LETTER: Inspiring the next generation

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Did you go to Millais School? If you’re a former student who would like to support current students, the school would love to hear from you!

Right now, there are students in the assembly hall where you once sat, facing similar challenges and opportunities that you did. Being connected to you could really help them. The school in Depot Road is one of nearly 400 state schools and colleges across Britain which have registered with the charity Future First to set up networks of former students or alumni.

Future First’s vision is that every state school or college should be supported by a thriving, engaged alumni community that helps it to do more for its students.

More than 90,000 former students across Britain have already signed up to stay connected with their old school. They’re inspiring young people in a number of ways; as career and education role models, mentors or e-mentors, work experience providers, governors, donors or fundraisers.

It doesn’t matter when you left school, whether you’re in further education or employment, whether you still live nearby or have moved further away, there are still ways you can help!

“More than 39 per cent of state school students don’t know anyone in a job they’d like to do,” said Alex Shapland-Howes, managing director of Future First. “If they see that someone who went to the same school, grew up in the same community, has achieved a fulfilling and satisfying job, it helps them see it’s possible for them too. It’s really important for all students to be motivated to succeed in the working world and hearing first hand from relatable people in interesting jobs can make a huge difference.”

Headteacher Leon Nettley said: “We signed up to Future First’s scheme straightaway. A network of past pupils with all their valuable experience will be vital in helping us to broaden current pupils’ jobs horizons and equip them for the world of work.”

Linda Sandford at the school is waiting to hear from former students on linda.sandford@millais.org.uk. Former students can also sign up to Future First’s alumni scheme by clicking on the ‘Former Students’ link on the website www.futurefirst.org.uk.

For further information about Future First, log onto www.futurefirst.org.uk. Alternatively contact myself on sue@futurefirst.org.uk, our programme director, Megan Clatworthy on megan@futurefirst.org.uk or call one of the team on 0207 239 8933.

SUE CRABTREE

Press and publicity officer, Future First, City Road, London EC1V 2PY