Speakers for Schools hits 1000 school talks!

6 May 2014

Speaker talking to studentsThis week marks the 1000th school talk from the charity Speakers for Schools. Some of the speakers taking the charity to this milestone include:

  • Sam Baker
  • Lord (Terry) Burns
  • Professor Paul Cartledge
  • Dan Cobley
  • Rev. Richard Coles
  • David Dein
  • Kasper Holten
  • David Jubb
  • Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP
  • Dame Gail Rebuck

Founded by the BBC’s Robert Peston, Speakers for Schools is a charity that provides state schools with inspiring talks from eminent individuals, free of charge. It was started with the ambition to help make it easier for state schools to hear and interrogate top people, from business, politics, the arts, sports and sciences, to help level the playing field with independent schools.

These talks are just a handful of the 650 school talks set for this academic year, contributing to Speakers for School’s biggest ever year since its launch in October 2011. Speakers active this year have included a range of figures: BAFTA Chief Executive Amanda Berry, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, CBI Director General John Cridland, the National Theatre Director Nick Hytner, computer engineer Dame Wendy Hall, EasyJet CEO Carolyn McCall, Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Mark Walport as well as the three main political party leaders.

In January 2013 the initiative launched as a new independent charity after being granted full funding from the Law Family Charitable Foundation and Caxton Associates, growing the network to over 900 speakers and 2,000 schools to date.

Commenting on supporting and participating in the programme, Dame Gail Rebuck, Chair and Chief Executive of The Random House Group has said: “I love speaking to young people and giving them a glimpse of a possible career in books. The energy, insight and sheer enthusiasm in the schools I visit is genuinely rewarding. It is essential business leaders get out of their comfort zones and speak directly to the next generation, concentrating especially on state schools in deprived areas. They will emerge with a much greater respect for the intelligence and commitment of young people and can then think how their businesses can harness some of that talent more effectively.”

Dan Cobley, head of Google UK signing-up recently as a speaker through the Advertising Association’s support of the programme has said: “On Tuesday I spoke to the Year 10s from Prospect School, just down the road from where I live. These children will be the next generation of workers, innovators and business leaders. Talks like mine aim to inspire them to set their sights high and open their minds to the amazing things they could achieve. It is a real privilege to be a part of a programme that is striving to do this in state schools.”

Home Secretary and MP for Maidenhead Theresa May has said: “I am very pleased to have visited several schools through the Speakers for Schools programme. It is an excellent initiative, giving pupils the chance to hear from people from different backgrounds working in a variety of different professions. As a politician, I believe it is vital to speak to young people to explain how they can play a role in our democracy and – more importantly – to hear their questions and concerns.”

Andrew E Law, Chairman and CEO of Caxton Associates and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Speakers for Schools has said: “I am absolutely delighted that S4S has reached this important milestone. Access to inspirational leaders and role models was sadly absent when I was a pupil at my local comprehensive in South Manchester. Levelling the educational playing field for the benefit of those from all backgrounds ranks highly amongst our key philanthropic objectives.”

Founder and BBC Economics Editor Robert Peston said about reaching the milestone: “Having organised our 1000th free talk, we are starting to level the playing field with private-sector schools, which take this kind of talk for granted. It is a very exciting moment for us, as we begin to make it routine for top people to share their wisdom and experience with state-school pupils.”


Notes to Editors

For more information please get in touch with our team at: team@speakers4schools.org 

About Speakers for Schools

Speakers for Schools is an independent charity that provides young people in state schools across the UK with access to inspirational speakers – free of charge.

The scheme was established in 2011 with the ambition of organising free talks in state schools with distinguished and eminent figures from all walks of life, including leaders in business, the arts, sciences, sport, politics and the media. Since launching the charity has attracted a network of over 900 speakers and 2000 state secondary schools and colleges, arranging more than 1000 talks to date. The initiative was founded by BBC Economics Editor Robert Peston and is wholly funded through the Law Family Charitable Foundation and Caxton Associates.

To find out more about the programme and the speakers: www.speakers4schools.org

About the Law Family Charitable Foundation

The Law Family Charitable Foundation was set up in 2011 by Andrew and Zoë Law. It funds a wide range of charitable enterprises focused upon improving social outcomes in multiple areas including health, well-being, challenged local environments, and education.

To find out more: www.lawfamilycharitablefoundation.org

About Caxton Associates

Caxton Associates LP is a New York-based trading and investment firm. Andrew E. Law is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, who lives and works out of London. Caxton Associates’ primary business is to manage client monies through global macro hedge fund strategies. Assets are managed via a broad mandate to trade in a variety of global markets and instruments. Caxton Associates and its affiliates currently manage approximately $8 billion in assets. Caxton employs a staff of approximately 205 people, including traders, research analysts and administrative personnel in its offices in New York, London, Sydney and Princeton, NJ.

To find out more: www.caxton.com