More than 100 students, staff and alumni from the University of Oxford have signed up to a programme that encourages people to return to the state schools they attended and give careers and UCAS advice to current pupils.
The Oxford students were the biggest group to offer their support to this year’s Back to School Week, a national event organised by social enterprise charity Future First.
Founded five years ago by a team of state school graduates, Future First reckons every school should be supported by “a thriving, engaged alumni community”.
With that in mind it helps schools and colleges to harness the experiences and skills of their former students. Some give career and university guidance to current pupils, while others act as mentors, offer work experience, help to raise funds, and even become school governors.
The student union at Oxford University signed up students during freshers’ week in October while the university’s widening participation team handed out postcards and sent information to parents whose children take part in the university’s outreach schemes.
Tara Prayag, head of widening participation at Oxford, said: “Our staff make countless visits to schools throughout the year to encourage students to think about higher education. But there is no substitute for school children being able to hear directly from students who were in their position only a few years ago.”
To find out more about Future First, go to http://futurefirst.org.uk