Alumni officer for Hastings schools

Ellie Newbery
Ellie Newbery

Successful former students from two schools are being sought after to help inspire the next generation of pupils.

Both ARK William Parker and Helenswood Academies are appointing an alumni officer to help them harness ex-students’ talents to help current pupils achieve career and academic success.

The schools have signed up to a scheme run by the national education charity Future First and funded by The Blagrave Trust allowing them to unlock the untapped potential of alumni.

Ellie Newbery, an alumni officer with Future First, will be based part-time in the schools from this September. She will develop their alumni networks, working with teachers and careers staff to deliver a package of support to current students through assemblies and workshops, work experience placements and by providing real-life examples of the working world in the curriculum.

Future First works with more than 400 state schools and colleges across Britain using the talents of former students as career role models, work experience providers, mentors, governors, donors and fundraisers.

Alex Shapland-Howes, managing director of Future First, said: “Schools across Britain know alumni are crucial in promoting student motivation because they provide relatable role models. Having an alumni officer based in schools, working directly with school teachers and careers staff will enhance the opportunities alumni offer their old school.”

Ellie said: “Nearly 70 per cent of 16 to 19-year-olds feel it will be hard to get a good job when they leave school and nearly 40 per cent don’t know anyone in a job they would like to do.

“I’m looking forward to working with Ark Helenswood Academy and Ark William Parker Academy to show every student no job is out of their reach.”

Jo Wells, director of The Blagrave Trust, said: “We have already supported the Future First alumni model and were keen to see whether providing deeper support to schools and students via an on-site alumni officer was possible and if it would make a greater impact.”

Former students of both schools can contact Ellie on