Future First: Shadow education spokesperson joins alumni inspiring state students to success.

A Manchester MP has signed up to her former state school’s alumni network to help motivate the current generation of students to academic success and career confidence.

Parrs Wood High School in Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, is one of 400 state schools across Britain registered with the education charity Future First to set up networks of former students whose talents they can harness to support today’s pupils.

Its former students include Lucy Powell M.P., Shadow Education spokesperson, who returned to speak to current students at the school’s awards ceremony.

Ms Powell said  Future First offered alumni a chance to stay in touch with their schools and ensure that students in state schools have a better chance of broadening their horizons by seeing what previous pupils at the school have gone on to achieve.

 She added, “Parrs Wood is doing a great job educating the next generation and I’d encourage former pupils to support them in raising aspiration and improving social mobility in Manchester.”

Parrs Wood Headteacher Andy Shakos said, “We are very proud of the achievement of our students and we signed up to Future First’s network so that we could remain in touch with former students who have excelled in their career of choice.

“We are passionate that our students have real, positive role models they can relate to and, by having a comprehensive alumni database, we hope it will inspire them to realise their life’s ambition.”

More than 150,000 former students across Britain have already signed up to stay connected with their old school. They’re inspiring young people in a number of ways; as career and education role models, mentors or e-mentors, work experience providers, governors, donors or fundraisers.

“More than 39 per cent of state school students don’t know anyone in a job they’d like to do,” said Alex Shapland-Howes, Managing Director of Future First. “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’s possible for them too. It’s really important for all students to be motivated to succeed in the working world and hearing first hand  from relatable people in interesting jobs can make a huge difference.”

Parrs Wood High School is keen to contact former students who left recently for further education as well as those in established careers, alumni who live nearby and those who have moved away.

Former students can also sign up to Future First’s alumni scheme via the website www.futurefirst.org.uk and clicking on the “Former Students” links.

Other schools wishing to register with Future First should click the “Schools and Colleges staff” link.

For further information about Future First, visit www.futurefirst.org.uk or call one of the Future First team 0207 239 8933,

Picture caption: Lucy Powell M.P. with Parrs Wood Headteacher Andy Shakos

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