Speakers for Schools Week: 25 of the UK’s most influential figures speak in state schools across the country

16 October 2013

Image of Cilla Snowball speaking during Speakers for Schools Week

This month our autumn campaign Speakers for Schools Week was launched with a Question Time event at Bishop Challoner School followed by a week of talks by some of the most highest-achieving figures in their respective fields.

The campaign saw 25 of the UK’s most influential leaders from business, culture, the arts, sports, science and technology are delivering talks in secondary state schools at schools from Dunblane to Salisbury as part of the national campaign, which marks two years since the initiative launched, celebrating over 550 Speakers for Schools events to date.

Speakers working with the charity to get into a school for the campaign included: George Alagiah, Amanda Berry OBE, David Cameron, Andy Clarke, Nick Clegg, Yvette Cooper, David Dein, Professor Athene Donald, Professor Marcus du Sautoy OBE, Sir Charles Dunstone, Jo Elvin, David Giampaolo, Will Greenwood MBE, Baroness Grey-Thompson, Sir Nicholas Hytner, Baroness Lane Fox of Soho, Andrew Law, Baroness Manningham-Buller, Helena Morrissey, Judy Murray, Roland Rudd, Dame Marjorie Scardino, Cilla Snowball CBE, Dame Barbara Stocking, Ian Taylor and Jasmine Whitbread.

These Ambassadors are participating in Speakers for Schools Week not only to help kick off the school year, but to encourage their peers to give their time to speak in state schools. In an article this week, Speakers for Schools Trustee & Chairman Andrew Law spoke about the young people’s fear that they don’t have the role models to inspire them to reach their full potential. Recognising the inspirational power of real-life role models who have worked hard for success, he cites this as the reason he’s visiting his old sate school on Wednesday. Whilst Speakers for Schools has achieved a tremendous amount over the past two years, there is still so much more it can do.

The central theme of the Week is ‘My Inspiration’, with each Speaker is talking to students about the individuals or experiences that shaped their careers and inspired them to get where they are today.

In addition to the week BBC School Report and BBC Journalism Trainee Scheme graduates mentored students hosting events with George Alagiah and Robert Peston, helping them create their own coverage of the week’s events in their school.

The talks have covered not only personal inspiration but perspectives on some of the big economic questions (Helena Morrissey spoke about China), practical advice (our Question Time panel gave advice on CVs and interviews) and skills needed to work in MI5 (Baroness Manningham-Buller spoke to students in Wiltshire about the ministry’s recruitment process).

Videos of select talks during Speakers for Schools Week will be available to view in our video library – be sure to check back in November!