A number of schools in the county have signed-up to take part in the ‘Futures First’ Programme which is a national non-profit alumni scheme encouraging former students to return as career and education role models and mentors, sharing their journeys into higher education and employment with current student. Contributing to an ethos of success, the programme helps to raise levels of attainment and aspirations.

“Alumni involvement is crucial in inspiring students to feel confident about the world of work. If students see ‘people like me’ have succeeded, they are more likely to believe they can too. They work harder and have higher expectations of success. We want more state schools to see the benefits of using their alumni as a powerful resource, just as public schools have for years.”

Christine Gilbert,  Executive Chair of Future First

NCOP funding has supported 47 events and activities so far, including careers workshops, talks at assemblies and subject specific talks. Excellent in-roads have been made in developing alumni networks across Sussex with 840 alumni returning to their former schools as active role models to inform, advise and inspire current students.

The scheme is helping us to build sustainable programmes and alumni communities across the twelve schools taking part who have access to online portal to manage alumni network and support to run alumni activities, including careers talks, employability skills workshops, 1:1 mentoring, a digital toolkit, specialist press and media support, and invitations to events and online seminars.

For a quick snapshot of how the programme works, watch this short video that was filmed by BHASVIC students – credits to Lucy Chapman, Scarlett Cook and Billy Garwell.


SLN:COP is funding Future First in the following schools:

West Sussex: The Regis School, Durrington High School, Ifield Community College, St Wilfrid’s Catholic Comprehensive School, Crawley, Holy Trinity, Thomas Bennett

East Sussex: The Eastbourne Academy, Hailsham Community College, St Catherine’s College, Bexhill Academy, Bexhill Academy

Brighton & Hove: Varndean School, Dorothy Stringer School, Cardinal Newman, Hove Park School and Sixth Form Centre

For further information please email our Schools’ Liaison Programme Manager, Fay Lofty