Welcome to the School for Life Programme.

In today’s highly competitive employment market, a word of advice or some practical support can go a long way to helping a fellow OU on their way to a successful internship or career.

The School for Life programme helps OUs make the most of our unique community by facilitating connections between OUs seeking support, and those able to provide it.

The 8,000 strong OU network includes an incredible variety of industries and sectors, ensuring there is someone who can offer a helping hand, whether it be skill, industry or sector related.

How much or how little you get out of the School for Life programme is very much up to you. The more you engage, the more self-motivated and prepared you are, the more you will benefit.

Who We Are

David Gavins (LH 73) – School for Life Ambassador
[email protected]

Antonia Bowdler – School for Life Coordinator
01572 820741 / [email protected]

Jo Franklin – OU Association Manager
01572 820616 / [email protected]

The Process

  1. We will ask you to provide information about the support you are looking for and provide your CV and LinkedIn profile, if you have one. These will be shared with appropriate, agreed Advisers.
  2. David or Antonia will contact you for an informal chat to discuss your requirements in more detail.
  3. Once we have fully understood what you’re looking for we will suggest a plan of action and OUs we are able to connect you with. 

    It's as simple as that.

What You Can Expect

  • The School for Life programme is here to support and help you.
  • We aim to tailor connections to ensure the best outcome, which is why providing as much information as you can upfront and an initial conversation with David or Antonia is so important.
  • We ask for your feedback on the conversations you have so we can assess and agree with you if further connections would be helpful.
  • The programme is an ongoing resource, you can keep coming back to us whenever and as often as you need.

What We Expect From You

School for Life Advisers give their time voluntarily and offer a valuable resource to OUs using the service. Those receiving support are expected to behave professionally at all times - contact Advisers promptly, respond to emails or voicemail messages as soon as possible and prepare in advance for any conversations. 

All parties are asked to provide feedback on their experience to ensure that expectations are being met, the programme is being delivered effectively and will continue to develop for future users.

The Serious Bit

When you join the programme you will be asked to confirm that you accept the following agreement: 

  • Any advice, recommendations or connections given or made by the OU Association, the School for Life programme and its Advisers does not form a contract between you and them.
  • All Advisers act on a purely voluntary, goodwill basis and receive no financial benefit for the service they provide. The OU Association or individual Advisers will not be liable for any consequences resulting from informal advice provided via the programme.
  • After your initial consultation with an Adviser, if you feel that future conversations or meetings with them would be beneficial, you are responsible for making the arrangements with them directly. Feedback however is key. Without it we may be unaware of further requirements you may have.
  • The OU Association and the School for Life programme cannot accept any responsibility for any costs incurred by you, nor for any unsatisfactory actions or outcomes. If at any time you feel unhappy or unsure about any aspect of the process, or anyone you are in contact with, please contact a member of the School for Life team immediately (contact details are available in the 'Who we are' section).
  • Neither you, nor the Advisers, will disclose or reveal personal or contact information to third parties without prior consent.
  • The OU Association takes all reasonable steps to keep your data secure. For full details on our policy please visit https://www.olduppinghamian.co.uk/terms.

Join the School for Life Programme