Highlights from our busiest week this year (so far)

13 February 2014

Image of CBI Director General John Cridland speaking to students at Greig City Academy

We have been excited to see so many events taking place over January and February.

This week saw CBI Director General John Cridland give his first Speakers for Schools talk – supporting the Prime Minister’s call at the CBI Conference for the top 1000 CBI leaders to get involved with Speakers for Schools.

John spoke to 80 students at Greig City Academy in Haringey, describing what it means to be the head of the CBI, and the important issues they represent for businesses. He generously spent over 30 minutes answering student questions from ‘What are your tips for a small business?’ to “What essential skill should I be learning?”

John said: “I was blown away by the interest the GCA students showed in business. They asked really good questions covering key issues affecting business and I learned a huge amount from them. This was the best fun I’ve had all week.” See more about our campaign with the CBI on their website.

Here are some of the additional talks that took place this week:

Dame Mary Archer, Parkside Sixth Form in Cambridge

Anna Smith, the teacher who organised the event, noted how inspiring the idea of a successful woman with multiple careers was for all of her students.

Dame Mary Archer has moved from full-time university teaching, to serving on the board of businesses and was chairman of the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS foundation trust for 20 years, before then spending a decade overseeing the National Energy Trust. She’s now also a successful author and a director of the Britten Sinfonia.

Professor Dame Carol Black, Plantsbrook School in Sutton Coldfield

Dame Carol spoke to 300 students on the benefits of education and value of work as well as giving them interview tips. She recounted her career path and the journey that led her to being appointed as Principal of Newnham College – the iconic college for women’s education.

Dame Carol said, “I very much enjoyed meeting the pupils and staff at Plantsbrook School and sixth form. Newnham College has a high intake of students from state schools and I believe it is important to help inspire pupils so they realise their full potential. Every young person really should aspire to do whatever they dream to do and reach beyond what they might think their limits are to aim high.”

More about the talk here from The Birmingham Mail.

Lord Ian Livingston (Lord Livingston of Parkhead), All Saints Secondary School in Glasgow

Lord Livingston is the outgoing CEO of BT and will be the Minister for Trade and Investment in UK Government from later this year. He spoke on a range of subjects including business and politics.

To see more of the comments on this, take a look at our Twitter feed.

Prue Leith, Pate’s Grammar School in Gloucestershire

Restaurateur and broadcaster Prue Leith spoke to 200 students on the importance of keeping options open. Elizabeth West from the school told us that the highlights of the talk were Prue’s anecdotes, and hearing about the variety in her career. The school felt the talk was an excellent opportunity and were very grateful for Prue’s time.

See the photo here

David Dein, Aylesford School in Kent

David Dein spoke to the Sixth Form detailing the evolution of the Premier League and its impact on football around the world. Many students are hoping to use the information as part of their BTEC Sports and Business coursework, focusing on goal line technology, the debate on independent timekeeping in football and media developments.

Phil Lewis, PE co-ordinator said “He was able to give an entertaining insight into his role at the Premier League, FA and Arsenal and then relate it back to our students. This made it relevant and engaging to them. David was also happy to spend time talking one-to-one with the students which impacted positively on them.”

Thanks to all of the speakers out this week and this year, for giving their time each day to help make these talks possible.

Have photos or feedback you would like to share from a talk? Email us at info@speakers4schools.org.