What is AROPS

AROPS is open to representatives of all school alumni societies and provides a forum for the exchange of views and the sharing of experiences in running alumni organisations.

Members represent a wide range from small prep schools to the top UK public schools.

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Become a Member

Don’t miss out! New members are always welcome. Click here for membership details

Sponsorship

 

We’re delighted to announce that The SDS Group (Education & Heritage) will be sponsoring this year’s conference and will be taking an exhibition stand at Prior Park College where you can chat to them about their digital archiving solutions.

Visit their websites sds-heritage.co.uk and sds-group.co.uk and click here for more details.

Bath Conference 13 May 2017, Prior Park College

kindly sponsored by SDS Group

 

Ralph Allen’s 18th century home with idyllic views to the city of Bath made a superb venue for this year’s AROPS conference, hosted by Prior Park Alumni and with the kind permission of the college’s Headmaster, James Murphy O’Connor who welcomed representatives with a history of the buildings and the school.

AROPS’ new Chairman, Peter Jakobek, opened the conference and introduced the new format of a single keynote presentation followed by two breakout sessions to give everyone an opportunity to meet more people and hear more ideas on different topics.

 

As the keynote speaker, Mark Coote, Director of External Relations and Foundation CEO at Wells Cathedral School, discussed the importance and mutual benefits of development professionals working together with alumni societies. While he described his role as “essentially about asking people for money” he stressed that this could not be achieved without a harmonious relationship with the alumni society. “If by any clumsiness or lack of planning when I go out looking for money I ruin the relationship, I can’t do my job. If in a hurry to build a new whatever I upset that community [the alumni] all the time spent in nurturing the goodwill will be lost almost forever. So it is absolutely critical that people in my position understand that element.”

This relationship was endorsed by George Bunting, Chairman of the Wellensian Association, who, together with Mark, had drawn up a ‘memorandum of understanding’ so they, and others, would know how the relationship would work. This is available as part of Mark’s Powerpoint presentation below.

The breakout sessions were very popular, especially Group A on Data Protection, led by Louise Bennett of IDPE and David Varney of Burges Salmon Lawyers. Their Powerpoint presentations are available below. These covered the current understanding on how the new General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR) might affect organisations holding databases.

Group B, led by Anne Bradley, archivist at Bristol Grammar School, looked at how the digital age is impacting on archives and the items stored in them. In Group C, AROPS committee members Jill Dixon (CLOGA) and Tracey Ahmet (Rugby) chaired discussions on work experience, networking and mentoring, while in Group D Peter Jakobek and participants looked at the ways alumni societies can take advantage of the various social media now available. Finally in Group E AROPS committee member QD Seymour-Smith followed up on a questionnaire he had sent to delegates on suggestions for successful alumni events.

 

Archiving and data protection were popular topics in the Question Time session at the end of the day and the conference closed with a presentation to Bill Gillen who retired as AROPS Chairman at the AGM, though he will continue as President with a remit to help expand membership and work towards the fiftieth anniversary of AROPS in 2021.

 

The conference dinner was held in the John Wood Chapel (now used for music recitals and meetings) after a drinks reception on the magnificent portico of the Prior Park Mansion, overlooking the valley. Terry Ilott, President of Prior Park Alumni, was the guest speaker, addressing the complexities of re-engaging alumni.



The full conference report has been sent out by post but please click on the links below for downloads of the booklet and full speeches, where available:

Conference report 2017

Working together: Alumni societies and development professionals – Mark Coote

Data Protection – Burges Salmon

Data Protection – IDPE

 

Forthcoming Events

3 October 2017

North West Networking: Friends Meeting House, Manchester 

12 October 2017

AROPS AGM, Queen's Gate School, South Kensington, London

13 November 2017

North East London: Forest School, London, E17 3PY

 

Regional meetings are also open to non-members