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Back to school! Could you help teenagers at your old school find their way in life?

PUBLISHED: 20:54 11 February 2018 | UPDATED: 20:54 11 February 2018

Picture: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

Picture: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

You might have thought – hoped, even – that you had left your school days behind you for good.

Aerial photograph of Thetford Academy. Picture: TIM BALLAerial photograph of Thetford Academy. Picture: TIM BALL

But now a charity is urging people to go back into the classrooms where they spent their formative years, so they can help the next generation of youngsters forge their way in life.

As part of the Take Your Place programme, alumni at nine Norfolk state secondary schools are being encouraged to go back to help boost young people’s chances of going to university.

The project by the Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach (neaco) and Future First will see workshops in each school about the different higher education courses available.

The aim is to ensure they can make more informed decisions and choose the right place for them – with the overall goal of increasing the number of young people from under-represented backgrounds in higher education by 2020.

To do that though, neaco and Future First aim to build “thriving alumni communities” in Norfolk schools, by bringing back former students with experience of higher education as positive role models.

Tom Levinson, project manager for neaco, said: “We are delighted to be working with Future First to help show young people the array of higher education options available to them.

“A network of past pupils, with their higher education experience, is a valuable way to engage the region’s young people and motivate them to take their education further.”

Christine Gilbert, executive chairman of Future First and a former Ofsted chief inspector said: “Alumni are unique because of their connection with current students.

“The young people in these schools will truly benefit from working with former students, who will show them what’s possible from a future in higher education and open their eyes to a world beyond their own.”

Schools and colleges taking part are Thetford Academy, King Edward VII Academy in Kings Lynn, Hewett Academy, Ormiston Victory Academy, Broadland High School and Sewell Park Academy in Norwich, Caister Academy and Lynn Grove Academy in Great Yarmouth, Cliff Park Ormiston Victory Academy in Gorleston and East Norfolk Sixth Form College also in Gorleston.

People can sign up at https://networks.futurefirst.org.uk/register

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