Swindon Academy has registered with the education charity Future First to set up a network of former students or alumni whose talents we can harness to support today’s students. 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.
We are encouraging former students to sign up to stay connected with Swindon Academy. Ex-pupils can inspire young people in a number of ways; as career and education role models, mentors or e-mentors, work experience providers, governors, donors or fundraisers.
The academy is keen to contact former students who left recently for further education as well as those in established careers, alumni who live nearby and those who have moved away. If you are a former student of Swindon Academy and want to get in touch click here to sign up now and join our Alumni community or alternatively contact Jane Steenstra, Business, Enterprise and Employability Consultant at Swindon Academy on firstname.lastname@example.org
Alumni can offer invaluable support in a range of ways, for example as career and educational role models, mentors/e-mentors, work experience providers, governors, or even fundraisers or donors. Further details on each of these can be found below.
Career and Educational Role Models
Alumni in jobs or higher education can be inspiring role models for current students, introducing them to some of the different opportunities available to them, helping to build their confidence and make decisions about their own paths. Future First can support schools and colleges in a number of ways, either by organising and facilitating assemblies or workshops for them, or by providing lessons plans and network-building resources for them to do so themselves.
Individual and small-group mentoring can allow students to learn from people like them, who have experience of the paths they are interested in. Mentors/e-mentors can provide an insight into both higher education and specific job sectors, as well as guiding students through decision-making and motivational issues. Future First will help support schools and colleges in matching alumni with current students, and provide resources on how to get the most out of the relationship. We have recently launched a secure e-mentoring platform in collaboration with the Brightside Trust, which allows alumni to give back, even if they’ve moved away from the area.
Locating high quality work experience placements is often a challenge for schools and colleges. Future First can ask alumni whether they would be able to provide work experience, work shadowing or internship opportunities to young people from their former schools, as well as lesson plans for alumni events on how to get the most out of these opportunities
Many private schools and universities have been successfully mobilising alumni as donors for years. Our research shows that graduates of state schools and colleges are no less likely to give back but, to date, their old schools and colleges haven’t been as good at asking. Future First can support you in developing an infrastructure to raise funds for projects such as new sports facilities, or school trips, via donations or fundraising activities. Schools and colleges often seek the help of volunteers to help with reading and breakfast clubs, trips, course support and more. Parents tend to be great volunteers and we believe that alumni can be too. Future First can send communications out to alumni to request volunteers at any time in the year and will provide resources on how to get the most out of them.
School and college management may benefit from the view of a former student who has first-hand experience of education in that environment, especially when planning major developments or dealing with difficult issues.