Ngā Kura – Schools

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Inspiring the Future is a free programme for students aged 7 to 13 across Aotearoa, created to broaden their horizons. It aims to challenge stereotypes and address unconscious biases that can limit young people’s potential.

It does this by connecting schools with role models – people who are keen to share their career stories. Role models sign up on this website, then schools book them for events where students get to talk with them.

How does it work?

Inspiring the Future events can be either in person or online. They normally last one to three hours. 

As a school, you usually host and run your own event. But there are other options:

Events can be any size. An individual teacher might run an event for their class or a small group, or staff might come together to run a whole-school event in their hall.

We provide everything you need to do this:

  • a tried and tested event format
  • guidance and resources for your event
  • access to a database of volunteer role models
  • an email address to contact us on for support
  • classroom activities for before and after the event – these help you deliver on the curriculum and let students connect their learning with the world outside of school.

For schools with ERO requirements, Inspiring the Future can also help deliver on careers education compliance.

Join our next ‘How to host an Inspiring the Future event’ webinar.

How to sign up

It’s easy to sign up to Inspire the Future. If you work at a school you can simply log in using your Education Sector Logon (ESL).

Once you log in, you can schedule events and select role models to invite from our pool of volunteers.

This video is a step-by-step guide to logging in and scheduling an event.

Planning and preparing for an event

Through your choice of role models, you can adapt events to suit your students – or a specific theme or school subject.

We recommend you schedule your event and invite role models at least four weeks ahead of time.

Everything you need to run an Inspiring the Future event is available to download here on our website – or we can send you a printed pack for free. Our in-person event resources are available in both English and te reo Māori.

Look through our event resources

Ngā Huinga Tangata – In-person events

You have access to volunteer role models in your region for an in-person event. It’s up to you how long the event lasts for, but we recommend two to three hours.

Event format:

  • 20 questions: Students ask questions to try to guess role models’ jobs.
  • The reveal: Role models reveal their job alongside a prop that represents it.
  • Discussion groups: Students break into smaller groups to ask role models questions and learn more about their story.

See the step-by-step guide to running an in-person Inspiring the Future event.

Watch a video of an in-person event. This is a large event; they can also be classroom-based and much smaller.

Ngā Huinga Ipurangi – Online events

You have access to volunteer role models from across Aotearoa for an online event. These events can last one hour, or can be longer if you wish. We also recommend a half-hour meeting with your role models before the event.

Event format:

  • Investigation sessions: Students spend time with role models in breakout groups to find out about their jobs and pathways.
  • The pitch: Everyone comes together for a short pitch from each role model about their mahi.
  • Show and tell: Students choose which job they’d most like to learn more about, and then go into new breakout groups to hear from their chosen role model.

See the step-by-step guide to running an online Inspiring the Future event.

Trudy Harrison, Kaiārahi-ā-motu mō te Whai Taumaru | National Leader for Leaving to Learn and Kaimanaaki, Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, talks about the benefits of online events.

Who are our role models?

Volunteers sign up to be role models on our website. They fill in a profile about themselves and complete a criminal record check.

Meet some of our role models who have signed up to inspire young people. 

Find out more about how the criminal record check process.

Support and more information

If you have any questions, or would like support with scheduling an event, the Inspiring the Future team is happy to help. Please email us at

Examples of past events

To see some of the fantastic Inspiring the Future events that have already run, visit News and updates

Log in using your Education Sector Logon here and start creating events at your school.