Former Doncaster students to help boost chances for others to go to university
Former students of a Doncaster state secondary school are to use their career experience and skills to boost current students’ chances of going to university.
Serlby Park Academy in White House Road, Bircotes, is one of 35 state schools and colleges across South Yorkshire which will link motivational former students and current students with the aim of increasing the number of young people from underrepresented backgrounds in higher education by 2020.
The scheme is run by the national education charity Future First which will work with careers staff and teachers to build a sustainable alumni network. Former students now at university and recent graduates will then volunteer to return as positive role models for workshops designed to inspire students about different courses available and enable them to make a more informed decision about choosing the right university for them.
Future First has helped more than a thousand state schools and colleges set up ‘old school tie’ networks of alumni who go back to school and give young people the confidence and resilience to achieve academically and broaden their career and further education horizons. The scheme at Serlby Park Academy forms part of the Hepp South Yorkshire Plus programme, HeppSY+, one of the National Collaborative Outreach Programmes which works in areas like South Yorkshire where take up of higher education is low.
Former students of Serlby Park Academy wishing to join the programme and support current students should contact Loretta Timmins, Associate Assistant Principal, on [email protected].
Ms Timmins said, ‘The experience of past students will be valuable in helping us encourage young people to access and learn about what life is like in higher education. We want as many former students as possible to return and share their skills and talents.’
Matt Lent, Chief Executive Officer of Future said, ‘Young people can’t be what they can’t see. Too many students don’t have access to role models who can show them what opportunities further education can bring. Alumni are valuable role models because they are grounded in the community and relatable to current students. They therefore show young people in school what's possible from a future in higher education and open their eyes to a world beyond their own.’