State schools less likely to ask for cash than private schools

State schools are far less likely to ask former students for money than private schools, according to figures released recently.

They could be missing out on £100m of untapped donations according to polling commissioned by the national charity Future First, which sets up alumni networks in state schools and colleges across Britain, and the IDPE, the Institute of Development Professionals in Education, through YouGov.

The research shows that only two per cent of state school graduates have ever been asked for a financial donation from their secondary school compared with 26 per cent of private school graduates. Yet each state school could raise an average of £30,000 each year from their alumni.

The percentage of state school alumni willing to give cash to support their old schools is very similar to that of private school alumni, with around 30 per cent of state school graduates willing to donate to their old school. However, only one per cent of the state schools potential donors have actually given money to their former school compared with 20 per cent of potential donors in the private sector.

Alex Shapland-Howes, Managing Director of Future First, said, “These are significant untapped sums. The problem is that very few state alumni have been asked to give back to their old schools before. Now,we’re asking.”

Jo Beckett, Managing Director at IDPE, said. “We are delighted to be partnering Future First to extend our work supporting the state sector.  The exciting part of the new initiative between IDPE and Future First is that there are hundreds or thousands of schools in the UK that could significantly improve their facilities and education offer just by asking in the right ways and within ten years we expect this to be happening.”

Robert Clack School, a comprehensive in Green Lane, Dagenham, one of the most deprived areas in Britain began working with Future First in 2012 and now has 600 members in its alumni network.  They have raised £4,000 to tackle social mobility in the school by paying for students to travel to university open days and to attend obligatory aptitude tests for entry to competitive law and medicine university courses that students wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

Ellen Monk, Development Officer at Robert Clack School, said, “Before working with Future First we just didn’t know where to start. We now realise we are part of a bigger state school alumni movement and we want to play our part with Future First in pushing the boundaries.”

The IDPE is partnering with Future First on a project to support state schools to develop their fundraising activities by offering mentoring to develop fundraising activities to a select number of schools and organising fundraising roundtables that will be open to a wider group of schools.

For information on Future First visit www.futurefirst.org.uk

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