Volunteers FAQ's

What does Founders4Schools do?

Founders4Schools (F4S) improves student's employment prospects by ensuring role models are accessible to all, without barriers, through a free, quick and easy platform which allows educators to arrange inspiring role model encounters to take place in the classroom or virtually..

Why do you need me to speak to students?

It is hugely beneficial for young people to hear from real life business role models so that they learn not just about the types of businesses there are, but also about the types of roles that shape those businesses and the pathways they can take to get into those roles. Learning first-hand about an individuals’ particular job role and career path provides an example of what they could achieve by studying particular subjects and having a strong work ethic.

What’s the impact?

  • Research shows that students who experience four or more business role model encounters are five times more likely to be in further education, employment or training when they leave school.
  • Students are also three times more likely to be interested in business and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.
  • Over 80% of young people say that an F4S event inspires them to learn new skills and understand the pathways to a career.

What do business volunteers speak about?

The F4S platform offers educators 12 different encounter types. You can select which ones you feel you are suitable for by updating your volunteer profile. The most popular events are Careers and Jobs, and Sector Awareness Events where speakers are usually requested to tell a story about their career journey. The duration will depend on the event and whether there are other speakers. Talks may include:

  • What their current job role is and what that means on a daily basis
  • What inspired them to pursue the role they are in and how they got there
  • What they most enjoy about their career
  • What they studied at school/university and the relevance to what they are doing now
We often get asked to help young people with CVs and Job applications and prepare them for interviews as part of our Employability encounter. Speakers do not have to prepare slides or come with demonstrations unless a teacher specifically requests this but a few bullet points or images may help illustrate your role to students F4S provides a standard briefing for each event, but you should receive direction from the organiser. If in doubt you can contact them using your Dashboard and ask any specific questions e.g. what stage are students at, are there any messages the educator wants to get across. Also, remember, you are there to share your story not lead the class lessons. This is the responsibility of the educator and should act in a moderator role for the session.

How do speakers get selected?

An educator will have chosen you from a list of recommended speakers our online platform presents to them, based on their search results. They will see the profile you wrote which gives a summary of both your career and what your company is doing, and they choose based on who they think will be most inspiring and suitable for their students and the event they are holding. Where the information is available on LinkedIn, teachers can also make their decisions based on what you studied and/or sector type. When you are selected for an event by an educator you will receive an email notifying you and you can confirm whether you can attend or not.

What makes a good profile?

The educator chooses speakers based on their profile so it is worthwhile spending some time to make sure it does you justice. Be brief but descriptive so the teacher can get a good sense of what you will talk about in the class.

  • Add a photo - educators feel more comfortable choosing people they have seen a photo of to come into their classroom
  • Give an overview of your current role and the company/sector you currently work in and some details on your career journey - have you achieved anything of note?
  • Try not to use too much jargon or abbreviations - educators do not work in your industry so make sure they can understand what it is you do
  • You can add in some brief details on how you got into your previous role, did you study at university or college? If so what did you study? Did you do an apprenticeship or graduate scheme? Have you had a career change?
  • If you have signed up via LinkedIn, your profile is populated by your LinkedIn profile - please check this is appropriate for sharing with teachers.
  • What if I’m not sure the event is suited to my skills/experience?

    We understand your concerns and we know that not every event type will be a good fit for all. If you feel the event you have been invited to may not be right for you, please do not feel concerned about declining an invitation. If you know someone else who you think might be suited to this event, please forward them the invitation email so they may be able to attend if they are available. They just need to click 'Accept Encounter' in the original invitation to sign up for it! You can help make sure the organiser selects you for suitable events by selecting preferences in your profile.

    Who else will be speaking at a school event/webinar?

    This depends on the type of event and number of students involved. Feedback from young people in the past has been that they like to hear from more than one speaker and we do encourage Teachers to have more than one speaker. For some events, such as Mock Interviews, there can be a large number of speakers in attendance. You can see who else has accepted an invitation on a unique web page that is created for each event.

    Do I need to contact the teacher before the encounter?

    WEBINARS: Although we ask teachers to contact speakers before the event, we would also recommend you make contact with the event organiser if you have not heard from them. Ensure that you have the correct online meeting links for webinars. The teacher should also liaise with you to ensure that your plans meet their expectations and requirements, we advise them to do so. It will also give the teacher the opportunity to ensure you know the running order and that the teacher knows what you plan to present. If you have not received a link - please contact community@founders4schools.org.uk.

    IN SCHOOL: Again, if you have not heard from the teacher, we recommend to always check in with them a couple of days before before the event. Sometimes, schools need to cancel and they may forget to inform us. The teacher should also liaise with you to ensure that your plans meet your expectations and requirements, we advise them to do so. It will give the teacher the opportunity to ensure you know the running order and that the teachers know what you plan to present..

    My diary is packed - how long will I need to set aside for a Founders4Schools event?

    Each event organised by educators can differ in length and required time from volunteers. Details of this will be included in your event invitation. Sometimes Teachers plan a full day event but may only need you for a one part of this.


    Given that our work involves working with young people we have safeguards in place to ensure young people, educators and our volunteers come to no harm. You can read our Safeguarding Policy at https://www.founders4schools.org.uk/safe-guarding/.

    We regularly remind educators that DBS or PVG checks are not required by our volunteers so if they are required by the school then the school should confirm them with volunteers before attending the event. They should also inform you of any other requirements in regard to safeguarding. If you have any concerns, report them to safeguarding@founders4schools.org.uk. If you do have a DBS or PVG check you can add the details t to your dashboard .

    You should never be left alone with young people for your safety as well as theirs. All participants in activities facilitated via F4S should behave in an appropriate manner at all times e.g. no behaviour of an abusive or threatening manner, this applies to the volunteers, young people, educators and anyone else involved in the activity. If you are involved in any incidents of this nature, please let us know right away at Safeguarding@f4s.org.uk so we can investigate.

    WEBINARS: Please be aware that the session may be recorded. If F4S run the session we will seek your permission beforehand but please check directly with your contact educator for the events organised by the educator. Here are some other considerations:

  • Be aware of your environment and the background especially when delivering from your home e.g. nothing on view that is inappropriate
  • Ideally, place yourself in a quiet space where you will not be interrupted. If you become aware of loud or inappropriate background noise, mute your microphone. If delivering, explain the situation to the audience and remain on mute until you have resolved the situation. If possible ask another adult in the session to cover for you.
  • There must always be at least two adults in every session or breakout room. Do not begin a session until another adult has joined.
  • Do not send a Private message to participants through the Chat facility. All chat must be to Everyone
  • If you observe anything in the young person’s environment that does not seem right to you and is potentially a safeguarding issue, then you should report your concerns to safeguarding@founders4schools.org.uk
  • IN SCHOOL: The educator/school is responsible for the event so safeguarding procedures follow the school's code of conduct so please ask them for further details. You should report to reception when you visit a school and follow their procedures. We advise that volunteers should always be accompanied by a teacher or responsible adult while attending the event and should never be left alone with the students. The volunteer is a guest of the school and as such is not leading the session and does not have responsibility for the young people and ensuring they behave, this is the educator's responsibility. If there are any issues you should speak to a member of the school staff straight away

    How do I access my volunteer dashboard?

    Simply click here and login to view your business volunteer dashboard. You can also edit your details such as your location, job description etc by logging into your dashboard. Please keep your profile up-to-date in order to receive invitations from schools which meet your needs

    I can’t access my dashboard – how do I change my password?

    Please click here to reset your password. If you are still experiencing problems, contact community@founders4schools.org.uk

    How do I change my profile information on the webpage you created for the event I'm speaking at?

    If you sign-up with LinkedIn, we extract real-time data from your LinkedIn profile but you need to log in to your dashboard here to enable this to happen. When you update your job title and summary on LinkedIn, your Founders4Schools profile will be automatically updated too. If you sign-up with an email address, you can click here and login to view your business volunteer dashboard. Click the My Details tab and make the required changes. You should also make sure your postcode is up-to-date as our platform uses your postcodes to identify schools within a 25mile radius of these locations for in-school encounters.

    Does the LinkedIn API access my contacts from my LinkedIn Profile?

    No. We do not look at or access your contacts from LinkedIn. The API allows us to show the teachers and the students your career path, based on the profile you created on LinkedIn.

    What if my diary unexpectedly changes and I am no longer able to attend?

    We understand that unexpected things happen. If you know of another suitable volunteer who might be available, do let us know. Otherwise, we will do our best to find a replacement speaker. Please do let the organiser know and also F4S by emailing commuity@founders4schools.org.uk.

    Can I speak at my old school?

    Yes! You can get in touch with them yourself and let them know about F4S and our free services for schools and that you would be happy to volunteer your time and speak to students as an alumni.

    I want to unsubscribe/delete my account.

    If you would still like to unsubscribe from Founders4Schools you can do this easily by visiting your dashboard. In the Your Profile tab scroll down the account deletion section and follow the steps. If you have any questions, our email address is: community@founders4schools.org.uk.

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