced a commitment to ‘boosting skills’, ‘extending traineeships, sector-based work academies, and the national careers service’.

This commitment to careers education is welcome because it is an area where students need far greater support.

The coronavirus crisis has meant young people are looking to the future with greater uncertainty. The gap has widened between disadvantaged young people and their more privileged peers, with pupils experiencing varying levels of access to education and differing progress in their learning. 

Through our work with schools to develop thriving alumni networks, Future First has shown thousands of students that they can still succeed and their start in life need not determine their future.

We know that meeting alumni is often crucial to giving school pupils the confidence to believe ‘someone like them’ can be successful in life. Yet there are still millions of students who do not benefit from this opportunity.

As the government plans our route out of the coronavirus crisis and looks to develop an economy to respond to the new realities, it would do well to support the creation of alumni networks in every state school and college in the country. Such networks have served independent schools well.

Money to support careers education should be welcomed, but young people need connections to inspire them, encourage them to stick with their studies, and ultimately help them into jobs and opportunities.

If you would like to find out more about Future First’s work, or how to access an alumni community, please contact us on info@futurefirst.org.uk or telephone 020 72398933.

Future First Trustee, Sally Nelson
Future First Trustee, Sally Nelson

Future First trustee Sally Nelson has been named a “Leading Light” for championing kindness and leadership in the business world.

This campaign celebrates 50 phenomenal, kind leaders working in the UK today who have made outstanding contributions to business, the economy and society.

The 50 “Leading Lights” list is compiled to mark  International Kindness Day on 13 November every year by the Women of the Future programme working in collaboration with Said Business School, University of Oxford and the Hall & Partners team.

As well as being a trustee for Future First, Sally is also Chief People Officer at Fidelity International with responsibility for global human resources and communications. She was included in the list after judges concluded she was “a role model for the power of kindness in effective leadership”.

The judging panel, chaired by HRH Princess Badiya Bint El Hassan of Jordan, also commended Sally for “her focus on nurturing talent”. An approach they said that had “strengthened career vitality within her team and across the organisation, with many colleagues testifying to her personal impact on their development”.

Responding to the news, Sally said: “I’m very honoured to have been listed. My personal experience of kindness from leaders made me feel incredibly loyal to Fidelity International and shaped me as a leader. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, it meant so much that senior leaders offered help and respected my preference to work throughout treatment. Their support gave me the time and space to become myself again. As a mentor, coach and leader, I endeavour to bring that same empathy and willingness to tailor support for the individual.”

Christine Gilbert, Chair of Future First, said: “It’s great to see Sally’s outstanding leadership recognised and celebrated in this way.  We’ve seen many examples of her kindness and leadership in action. She is an inspirational role model who has made a huge contribution to the development of Future First over the years. We are very fortunate to have Sally on our Trustee Board.

“Future First is a charity which focuses on harnessing the positive power of alumni as role models to help state school pupils reach their full potential. Empathy and kindness are part of this approach.”

Former learners from an Ipswich college are being asked to return and inspire current learners to grasp the futures they want.

Suffolk New College in Ipswich is part of Future First’s programme which helps state schools and colleges develop past pupil networks so they can harness the talents and experiences of alumni to support the next generation.

Former students will return to volunteer at presentations and workshops, designed to motivate today’s students to broaden their job horizons and increase their chances of accessing their chosen careers regardless of their background.

Suffolk New College is one of a thousand state secondary schools and colleges across Britain which have worked with Future First. The charity’s vision is that every state school or college should be supported by a thriving and engaged alumni community that helps it to do more for its students.

More than 260,000 former students nationwide have already signed up to stay connected with their old school. They’re motivating young people as career and education role models, mentors, work experience providers, governors and fundraisers.

Suffolk New College wants to contact former students who’ve gone on to achieve career success and recent leavers now in further education or training. The college is inviting former learners to speak with tutor groups and learners in their old departments.

Marianne Flack, Director of Quality, Teacher Development and Student Progress, said: “We signed up to Future First’s scheme straightaway. A network of past students with all their valuable experience will be vital in helping us to broaden current pupils’ job horizons and equip them for the world of work.”

Lorraine Langham, Chief Executive Officer of Future First, said: “Alumni show young people a world of opportunity and a future that could be theirs. We want to give them hope for the future and the confidence and motivation they need to succeed.

“It would be wonderful if former Suffolk New College pupils could sign up and give back to the students of today who are following in their footsteps. It will provide them with the reassurance that comes from hearing what it took for someone who sat in the very same classroom to make a success of their lives in a wide array of fields.”

Alumni of Suffolk New College can join the network here.

 

The life chances of young people across the country have been given a huge boost thanks to a new partnership just launched between Northern Power Women (NPW) and Future First.

NPW – a ground-breaking network of business people – and education charity Future First have joined forces to give the next generation the support and encouragement they need to make a success of their lives, while also allowing businesses to connect with up-and-coming talent.

With NPW offering a powerful network of role models and Future First providing a decade’s experience of supporting alumni to give back to their former schools, the partnership promises to provide lasting benefits for both young people and businesses at a critical time for the UK.

Central to the partnership is the development of a digital link between the two organisations’ networks. Future First will build a digital hub to connect with NPW’s existing Power Platform. 

Simone Roche MBE, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of NPW, said: “The heart of this partnership is about what we can do together. We want to be able to inform academia about corporates and vice versa.

“It will inform, it will inspire, it will educate, it will raise aspirations and it will be a two-way street.”

Lorraine Langham, Chief Executive Officer of Future First, said: “Our new partnership with Northern Power Women is just fantastic news for students, schools and businesses across the country. 

“We are all facing a new, sometimes daunting, but nonetheless incredibly exciting future. For every region, every business, every school and every young person it’s vital we come together, share our knowledge and expertise so our collective future is better than our past – that’s why this partnership means so much.”

Set up five years ago, NPW was born out of a need to accelerate gender equality in the North and currently has a 60,000-strong network. It now spreads across the UK and spans all sectors, genders and race demographics. 

The organisation has also set up Northern Power Futures, which works to bring further and higher education institutions together with relatable role models from corporate organisations.

Former students from a North East state school are being asked to go back to the classroom and inspire current pupils to grasp the futures they want.

North Shore Academy in Stockton-on-Tees has joined Future First’s programme which helps state schools and colleges develop past pupil networks so they can harness the talents and experiences of alumni to support the next generation.

Former students will return to volunteer at assemblies and workshops, designed to motivate today’s pupils to broaden their job horizons and increase their chances of accessing their chosen careers regardless of their background.

North Shore Academy is one of a thousand state secondary schools and colleges across Britain which have worked with Future First. The charity’s vision is that every state school or college should be supported by a thriving and engaged alumni community that helps it to do more for its students.

More than 260,000 former students nationwide have already signed up to stay connected with their old school. They’re motivating young people as career and education role models, mentors, work experience providers, governors and fundraisers.

North Shore Academy wants to contact former students who’ve gone on to achieve career success and recent leavers now in further education or training.

Robert Gales, the school’s Careers Lead, said: “We signed up to Future First’s scheme straightaway. A network of past students with all their valuable experience will be vital in helping us to broaden current pupils’ job horizons and equip them for the world of work.”

Lorraine Langham, Chief Executive Officer of Future First, said: “Alumni show young people a world of opportunity and a future that could be theirs. We want to give them hope for the future and the confidence and motivation they need to succeed.

“It would be wonderful if former Ormiston Meridian Academy pupils could sign up and give back to the students of today who are following in their footsteps. It will provide them with the reassurance that comes from hearing what it took for someone who sat in the very same classroom to make a success of their lives in a wide array of fields.”

Alumni of North Shore Academy can join the network here.

 

 

 

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