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Today, AROPS - The Schools' Alumni Association is a non-political, not-for-profit organisation that promotes the exchange of best practice, create ideas and thought leadership in alumni engagement for professionals and volunteers working in independent and state schools, both in the UK and overseas. AROPS was founded in 1971 by Mike Comer of the Old Johnians, St John’s School, Leatherhead where we will hold our 50th anniversary Conference in 2021.

What we do


Conferences are always opened by the Head of the host school, and we invite a guest to speak about a relevant top of current interest to members, Breakout or plenary sessions are held before and after lunch. These cover topical areas such as data management and GDPR, social media planning, reaching young alumni, maximising event attendance, measuring impact and working with the development team.


The 2019 AGM was held at Queen’s Gate School in South Kensington on Thursday 14 November in the early evening where the latest strategy was approved nem con. The formal part of the AGM is brief allowing time for talks and a Q&A session, and general discussion between representatives, followed by a buffet supper.

Regional Meetings

AROPS has been running successful informal Regional Meetings in member schools for a number of years. Meeting agendas are set by attendees. An AROPS representative facilitates discussions and updates members on current trends and issues impacting alumni engagement. Members can share concerns, gain invaluable advice, and generate new ideas and solutions in a supportive and friendly environment. Meeting dates for the coming year are shown on the right here, with details on the relevant page – just click on the date to go straight to the page.

Staying in Touch

Regular newsletters are sent out by email, while the AROPS Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow members to network electronically. The Conference and AGM reports are sent by post to every representative. Search for #AROPS

Our Vision

While continuing to exchange best practice on all operational aspects of alumni engagement, AROPs – The Schools’ Alumni Association aims to help to secure the long term future of its member schools by generating collating and share thought leadership narratives on best practice in alumni engagement:* both as part of the development function, and beyond it. AROPS - The Schools' Alumni Association will champion:

Alumni as ambassadors who embody the culture, values, ethos and character of their schools

Alumni as contributors to independent and state education as governors, trustees, volunteers, donors, speakers, mentors and key influencers

The role of alumni in influencing and impacting admissions, marketing and the reputation of schools

Building healthy, functioning, mutually supporting relationships with Development offices and other external facing functions in schools

Communicating changing societal values, and political narratives around independent schools to alumni professionals and volunteers 

Communicating the changing values, aspirations and expectations of Millennials and Generation Z to improve alumni engagement to this demographic

Championing equality and diversity on alumni representative boards, societies and associations to reflect the current make-up of the school and wider society

*AROPS does not exchange best practice specifically on fundraising or Development but constructively engages with the Institute of Development Professionals in Education (IDPE) and other relevant professional Associations on behalf of its’ members, gathering useful and relevant advice and guidance for member schools, and advising these bodies on the broader role and purpose of alumni engagement.

Our Mission

AROPS – The Schools’ Alumni Association's mission is to provide a forum to exchange best practice in all aspects of alumni engagement, and provides opportunities for volunteers and professionals to network, learn and share ideas.

AROPS membership is open to schools and separate alumni societies or clubs. Representatives of member schools and clubs include professionals working in alumni engagement or development, heads and senior leaders, club secretaries and committee volunteers, and marketeers. Members are drawn from a wide range of schools, from small prep schools to state and independent senior schools, to sixth form colleges schools in the UK and overseas.



Bill Gillen
(Old Arnoldian and Old Instonians)

Peter Jakobek
(Old Bristolians)

Alan Cooper
(Old Waynfletes)

Caitlin Spencer
(Bristol Grammar School)

Vijay Khullar
(Old Roffensian Association)

Keith Balkham
(KGS Friends)

Tracey Ahmet
Conference Co-ordinator



Jackie Tarrant-Barton
(Old Etonian Association) Co-opted

George Bunting
(The Wellensian Association)

Caroline Scallon
(Royal School Association)

Patima Shareefy
(Queen's Gate School)

Tim Cunis
(Old Pauline Club)

Liz Needham
(Old Queenswoodians' Association)

Fiona Russ
(Old Ashfoldian Association)

Jill Dixon
(City of London OGA)



Anthony Phillips
(The Lancing Club)

QD Seymour-Smith
(Old Decanian and Old Millfiledian)

Anthony Phillips
(The Lancing Club)

Trish Woodhouse

John Kidd
Vice President

Tim Neale
(Radleian Society)

Margaret Carter-Pegg  
Vice-President and former President
(Old Crohamians' Association)

Guy Cliff
(Old Silcoatians' Association)


(As adopted at the Annual General Meeting held on 11th October 2012)

Please note that the strategy was approved at the AROPS AGM held on 14th November 2019. The rules do not as yet reflect the strategy. These will be fully amended and circulated prior to the next AGM in 2020.

1. The name of the Association is AROPS - The Schools’ Alumni Association (formerly known as The Association of Representatives of Old Pupils’ Societies)

2. The object of the Association is to provide a forum to exchange best practice in all aspects of alumni engagement, and to provide opportunities for volunteers and professionals to network, learn and share ideas.

3. Membership shall be open to the Old Pupils’ Society of any establishment providing primary or secondary education. A Society may at its discretion nominate up to three persons as its Representatives; of these up to two may be either officers or members of that Society, and one an employee of the School concerned. Membership shall cease upon resignation or failure to pay the full annual subscription after due notice has been given of arrears.

4. The Association shall hold an Annual General Meeting on a date to be determined by the Committee of which not less than twenty-one days’ notice shall be given. The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be to approve the audited accounts for the preceding year, to elect Officers and Auditors (and to determine the remuneration (if any) of such Auditors) and members of the Committee and to discuss any other relevant business.

5. The elected Officers of the Association shall be a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Registrar.

6. The affairs of the Association shall be conducted by a Committee consisting of the Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and Registrar and a maximum of ten other elected members. The Committee shall have power to co-opt additional members between Annual General Meetings and to fill any casual vacancy of the membership of the Committee. The Chairman or his delegate shall chair the meetings of the Committee and in the case of any equality of vote shall have a second or casting vote. The Committee shall have power to deal with any matter for which provision has not been made in these rules and the members of the Committee shall be entitled to be indemnified from the assets of the Association in respect of any liability incurred by them acting bona fide and properly on behalf of the Association in the normal course of their duties.

7. The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall have power to elect a President who shall be entitled to be a member of the Committee ex-officio, and Vice-Presidents. Any President or Vice-President shall hold office once elected until resignation. The President or his delegate shall chair the General Meetings of the Association and in the case of any equality of vote shall have a second or casting vote.

8. Each Society shall pay such fees and annual subscription as shall be determined from time to time by the Annual General Meeting. Each such Society shall be entitled to send one or more Representatives to any General Meeting, but shall be limited to one vote.

9. Any alteration to these Rules may only be made by a simple majority of those present at an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting of the Association, due notice having been given.

10. In the event of a dissolution of the Association, or a discontinuance of its activities, any surplus funds after meeting the liabilities of the Association shall be paid to the Independent Schools Council or to such other organisation which the Committee shall consider has similar objects to those of the Association.

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