Former pupils inspire next generation at Sheffield school

King Ecgbert School alumni Helen Best, Chris Cooper, Emma Koszalinski,  Charlotte Koszalinski, Ellen Boddye, Simon Megson and Madeline Gould.
King Ecgbert School alumni Helen Best, Chris Cooper, Emma Koszalinski, Charlotte Koszalinski, Ellen Boddye, Simon Megson and Madeline Gould.
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Former students at King Ecgbert’s have returned to the school to inspire and motivate pupils.

Education charity Future First has set up networks of alumni who act as inspirational and relatable role models and motivating young people in more than 400 schools across the country.

From bankers to lawyers, plumbers to choreographers the alumni are working to boost the career opportunities of the current generation.

King Ecbert School, in Totley recently welcomed back Future First alumni to chat to Year 10 GCSE students about their career paths.

They included Helen Best, self-employed editor and writer of educational materials, managing director of CJC IT Consulting Chris Cooper, personal trainer Emma Koszalinski, paediatric nurse Charlotte Koszalinski, student nurse Ellen Boddye, financial planner Simon Megson and actor Madeline Gould.

A total of 100,000 former students have signed up as work experience providers, mentors and career and education role models and as governors, fundraisers and donors.

Christine Gilbert, executive chairwoman of Future First and a former chief inspector of Ofsted, said reaching 100,000 alumni sign-ups in just three years exceeded all expectations.

She believes it showed how much schools need and value the expertise of former students already in careers who can support the current generation.

She said: “Schools across Britain know that alumni are crucial in promoting student motivation because they provide relatable role models.

“If students see that someone who comes from the same background, perhaps had the same teachers has gone on to achieve a fulfilling and satisfying job, they are more likely to believe they can too.

“Private schools have harnessed the talent of alumni for generations and now state schools students have that same valuable opportunity.”