Become a School Speaker

Informing and empowering young people is one of the best ways to create a cruelty-free future. You can help by joining Animal Aid’s school speaker network.

We are currently looking for:

  • Primary school speakers in all areas
  • Secondary speakers and cookery demonstrators in Kent, Stoke-on-Trent and Swansea
  • People who have attributes that are particularly appropriate such as teaching experience or a scientific degree qualification.

To apply to join our UK-wide team of volunteer speakers please complete the School Speaker Application Form.

Once your application has been accepted you will be invited to attend the next available training workshop.

Common questions

What do Animal Aid speakers do?

In primary schools our representatives run sessions on animal welfare and pet care. In secondary schools they give talks and involve students in activities on issues such as general animal rights, vegetarianism, and animal experiments. Some representatives also give cookery demonstrations in secondary food technology lessons.

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 vegetarianism/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.

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.

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?

The 2017 workshop programme is as follows:

  • 1 April, Workshop on giving talks to secondary school pupils, Birmingham
  • 29 April, Workshop on giving talks to secondary school pupils, Bristol. Fully booked.
  • 30 April, Workshop on giving talks to primary school pupils, Bristol. Fully booked.
  • 13 May, Workshop on giving talks to secondary school pupils, London. Fully booked.
  • 3 June, Workshop on giving talks to secondary school pupils, Manchester. Fully booked.
  • 9 Sept, Workshop on giving talks to primary school pupils, Manchester
  • 30 Sept, Workshop on giving talks to primary school pupils, Birmingham

To register your interest, you must first complete the School Speaker Application Form. Once you are registered, you can email Karin to let her know which workshop you would like to attend. If a workshop is shown as fully booked, you can still contact Karin to be put on the waiting list in case of any cancellations.

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 vegetarianism.

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.

Will I be required to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check?

No. Animal Aid speakers are not required to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check – previously called a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. This is because they are not left in sole charge of a class (they are accompanied by a teacher at all times).

Having said that, anyone for whom such a check would be a problem is disqualified from being a speaker for Animal Aid.

If you have any other queries, please email Karin Reynolds, our school speaker co-ordinator.