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Former students encouraged to inspire next generation at their old school

PUBLISHED: 17:14 21 January 2019

Former Pakefield High School student Jess Green, pictured with Ugandan children, spoke to current students about her work in Africa. Picture: Future First

Former Pakefield High School student Jess Green, pictured with Ugandan children, spoke to current students about her work in Africa. Picture: Future First

Archant

A high school has joined an initiative to help its current generation of pupils harness the talent and experience of alumni.

Former students from Pakefield High School are being asked to head back into the classroom to inspire youngsters to academic success and confidence in their future careers.

The programme is run by national education charity Future First, with the aim of helping state schools and colleges develop ‘old school tie’ networks,

Alumni involved in the scheme return to their schools, taking assemblies and workshops designed to motivate young people and broaden their horizons when it comes to employment - regardless of their background.

Jess Green, who left the school in 2014, returned to talk to students about her work for the East African Playgrounds Project and organised a letter exchange between pupils and Ugandan children about their school experiences.

Kerry Bray, the school’s careers adviser, said: “Jess’ experience has enriched the cultural knowledge of our students and also demonstrated the possibilities available to them post-16.

“We believe in the value of a network of past pupils who are willing to share all of their valuable experience.

“We’re extremely proud to hear of the great things that our students have gone on to achieve and heartened to think our past students are happy to come back to share their experiences with us.”

As Future First looks to motivate young people as education and career role models, more than 226,000 people have signed up to stay connected with their old school.

Pakefield High is now keen to contact more former students in established careers, recent leavers in further education, alumni who live nearby and those who have moved away.

Matt Lent, CEO of Future First, emphasised the importance of instilling confidence in the next generation.

“It is vital to open the eyes of students to opportunities beyond their own world and show them the range of jobs available,” he added.

“Alumni help schools do this by acting as relatable, positive role models. If a student sees that someone with the same background has gone on to achieve success, they are far more likely to think they can too.”

Former students can register by visiting the Future First website.

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