Nick Gibb goes back to school

Schools Minister joins national campaign to inspire state students to success.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb returned to his old state school today (Feb 4th) as part of a nationwide campaign to inspire state school students to academic success and career confidence.

Mr Gibb returned to Roundhay School in Leeds as part of  Back to School Week, Feb 1st to 5th, run by the leading education charity Future First. During the week, state school alumni across Britain – lawyers to doctors, plumbers to caterers, architects to zookeepers   –  will return to their former state school for assemblies and workshops designed to help prepare current students for the working world.

Mr Gibb toured the school, sat in on a politics lesson and was shown the admissions book he signed when he joined the school.

He said, “I am delighted to support Future First’s Back to School Week this year, and I’m looking forward to returning to my old school, Roundhay, to see how it continues to support its pupils, both past and present. We owe it to young people to ensure that on top of an excellent education, they acquire the resilience and moral character needed to succeed in the world of work. Future First is playing an important part in instilling these traits, by creating a network of alumni who can be called upon to support future generation of students, giving them the edge in a competitive global jobs market.”

Future First/YouGov research shows that comprehensive school students are far more pessimistic about their future job prospects than their privately educated peers.

The state school students are ten times more likely to think people from their school don’t succeed in the world of work compared with students at private schools.

And they’re five times less likely to think people who went to their school are very successful compared with their private school counterparts.

The polling also shows that private schools are better at asking for support from alumni, although former state students are just as likely to want to help current students at their old schools.

Future First Executive Chair and former Ofsted Chief Inspector Christine Gilbert said the figures showed there was a huge need to support state educated students make the difficult transition from school to work and to drive more ambitious thinking about their expectations of work in the modern world.

“Every state school student should have the opportunity to succeed in life after school, regardless of their background,” she said. “Many schools are already harnessing the skills and experience of alumni as role models who inspire and motivate current students. If students see people like them have succeeded they are more likely to believe they can too. They work harder and have higher expectations of success. We want more schools to see the benefits of using their alumni as a powerful resource.”

Future First works in 400 state secondary schools and colleges across Britain enabling them to harness the talents and experience of alumni to support current students. More than 150,000 former state students are registered with Future First to support their former state school,

Future First/YouGov polling of 11 to 16-year-olds shows:[1]


12 per cent of comprehensive school students think that people who went to their school will be unsuccessful in the world of work compared with only one per cent of private school students.

Only 9 per cent of comprehensive students thought people who went to their old school were very successful compared with 50 per cent of private school students.

Just 17 per cent of state school students regularly meet adults in jobs they perceive as interesting compared with 51 per cent of privately educated students.


Future First/YouGov polling of adults shows: [2]



Among all adults who attended secondary school in Great Britain former  private school students were almost four times more likely to have heard from former students about their jobs while at school than state students (42 per cent v 12 per cent)

More than one in four (27 per cent) of those who received free school meals at secondary school think they would be in a different career path if they had met former students with interesting jobs.

Former state school students are just as likely as former private school students to be willing to support current students even if they hadn’t been asked,(17 and 18 per cent respectively) but former privately educated students are four times more likely to have been asked to do so in the last 12 months (9 per cent v 2 per cent).

Nearly one in five adults say they’d have chosen a different career path if they had heard from former students in interesting jobs while at school.


For more information on Future First’s Back to School Week, Feb 1st to 5th 2016, and to sign up to support your old school visit


For further information please contact:

Alex  Shapland-Howes, Managing Director, Future First,  0207 239 8933

Anna Darling, Senior Communications Officer 0207 239 8933

Sue Crabtree, Press Officer,  0207 239 8933


For out of office hours queries contact: Alex Shapland-Howes. Managing Director, Future First. 07432 714226



[1] All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1,449 11 to 16 -year-olds , 1,309 of which went to secondary school and of which 1,092 went to a state school and 81 to a private school.  Fieldwork was undertaken between  15th and 25th January 2016.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB children aged 11 to 16.

[2] All figures, unless otherwise stated. Are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2.075 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th to 11th January 2016. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults aged 18+.