Schools search for alumni wisdom

Year 10 business studies pupils at Clevedon School

Year 10 business studies pupils at Clevedon School - Credit: Archant

PAST pupils of North Somerset schools have been sharing their wisdom of the working world as part of an alumni scheme.

Clevedon School and Gordano School in Portishead are both part of a programme operated by the charity, Future First, which sees former students sign-up to stay connected with the place they enjoyed lessons as a youngster.

The scheme includes alumni members becoming mentors, work experience providers, career and education role models as well as volunteer fundraisers, donors and even governors.

Now, both schools are looking for more former pupils to sign up in the hope of bringing more benefits to their current pupils.

On Friday, former Clevedon School student Emma Howarth returned to the classroom bringing her expertise from BT Openreach. Emma ran a session for year 10 business studies students and answered questions about her career since leaving school.

Year 10 pupil Callum Walker said: “It was nice to have someone who has previously come to this school to talk to us about their job and their real life perspective on businesses and how they work.”

Head of sixth form at Gordano School, Jeanne Fairs said: “We know how much we depend on former students to come and speak to our current cohort about their experiences and we also know how many work experience opportunities are forged this way.

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“We’re very keen to follow the future progress of all our students.”

Future First managing director Alex Shapland-Howes said: “More than 39 per cent of state school students don’t know anyone in the job they’d like to do.

“If they see that someone who went to the same school, grew up in the same community, has achieved a fulfilling and satisfying job, it helps them see it is possible for them too.”

Anyone interested in joining the scheme for either school can do so online at and click on the Former Students link.

For Gordano you can also email