Loughborough Alumni


Alex Laybourne

MSc Sport Coaching, 2011/BSc Psychology, 2007

Alex shares how he would like to use his sporting background to develop the alumni experience.

I would relish both the challenge presented by the position and the opportunity with which it would provide me to play a significant part in developing the university which has given me so much, both as a student and a member of staff. I also have experience of what a great Alumni experience is, through the extremely successful Falk-Egg Old Boys weekend and would like to see more people share in similar experiences.

I am a highly motivated and conscientious individual, with a solid work ethic built on strong core values. A variety of experiences in the operations, logistics and mentoring, various team management and coaching roles and a drive to continuously develop myself, all contribute to a strong, well-rounded character providing a dedicated and determined approach to working and leading others. I believe these skills, alongside over a decade of experience in educational settings and a sporting environment make me a suitable candidate for the role due to the large range of overlapping expertise that can be offered. Strong negotiation skills also compliment what I could offer the role. For example, I sit on the schools Operations Committee who meet weekly regarding day-to-day operations and running of school events, as well as on the Pensions Consultation Committee.

An Alumni experience that is full of passion for the university, maintaining students pride for their clubs, societies and halls is key. Giving each of the areas of the university a pool of alumni who support them on leaving, in whatever way, will help the alumni offer across the board. If there are Alumni events for all the halls, the clubs and societies that are full of passion and people have a vested interest in - as can be seen with Falk Egg Old Boys, Rugby League Old Boys and the RAG Alumni - then the Alumni network will be self-selling; for example - Falk-Eggers all know what the Old Boys weekend is about and when it is - many keep it free without the need to be encouraged, meaning picking up more is easier and there are already people encouraging their classmates to come back.

Sporting clubs and societies own Old-Boys and Girls events are key to being explored, not on one same weekend but at a time that suits the cohort that will drive it, allowing them to establish their own event with their own culture. Then, a range of events that encourage various years/decades back as well as events that just encourage everyone. There isn't one area that will bring everyone back, but lots of small events, supported by enthusiastic alumni, will see quick success and growth.

Career history

I am currently a teacher who holds the following roles at Wisbech Grammar School, where I have worked since 2012:

Head of Rugby (since September 2012) : Day-to-day management and strategic leadership of the rugby programme across the senior and prep school (3–18) and running the 1st XV and 1st VII. This includes all operational running of the club, establishing and maintaining a culture of achievement, managing and developing staff in coaching and support roles (including Performance Development Reviews (PDRs)), supporting the holistic development of student-athletes, setting up and running regular trips and budget management of the programme. Last season the 1st XV were runners up in the Emerging Schools Team of the Year award.

Deputy Head of 6th Form (since September 2016): Support Head of 6th Form on all day-to-day aspects of running the 6th Form, including pastoral care, discipline, management of tutors, appointing prefects and tracking academic achievement. I hold overall responsibility for running the Enrichment Programme, 6th Form PSHCE (including policy writing), 6th Form Induction and the Safe Drive programme. I assist the Assistant Head (Academic Management) in running the UCAS (University application) process, including writing references, checking tutor references and supporting pupils with reference writing and interview technique.

Head of Careers (since September 2018): I am responsible for the strategic development of the Careers programme and achieving the Gatsby Benchmarks. I deliver lessons and workshops across the whole school (12-18), hold individual careers meetings for 5th and 6th Form and run the ‘University and Careers Fair’ each year. I am responsible for the careers policy writing and the careers budget management.

Teaching: Teacher of A-Level Business Studies, 6th Form life-skills and senior school sports. I coach Rugby, Hockey, Netball, Cricket and Athletics and run a team for each.

Other: This range of roles means I sit on the schools Operations Committee and work closely with marketing and admissions. I am also on the schools Pension Consultation Committee that I was nominated onto by my colleagues.

Outside of school I am also currently the National Director of Rugby for 'The Lambs RFC'. The programme exists to create openings for boys to showcase their rugby skills at a representative level and was set up to promote traditional rugby values and a 'Corinthian' spirit as our style. In my seven years to date I have established a clear ‘Fast and Free’ philosophy, developed the brand into a nationally recognised one, overseen the establishment of a U16s programme, an Old Boys side and a senior 7s programme, which has entered the elite circuit this season.

I have previously been Scotland Women's U20s Head Coach (2013-2015) in a part time role and prior to teaching I was Rugby Club and Coach Development Officer (BOOST Project) at Loughborough University, whilst also being Head coach of the Women's Rugby Club.

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