This week we are celebrating our first-year anniversary at Founders4Schools. We have graduated from a fully volunteer-led project within SVC2UK to being registered as a charity 12 months ago. Please see our nifty new video and send it to every teacher you know!
Founders4Schools has facilitated more than 600 educational partnerships and brokered more than 100,000 student-employer encounters, at no cost to the student, teacher or school. As the Gatsby Foundation research shows that encounters with just four business leaders decreases five-fold a student’s likelihood of becoming NEET, it is clear how urgent our mission remains.
Approximately 10,000 business leaders can be found by teachers to invite into classrooms and careers fairs. Teachers choose the leaders according to what is best for their students: we ensure gender balance in role models invited to speak, curricular and sectoral balance by the recommendation engine behind our search results. We use data science to draw and combine information held in Government and Social Media Databases in a novel manner that is cheap and effective.
Our role models triple the percentage of students that choose STEM as a subject: this is key to our mission as the 1.2 million job openings these companies have are predominantly in roles that require an understanding of STEM subjects.
The ability to compare student-employer encounters by city, Political Constituency, Local Authority, orpartner has ushered in a new era in impact reporting for educational charities.
In honour of our first birthday, we are delighted to thank all of our partners whose encouragement and support have made this possible and with whom we intend to continue the journey to close the skills gap by inspiring greater numbers of young people across the UK to explore the world of business and technology as a high impact career option.
Reid Hoffman (Founder of LinkedIn) has given support from the very beginning of Founders4Schools which has been instrumental in enabling this engagement between students and entrepreneurs. He knows more than most how fast our labour markets are re-configuring and why it is important for the entire ecosystem to support these efforts.
Secondly, we would like to thank the Department for Education for creating and sharing Edubase. Without this work undertaken by them, we would be unable to verify teachers’ identities or link them to a school and this would have made it impossible for us to have persuaded LinkedinforGood to licence to F4S their various APIs. Nor would we be able to check the National Pupil’s Database (NPD) what subjects the students are choosing as a result of the type of student-employer encounters they are experiencing.
Thank you Damian Kimmelman, the founder and CEO of Duedil, for your encouragement and support and for continuing to licence us to use your API. Thank you also to Andy Ashburner, the clever designer to whom we outsourced the F4S Proof Of Concept and engineering development.
It gave me confidence to hire an amazing team, which in turn made it possible to put together a convincing case to Claudia Harris from the Careers and Enterprise Company to extend a generous grant to us, it enabled us to put a case to Kirstie Mackay from Barclays lifeskills to license F4S materials we use to brief teachers and employers on employability. It enabled us to convince people like George Burgess(Gojimo), David Buttress (JustEat), Joanne Hannaford, Josh Graff (LinkedIn), Jon Steinberg (Google) to encourage colleagues to help us to overcome the myriad of technical barriers a small charity would have found insurmountable.
Founders4Schools will also launch a new feature to celebrate its first birthday - workplace visits. This is our third “employability service” and it flips our normal model of leaders-to-students and brings the students into the workplace.
Workplace visits is the pre-cursor to “work-experience” which we are co-creating with a number of partners to be the fourth service in our suite of student-attainment and employability services. We are piloting in Cambridge, Manchester and Camden, and hope to roll this out in 2017.
We are also working hard to adapt our services to be available to the Prince’s Trust and The Scouts which we feel will dramatically transform our reach to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and improve transparency and charity impact reporting.
Thank you for what you have enabled coming up to our first birthday and also for what we are co-creating in the future. I look forward to reflecting on our achievements by our second birthday.