Future First

 Future First appoints new Chief Executive 


The national education charity Future First has appointed a new Chief Executive Officer. 

Matt Lent will join Future First from UK Youth in January where he is currently Director of Partnerships and Policy leading on cross-sector partnerships, income generation, impact measurement and national policy. He brings 25 years of experience in the voluntary and education sector working extensively with businesses, funders, schools, charities, and government.

For the last 13 years Matt has worked in charity leadership as a director of local youth and community services, as Operations Director at School Councils UK, a national education charity specialising in youth participation and active citizenship in schools, and more recently leading on the delivery of ThinkForward, the successful Social Impact Bond funded, five year education-to-employment initiative.

Matt also founded the social enterprise Treetop Training and Education providing consultancy, training, professional development and project management services to the youth and education sectors.

He said, “I’m very excited about joining Future First and am looking forward to working with the talented staff team. It’s a fantastic charity doing essential work with hundreds of schools and thousands of alumni and young people all over the country building networks and improving lives.

“It’s clear that the board and staff are ambitious for Future First to reach even more young people and to further deepen its impact and I’m extremely proud to be taking on the leadership of the charity to steer it through its next phase of development and growth. “

Christine Gilbert, Executive Chair of Future First said, "We are delighted Matt is joining our leadership team. He has a wealth of experience in working with schools and young people, which will be invaluable in helping Future First expand our work enabling schools to boost students' confidence, motivation and life chances."

Picture caption: Matt Lent, Future First Chief Executive officer. 





About Future First.

Future First is a leading national education charity with the vision that every state school and college should be supported by a thriving, engaged community of former students who help schools do more for current students.

Future First has worked in 900 state schools and colleges across Britain enabling state schools to harness the talents of alumni to inspire and support current students as career and education role models, work experience providers, mentors and e-mentors, governors, donors and fundraisers and as volunteers more widely. 

More than 200,000 former students are registered with Future First to stay connected with their former state school or college. They include leading employers, celebrities and everyday heroes in a range of careers from law and medicine to plumbing and photography. 

Every day, Future First alumni are acting as relatable role models to students in their old seats, with stories that are inspirational but also achievable. 

Alumni networks have been utilised by many private schools and universities for generations. Future First is the first organisation to embed alumni networks across the state sector.

Future First/YouGov research shows: 


  • 70 per cent of 16 to 19-year-olds think it will be hard to get a job when they leave school or college.
  • Nearly 39 per cent don’t know anyone in a job they would like to do.
  • Ex-state school students are ten times more likely to view themselves as unsuccessful compared with their privately educated peers.
  • 82 per cent of state school students who attend a Future First event say they are motivated to work harder in school now.
  • More than 10 million British adults are willing to support current students at their former state school or college.
  • ENDS

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