Become a School Speaker
Find out more about becoming a school speaker with Animal Aid
Please contact Karin Reynolds, our school speaker co-ordinator, to request a school speaker application form.
What do Animal Aid secondary school talks involve?
School speakers are required to give presentations and lead discussions on topics such as general animal rights, animal farming, veganism and animal experiments. Talks are usually delivered in-person in the classroom, but some people also give talks remotely.
Speakers deal with the issues raised in a sensitive way and encourage students to articulate their own views.
School visits usually last for an hour and are normally given to class size groups, although we are sometimes asked to give talks to larger groups.
A session typically involves giving a talk (preferably using PowerPoint), showing a film, answering questions and running a group activity.
We run workshops to train speakers and provide all the resources that are required, such as PowerPoint presentations, films and activities.
What do primary sessions involve?
We run primary sessions on animal welfare and pet care to pupils in Year 1 to Year 6. Our visits normally last an hour and are usually with class size groups.
Rather than giving a talk, speakers involve children in a variety of activities including listening, talking, watching, writing, discussion and playing games.
A session typically involves looking at the needs of companion animals and discussing how to look after pets. Speakers talk about why it’s better to adopt a rescued animal, rather than buying one from a breeder. We also consider the needs of wild animals and discuss how we can help to protect them.
We run workshops to train speakers and provide all the resources that are required, including our AnimalKind film, activity ideas and props such as puppets, pictures, games and stories.
What do cookery demonstrations involve?
We deliver vegan cookery demonstrations to classes of Food and nutrition students at secondary level and also to classes of pupils at primary level. These sessions, which typically last from an hour to two hours, normally involve demonstrating how to make a simple vegan chilli.
Depending on the time available, in addition to doing a 20-minute cooking demonstration, the session can involve showing a film, answering questions and running a group activity such as a quiz.
We run workshops to train cookery demonstrators and provide all the resources that are required such as recipes, films, PowerPoint presentations and activity ideas.
What are the requirements for being a school speaker?
In order for you to be able to fulfil this role you will be required to have good communication skills and be able to relate to young people. You will need to have a good knowledge of animal rights and veganism. You also need to be well organised and respond to emails quickly. It is essential that you are punctual and reliable and that you are well presented when visiting a school.
Other requirements include being vegan, agreeing to Animal Aid’s aims and objectives (including being opposed to all animal experiments and to the use of intimidation and violence), having a DBS check (we can arrange this if you don’t have one), and accepting the necessity of taking medication, including vaccinations, when recommended by a doctor.
Do I have to agree with all of Animal Aid's aims and objectives?
Yes. When you apply to be a speaker for Animal Aid you have to state that you are opposed to all animal experiments and that you are vegan. You also need to agree with Animal Aid’s policy of non-violence and non-intimidation. See Animal Aid’s Aims and Objectives.
Do I need to attend a speakers' training workshop?
This is a requirement for all new speakers. However, if you live in an area where no workshops are scheduled to take place, we may be able to make alternative arrangements such as carrying out a phone interview and arranging in-service training with an experienced speaker in your area.
We will be keeping an eye on government guidance regarding Covid-19. For the sake of everybody attending a workshop, we require you to take a lateral flow test the day before the workshop and ask that you do not attend if it’s positive. We also ask that you don’t attend if you have any Covid-19 symptoms.
What happens at the training workshops?
At the speakers’ workshops, delegates receive instruction and discuss issues relating to speaking in schools. Depending on the type of workshop, delegates are required to give a short two-minute talk, give a short practice cookery demonstration with a partner, or demonstrate a primary age activity to the group. Delegates are assessed during the day and are informed as to whether or not they have passed a few days after the workshop. Following the workshop, most delegates will undergo a period of in-service training which involves observing an experienced speaker and then being observed giving a talk to a class, which is assessed.
Where and when are the forthcoming training workshops and how do I register to attend?
Please email Karin to find out about workshops locations and dates.
Are training workshops free?
Attendance is free but there is a booking deposit of £15, which is refundable after the workshop has taken place. You will need to pay for your own travel to and from the venue.
How many talks will I be expected to give?
The number of talks you will be asked to give depends on how many requests we receive in your area. The number of talks you agree to undertake is entirely up to you.
How are requests for school talks generated?
The Animal Aid Education Department mails out to schools on a regular basis (usually once a term), offering talks on a range of subjects. In conjunction with Animal Aid, school speakers can, if they wish, also organise their own mailings to schools in their local area.
Can I choose which age group to talk to?
Yes, you can give talks to just primary children, or just secondary students, or both. It’s up to you.
What issues will I be required to talk on?
Animal Aid speakers are asked to give talks on a variety of animal rights issues, although the most common topics are general animal rights, animal experiments and veganism.
Will I be expected to talk about all the issues?
Although many speakers cover all issues, you don’t have to commit yourself to giving talks on all the issues if you don’t want to.
Are Animal Aid school speakers required to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check?
Yes, all Animal Aid speakers are required to have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. If you don’t have one Animal Aid will obtain one for you once you have qualified as a speaker.
If you have any other queries, please email Karin Reynolds, our school speaker co-ordinator.