City of London ploughs cash into state school alumni networks in East End

Graduation 2011... ex-pupils of George Green's Secondary which has now signed up to alumni networkin

Graduation 2011... ex-pupils of George Green's Secondary which has now signed up to alumni networking pledge - Credit: George Green's Secondary

City workers who went to state secondary schools in deprived areas on the fringe of the Square Mile like London’s East End are being recruited to go back to their old stamping ground.

The City of London Corporation is funding a project by Future First education charity to set up alumni networks of former pupils to inspire today’s generation of youngsters in poor areas.

The charity has already signed up 22 state schools within the City’s seven neighbouring inner London boroughs like Tower Hamlets and Hackney, with almost 3,500 pupils between 11 and 18 getting involved.

“Creating active alumni networks offers more role models that today’s youngsters can identify with,” the City Corporation’s policy chairman Mark Boleat said. “We want pupils from boroughs like Tower Hamlets to realise they can aspire to work in the Square Mile.”

The seven boroughs have higher rates of deprivation than the London average and underperform in employment and qualifications, the City Corporation has found.

So City workers who went to state schools are being recruited to work with teachers to inspire youngsters to aim for careers in areas such as law and banking.

Future First’s Alex Shapland-Howes said: “It’s important for all students to be motivated to succeed in the working world. Hearing first hand from people they can relate to who have interesting careers can make all the difference.”

Most Read

State schools signed up to the Alumni scheme include George Green’s Secondary on the Isle of Dogs and Bow Secondary.

George Green’s new Principal Jill Baker said when the school joined last year: “A network of past pupils with all their valuable experience would be vital in helping us broaden our students’ job horizons.”

Future First aims at “levelling the playing field” between state school and private school pupils to ensure all youngsters have mentors to inspire them to aim for good careers.