Case study

Berkshire Careers Hub Case Study: The Windsor Boys’ School

Please find downloadable PDF here.

‘Alumni illuminate the breadth of local opportunities for The Windsor Boys School’.

The Windsor Boys School’s Careers Team, is made up of school staff Sally Ingels and Mike Rooke and volunteer Enterprise Advisor (EA) Joanna Bell. Through the hard work of both Sally and Mike, Windsor Boys has for some time been able to provide a good number of workplace encounters and achieve Gatsby Benchmark 5. With Joanna’s help in the last 6 months or so, they have been able to accelerate the program of workplace encounters and at the same time increase its relevance and relatability for their young people. Their use of locally based ex-pupils to deliver more and more workplace encounters helps show young people the pathways available to exploit the wealth of opportunity in the Southeast.

What was the challenge and how was it identified?

There was a decent number of workplace encounters being provided, with the careers team and other departments inviting their contacts to school. However, some feedback from young people suggested they would prefer a wider breadth of encounters such that they could hear about careers that they already had some interest in. Mike, as a long-standing member of staff, started to get some approaches from ex-pupils who were now established in their careers and wanted to help the school’s current students. It became clear that there was a rich resource in the local area of school alumni who could assist the careers program. With Sally’s time as Careers and Future Pathways Manager being busy providing 1:1 career advice and Mike’s time being spread across multiple teaching and SLT responsibilities the challenge was how to design and implement a program within the limited time available.

Action Taken to address the challenge.

Berkshire Careers Hub was delighted to welcome Joanna Bell as a volunteer EA and introduce her to the school. Joanna was local to the school and had lived in the Windsor area for some time so was already well connected and provided a great fit. Her skills from working in senior management within major hotel groups lent itself well to the challenge of building an alumni program. Working with Sally and Mike, Joanna was able to spend the time required to reach out to known alumni, build relationships with them, and help to program manage the coordination required around setting up relevant, relatable encounters.

Where were the outcomes of the Action Taken?

The teamwork between Sally, Mike, and Joanna recently delivered an intensive Careers Morning for Yr.11, where 16 speakers, most of whom were alumni, each provided a short talk on their careers pathways, reassuringly not straight lines, but instead journeys where different skills are developed at different times and choices were made continuously along the way. Some of the speakers were even brave enough to do some “then and now” slides and show photos from their schooldays!
A particularly inspirational talk from one speaker, about their struggles through education, culminating in them finding their place in food science and going on to help invent Heat Resistant Chocolate!!!!! Feedback from the speakers and young people was overwhelmingly positive with parents emailing to report how their young people had talked excitedly about the event. The engagement of parents, young people, and employers can now be used to continue to gather their input in the evaluation of the careers programs and drive further innovations there.

What are your next steps?

It became clear that with focused effort and available time and resources, that the school alumni are extremely valuable in building a relatable and sustainable program on workplace encounters. The success of the recent alumni engagement showed the SLT the potential of a more dedicated program and some extra funding was provided to implement this. Most recently the team has been investigating the use of the Futures First Hub Platform, to help automate some of the elements of an increased alumni engagement exercise and grow the number of people who are enthusiastic about helping the school deliver more and more high-quality encounters for all year groups. Berkshire Careers Hub is excited about the work going on at The Windsor Boys’ School and we cannot wait to hear about the imminent successes.

If you have any questions on how you too might drive this sort of change at your school, then please contact the Berkshire team at


How we can help

Our platform is designed to seamlessly guide you towards valuable resources, offer career insights, and provide essential information on Berkshire’s thriving economy.

For Students

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for today.

For Employers

Your first job is not just a paycheck; it's a key to your future success.

For Educators

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

For Parents & Carers

Parents are the ultimate role models for children. Every word, movement and action has an effect.