Best Practice

Secondary school alumni networks

The charity Future First helps schools to set up and run effective alumni networks with the aim of boosting aspirations and supporting students. Christine Gilbert explains how

Three-quarters of judges, three-quarters of top military officers, nearly two-thirds of top doctors and more than half of leading print journalists. Never have Britain’s elite jobs been more dominated by privately educated students, despite only seven per cent of pupils attending independent schools.

Across the country, thousands of youngsters from more disadvantaged families are missing out on fulfilling careers just because of their background. Birmingham, which has been identified by the government as a “cold spot” for careers support, is just one of the areas hit by this problem.

Evidence from the Careers and Enterprise Company, set up by government in 2015 to work in partnership with schools, colleges, employers and youth organisations to create opportunity for all young people, has highlighted specific needs in different parts of the country. It indicates that a quarter of Birmingham’s students are eligible for free school meals.

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