FAQs

Do teachers get to see full volunteer CVs in advance of meeting them?
Can an individual sign up without employer backing?
How old are volunteers?
Is a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly known as CRB) check needed?
Will it replace existing face-to-face careers advice?
Do you cover primary schools?
Are Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland covered?
Will school alumni networks be involved?
How are you engaging SMEs in working with schools/colleges?
Why has something like this not been done before?
Will a student ever contact me?
When should I expect to receive an invitation from a school/college?
How quickly would the school expect me to respond?
What if I don’t hear anything after a few months?
I would like to give a talk at my child’s school/college. Can I check if the school/college is registered to the Inspiring the Future system?
Will schools always want me to do day time events?
Can I register on a tablet or mobile device?


Do teachers get to see full volunteer CVs in advance of meeting them?

Teachers see short profiles of employee volunteers which the volunteers have filled in themselves. We take it on trust that individuals have been honest about their skills and experience. There are also legal terms and conditions that you must agree to before registration.

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Can an individual sign up without employer backing?

About half of Inspiring the Future volunteers have signed up as individual as opposed to go through an employer of professional body scheme.

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How old are volunteers?

They are aged 18 right up to retirement age, and we want people of all ages, levels and backgrounds. People in their 20’s are close in age to secondary school/college students who will be able to relate to them, but people with experience can also be invaluable to young people’s decision making.

You don’t need to be a confident public speaker as career insights and the other activities on Inspiring the Future are informal and you will have the support and presence of a teacher who know the students. They involve talking about what you do every day, so it is subject matter that will be second nature! We offer tips and guidance if you need it. In an exceptional case where there appears to be a problem with someone talking about ‘the job they do’ we would just not match them with other schools/colleges.

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Is a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly known as CRB) check needed?

For Inspiring the Future activities there is no need to be DBS checked as volunteers will not have unsupported access to students. There is also no need for DBS checks because volunteers will mostly go through their employers. Schools are experts on child protection and they choose who has contact with their students.

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Will it replace existing face-to-face careers advice?

No, that is not the objective. Inspiring the Future does offer face-to-face careers advice, guidance and information from volunteers but it is complementary to other government provided national careers provision. It offers career insights to help inspire students.

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Do you cover primary schools?

Inspiring the Future was rolled out to primary schools in May 2014 working with the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), under the name Primary Futures.

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Are Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland covered?

Currently, we are only officially launched in England and the Isle of Man, but we do have schools and volunteers registered in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. As soon as we meet a critical mass we will look to launch in these countries as well.

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Will school alumni networks be involved?

Volunteers when creating their individual profiles, can select their old school/college from a search list if they are interested in being approached about going back there to undertake an Inspiring the Future activity. From Spring 2015, as part of our second wave of technological improvements, teachers will be able to search and invite volunteers into their old school/college.

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How will we reach all regions? Especially rural areas where there are few employers?

We will use local and regional media and create a bank of local spokespeople over time. We can also use our stakeholder networks, large employers with branches, outlets or offices nationally and also gateway organisations, such as the CIPD, IoD, BCC, FSB, TUC and CBI who also have regional branches or chambers.

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How are you engaging SMEs in working with schools/colleges?

We do this through specific campaigns and through our strong links with the Federation of Small Business, British Chambers of Commerce, Institute of Directors and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. All of these employer representative bodies sit on our charity Partnership Board.

Yes, during 2015 we will add to the volunteering menu options to include activities such as work tasters and work experience for students.

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Why has something like this not been done before?

Careers fairs and employers being involved in careers information is obviously not new but bringing together the worlds of education and employment in such a coherent way and having the innovative technology to enable this makes Inspiring the Future so valuable.

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Will a student ever contact me?

No, only teachers, or staff within a school/college.

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When should I expect to receive an invitation from a school/college?

We can’t guarantee a specific timeline as it depends when schools/colleges need volunteers which can happen at any point during the academic year, but over 55,000 messages have been sent to date, and thousands of messages are being sent every week through the system and we expect this increase even more throughout the 2014/2015 academic year.

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How quickly would the school expect me to respond?

There’s not a specified response time, we do ask that volunteers and teachers respond to message as quickly as possible. We would hope that a response would be made within a few days/a week.

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What if I don’t hear anything after a few months?

Unfortunately, sometimes a few volunteers won’t be contacted for a while, in this case we would recommend them logging in and updating their profile to put more information about themselves. Read our practical advice and tops tips on writing your profile. There is other useful advice for maximising the number of invitations that you receive from schools/colleges and making the most of your school visit in our Resources section.

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I would like to give a talk at my child’s school/college. Can I check if the school/college is registered to the Inspiring the Future system?

Volunteers can’t see through the system what schools/college are signed up. However, in your individual profile, you could select your child’s school from a search list if you are interested in being approached about going back there to undertake an Inspiring the Future activity. From Spring 2015, as part of our second wave of technological improvements, teachers will be able to search and invite volunteers into their old school/college and child’s school/college.

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Will schools always want me to do day time events?

Asks will mostly be for careers fairs, assemblies and classroom sessions during the school day (9.00am to 3.30pm) but some schools and colleges also have early evening events. It is entirely up to volunteers to decide what time slots and dates they want to do.

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Can I register on a tablet or mobile device?

Yes, with the launch of the new Inspiring the Future portal, you can now use Inspiring the Future on mobiles and tablets to register and message/invite and reply to volunteers.

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Inspiring the Future data is stored in a secure Salesforce.com facility in North America and is due to move to Europe from the 11th April 2016.