Inspiring Students at Sinai Primary School

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Women Founders 2 at Sinai

When it comes to encouraging students to grow ideas, develop dreams and think about their future, no student is too young to engage in the discussion.

We take pride in hearing stories of successful events using our service at Primary Schools across the country, such as Sinai Jewish Primary School in Harrow who created two insightful Role Model Events for their Year 6 cohort.

The sessions were geared towards the preparation of 90 students for their transition to Secondary School – a huge milestone that can often be a daunting period for young people. However, instead of burdening students with the uncertainty of what the next chapter of their education holds, the speakers inspired the students with their insight into the exciting opportunities awaiting them.

Marc Duke, a parent of one of the participating students, set up the events, the first of which was an all-boys session on the 18th of July. The students were lucky enough to speak to Simon Morris, Director Demand Marketing EMEA at Adobe, Harry Thompson Technology Strategist and Innovator from Kurtosys Systems Limited and Joe Dilger, Founder Jd Global Advantage. The speakers’ diverse professional backgrounds enabled them to cover a wide range of invaluable career advice, as Joe spoke about the importance of being open to opportunities as they present themselves and having a dynamic career path, while Simon discussed the importance of acting with respect and integrity – attributes that are formed at school but are vital in the workplace. Harry shared the story of his instinctive tech abilities and love for all things mechanical.

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In order for the speakers to relate to students on a personal level, the girls participated in the following session run by female business leaders with unique stories to share, including Anna Josse, Founder of Prism The Gift Fund and Charlene Laidley, Founder of The Future Proof Foundation and Global Ambassador, Advisor & Campaigner for WEE – UN Women.

Charlene Laidley shared afterwards:

Bildschirmfoto 2016-07-27 um 15.11.34“The support I received at school made me believe I could do it all, and I did. From working in global luxury fashion, to founding the world’s first exclusive watch and jewellery communications company, and now working to empower women and girls as part of the United Nations Women. As the first women of colour founding an horology company – it is always great to hear the children gasp when I put on my watchmakers overcoat and eye loupe. It was an honour and a privilege to share my career journey with the girls at Sinai Jewish Primary School for Founders4Schools. I want all girls to really be free to reach and dream for whatever they can imagine. No limitations.

The event was very popular amongst the students and it was the perfect way to lift their aspirations as they begin to look towards their transition to secondary school. The question of GCSE subject choices and A level decisions no longer seem as daunting, as students realise that grades are not the be all and end all – the opportunity life holds beyond exams are infinite!

The tech sector needs more female role models

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Clare McDonald, business editor at has written a fascinating (although quite alarming) article that highlights the total deficit of female role models for young girls interested in tech to look up to. In fact, only 17% of the 1.46 million people employed within the sector are women. This is an alarming figure that needs changing.

The article delves into the reasons behind the imbalance in the tech sector, revealing that girls “would not choose to continue with a career in tech as they believed that roles in this field require individuals to spend hours sat at a desk reading reams of code.” However, we know that this is far from reality. Young women’s perceptions must be changed from the early stages of their education and careers, and we have the means to do this.

By connecting girls across the country with leading female game designers, software engineers and programmers, they will hear first hand about the exciting opportunities that a career in tech has to offer and abolish the idea that computer programmers spend hours in dark rooms working alone and reading pages of code. These stereotypes need to be changed and our network of over 10,000 business leaders are instrumental in doing so.

Read the full article here.

The end of ‘just Google it’: Why students need to be digitally literate

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Jennifer Wilson, an English Teacher at a high-performing Secondary school and 6th form in north east England has written a fascinating article that sheds light on ever-growing need for schools to ‘promote cross-curricular digital literacy’ and we would love to share the piece with you.

The article claims that ‘students have all the skills required to use technology, but not always the critical thinking skills to appraise the information in front of them’ – it’s a questions of enabling students to sift through the mountains of technology and digital information that they are faced with every day and work out what is useful and what is irrelevant, what is beneficial and what is harmful.

In order to provide students with the means to do this, ‘we need to blend technological learning and critical thinking together so that students can critically appraise the information that they are accessing.’ Digital literacy must be embedded into the regular teaching of all subjects, in all classrooms across the country. Whether is this via teachers leading lessons on ipads, by students engaging in online research projects or by tech business leaders being invited into the classroom to speak to students about their experience navigating the digital world, digital skills must be explicitly taught and reinforced in order to prepare the next generation.

Wilmington Academy – Building the skills today to suceed tomorrow

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When it comes to the success of the next generation in the world of work, we can not underestimate the importance of academic proficiency across all areas of education. However,  as far as employability is concerned, we consistently hear from business leaders that ‘soft skills’ such effective communication, time management and willingness to help are valued just as highly as academic qualifications.

At Wilmington Academy, Nadia Marken, Director of Literacy, organised a role model event for 200 Year 10 students and invited two inspiring business leaders to speak to her students about the qualities that would make them an asset to any business or employer.

Sug Sahadevan, Chairman at Newham Education Business Partnership, enjoyed the opportunity to share his story with the students, as the “The only Career advice [he] received from my teachers was ‘ Go and get a career.’”

Bildschirmfoto 2016-07-22 um 13.29.13Sug said: “I think it is an enjoyable and valuable experience for me to talk about my career and if I can influence at least one young person to take an interest in Entrepreneurship, I think I have won and the community as a whole has won.”

Additionally, the students found the talks to be particularly insightful and to alleviate some of the anxieties that they experienced about finding a rewarding career after school. One such student shared: “I sometimes worry about whether I will be able to be successful in business if I am not the smartest person in the company, but if they can see what a hard worker I am and I can impress people with my personality, that makes me less worried about getting a job.”

Smestow School: A success story!

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At Founders4Schools, we understand that the most rewarding careers are often those outside of standard paths and that the real magic happens when creative thinkers take their idea, apply some hard work, and turn it into a successful business or enterprise.

When teachers across the country connect their students with inspiring entrepreneurs, we know that their story is worth sharing. One such teacher, Louie Aseid from Smestow School, organised a Role Model event for 25 year 10 students. Louie was keen to create an event that would inspire the budding artists, designers, business developers and mathematicians amongst his students. Using Founders4Schools to identify local business leaders with an interesting story to tell into the classroom, Louie navigated through our network of 10,000+ business leaders to invite one particularly inspiring entrepreneur: Warran Brindle, founder and creative director of COUNTRY, a leading design and branding agency.

“The students were very receptive to the different ideas about starting and running a new business. As a result, this stimulated some great conversations between us and they asked challenging questions.Bildschirmfoto 2016-07-22 um 12.09.33

I believe it is essential to offer young people specific industry insight in order for them to understand the challenges awaiting them. All business owners should use Founders4Schools, they will learn something new about themselves!”

Not only did Warran enjoy sharing his story, but also the students left the event with the cogs beginning to turn in their mind about their own business and career ideas that can lead to a rewarding future:

Bildschirmfoto 2016-07-22 um 12.09.28“Warran helped to inform all of us about the difficulties of owning your own business. It was a really great session and he explained how we should always be persistent in order to get the ideal job for us and to never give up.”

“It was a very interesting discussion and I enjoyed hearing Warran’s story of how he got to where he is today – it was very motivational and made me realise that anything is possible with hard work.”

If you would like to organise an event for the next academic year, visit – it only takes 5 minutes to inspire your students and raise their aspirations exponentially!

TeachFirst Impact Conference 2016

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TeachFirst, a charity that aims to abolish inequality in education, is holding a two day conference that will serve as an all in one meeting point for the country’s top educators, business leaders and innovative thinkers from a cross section of the UK’s workforce. Over the two days, attendees will have access to over 140 professionally delivered sessions that will be tailored to suit your interests and passions.

Founders4Schools is delighted to be attending the event, at which we plan to form new partnerships with teachers across the country, ultimately accelerating our platform towards our core aim of inspiring students by connecting them to business leaders. Our founder and chair, Sherry Coutu will be speaking at the event about the way in which we help Teach First teachers connect their students to role models from the business community and organise workplace visits to give students unparalleled career insights that boost aspirations and student attainment.

We are very excited to announce that we are offering 5 FREE TICKETS (valued at £40) for any teachers interested in attending the conference. Even if you are not able to attend yourself, perhaps a colleague would be keen to be a part of the insightful event – why not forward them this news and help spread the word.

It’s simple:

  • If you are a teacher that has not yet created an event using our platform, you can create one now in five minutes to win a ticket!
  • If you that has created an event, simply write one tweet about the positive impact it has on your students and tag us @Founders4Schools so that we can see what you have shared!

We will send tickets to the first 5 teachers to act!


STEMNET: The key to unlocking employability

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Our partners at STEMNET, a company that shares in our passion of enabling young people of all backgrounds to meet inspiring role models, have put together fascinating research that sheds light on the way in which STEM activities build employability skills.teacher-cut1-768x870

The findings revealed that:

  • In the short term: activities led by business leaders and role models increase pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the world of work
  • In the long term: project-based STEM clubs allowed pupils to work together and collaborate in a team. A range of employability skills emerged such as resilience and managing responsibility.

The National Apprenticeships Show

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cropped-NAS_logo_GENERAL2webAs teachers, you understand the importance of giving your students the opportunity to see what makes successful businesses tick via real life work experience and apprenticeships. It is an economic imperative that we lift the number of students who engage in apprenticeships, as the benefits to be reaped are extensive for both employer and young person alike:

  • Apprenticeships grow the workforce of the business, boosting their productivity and output capacities
  • The young people bring a fresh perspective and point of view to the workplace and in turn inspire innovation
  • The apprentice will learn vital life skills such as effective communication, problem solving and working in a team, all of which boost their overall employability

If you’re a teacher in Greater Manchester or neighboring area and share in our mission to inspire students, check out The National Apprenticeship Show.

The event is an all in one opportunity for students (and their parents or guardian) to interact face-to-face with over 100 of the top employers and to secure apprenticeships with businesses that excite them.


Monday 13 – 9.30am-3.00pm & 4.00pm-7.30pm

Tuesday 14 – 9.30am-3.00pm


Arena MK in Milton Keynes will host the National Apprenticeship Show with over 100 employers and providers showcasing opportunities to thousands of visitors.

Tell your students about the lively, interactive, fun and informative showcase today. To find out more, visit or watch the video below:

Abbotswood Junior School Role Model Event

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Are you starting to look towards the coming school year and thinking about ways to bring learning to life for your students? Why not start off next year with a bang by boosting your students’ aspirations and motivating them for the year ahead – our platform can connect your students to a network of over 10,000 business leaders in just a couple of minutes.

By speaking with today’s employers, the subjects students are studying at school are brought to life. They will see how this knowledge lays the foundations to a successful career path.

Tam Goodrich from Abbotswood Junior School has embodied this idea by providing her 180 Year 7 to 10 students with tangible examples of entrepreneurial success. Tam invited four inspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders into the classroom, including John Rosling, CEO of Contexis, a company that helps large business harness the power of entrepreneurial thinking – if there is anyone that understands the importance of thinking outside the box when it comes to career paths, it’s him.Bildschirmfoto 2016-07-15 um 16.04.53

Central Foundation Boys School Case Study

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At Founders4Schools, we are extremely proud of the work we do in bridging the gap between students and employers. That is why we love hearing the positive feedback from teachers, as you are the people that can watch as your student’s aspirations are lifted and the cogs start turning to formulate stimulating career paths.

Bildschirmfoto 2016-07-15 um 15.11.56To share how and why so many teachers find huge value in Founders4Schools, we have put together case studies of our most active schools – check out our first story from Central Foundation Boys’ School!