State schools miss out on £100m untapped cash

State school alumni funding potentially ‘competitive’ with private schools.

State schools are missing out on donations from former students worth £100m a year according to research by a leading education charity.

Polling by the national charity Future First, which sets up alumni networks in state schools and colleges across Britain, shows each state secondary school could raise an average of £30,000 each year from their alumni. That’s equivalent to one teacher’s salary, although schools could choose how the money is spent.

The percentage of state school alumni willing to give cash to support their old schools is competitive with that of private school alumni, around 30 per cent against 39 per cent in the private sector. However, only one per cent of the state schools potential donors have actually given money to their former school compared with 20 per cent of potential donors  in the private sector.

Jake Hayman, Chief Executive of Future First said, “We’re talking about significant untapped sums, £100m is a conservative estimate. It’s wrong to say that rich, private school alumni want to give back and state school alumni don’t. Statistically the poorer you are in this country, the higher the percentage of your income you give to charity.

“The problem is that no-one has ever asked state alumni to give back to their old schools before, and now we are asking. It would be an enormous amount of cash for schools trips, breakfast clubs, sports kits and music, media and arts equipment that the school didn’t have the budget for.”

David Laws,  Schools Minister said, “Every year, private schools, which make up just seven per cent of schools nationally, raise around £120m in private donations.  State schools and colleges could benefit in the same way and it’s clear that the 500 schools which now work with Future First are starting to do that.”

Robert Clack School, a comprehensive in Green Lane, Dagenham, one of the most deprived areas in Britain began working with Future First in 2012 and now has 600 members in its alumni network.  They’ve raised £4000 to tackle social mobility in the school, for example paying for students to travel to university open days and to attend obligatory law and medicine aptitude tests which students wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

Robert Clack Headteacher Sir Paul Grant, said, “ (quote)





Note: Figures from YouGov poll carried out online between 07.10.2013 and 09.10.2013.  Total sample size was 2040 adults. Figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Schools wishing to sign up to Future First should visit and click the Schools and Colleges staff link or call 0207 239 8933.


For further information please contact:

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

Jake Hayman. CEO. Future First. 0207 239 8933

Megan Clatworthy. UK Programmes Director. Future First. 0207 239 8933

Laura Partridge. International Programmes Director Future First. 0207 2389 8933


About Future First.

Future First is a leading national education charity with the vision that every state school and college should be supported by a thriving, engaged community of former students who help schools do more for current students.

Future First works in more than 500 state schools and colleges across Britain enabling state schools to harness the talents of alumni to inspire and support current students as career and education role models, work experience providers, mentors and e-mentors, governors, donors and fundraisers and as volunteers more widely.

More than 50,000 former students are registered with Future First to stay connected with their former state school or college. They include leading employers, celebrities and everyday heroes in a range of careers from the professions of law and medicine to plumbing and photography.

Every day, Future First alumni are acting as relatable role models to students in their old seats, with stories that are inspirational but also achievable.

Alumni networks have been utilised by many private schools and universities for generations. Future First is the first organisation to embed alumni networks across the state sector.

Future First/YouGov research shows:

70 per cent of 16 to 19-year-olds think it will be hard to get a job when they leave school or college.

Nearly 39 per cent don’t know anyone in a job they would like to do.

Ex-state school students are ten times more likely to view themselves as unsuccessful compared with their privately educated peers.

75 per cent of state school students who attend a Future First event say they are motivated to work harder in school now.

More than 10 million British adults are willing to support current students at their former state school or college.