The Sustainable Alumni Communities Project

In June, we launched our Sustainable Alumni Communities’ project, in partnership with SSAT and supported by the Careers and Enterprise Company. 40 schools across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset have begun to engage their former students in our ambitious new project, supported by the government's Careers and Enterprise Company. Over the course of the next academic year, 12,000 state school students will meet alumni from their schools in the hope that it will show each of them that ‘people like me’ can succeed in the world of work.

At the end of the summer term, 80 school staff from across the 40 schools and colleges in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset came together at the project launch conference to train in alumni engagement, share ideas and hear best practice and potential barriers from current Future First schools.

The schools have already begun to mobilise their alumni and use them to support their core work.

We’ve seen six former students return to Torquay Academy to share university insights with Year 12 students ready to start the UCAS process. Ten alumni returned to Thomas Hardye in Dorchester at the start of September to welcome over 400 sixth formers back to school and take part in a workshop that explored challenges and anxieties about life in sixth form. A former student of Torquay Academy, now based in Norway, skyped into a Year 10 geography lesson to teach a lesson on international labour markets and share insights about where geography can take you.

These are just three examples of the many exciting ways in which our South West schools are beginning to engage their former students. We look forward to sharing more over the coming year.