Spotlight on … Victor Sosanya – FED Learners Council

We are delighted to be able to put a spotlight on Victor Sosanya. Victor, a member of the FED Learners Council, shares his reflections and involvement with the Foundation for Education Development and their journey to date. Our stakeholder councils play a pivotal role in our thinking as we develop the systems and strategies that support a long-term vision and plan for education.

Spotlight on … Victor Sosanya

Hello, I’m Victor Sosanya, currently pursuing a Masters in Entrepreneurship (MSt) at the University of Cambridge. My educational journey began in East London, leading me to study Economics at the University of Warwick. Upon graduation, I proudly earned the title of Global Undergraduate Winner 2022 in the Economics category for my published research paper, instilling in me the confidence to fuse my passion for enterprise with further education at Cambridge.

My educational journey from East London to the University of Cambridge is an unconventional one, shaped by overcoming setbacks and embracing entrepreneurial spirit. Failing my 11+ tests shattered my mother’s dreams of me attending a grammar school. I was disheartened by formal classroom learning, So I turned to business, igniting my entrepreneurial spirit in secondary school.

Waking up at 5 AM to make chicken wraps became my routine, selling them at school early to fellow students and raking in over £150 every week. This income fuelled my passion project, ‘Young & Gifted Clothing,’ a clothing brand I started at the tender age of 14. However, my entrepreneurial pursuits led to challenges in school, with disciplinary issues arising due to a lack of focus in the classroom. Despite being academically capable, I realised that unlocking my full potential required a shift in my approach. Recognising the transformative power of education, I dedicated myself to rigorous study for my GCSE exams, resulting in an impressive achievement of 7 A*s and 1 A.

This academic success paved the way for me to secure a place at a top sixth form, where I excelled in Mathematics, Economics, and Biology, achieving 3 A’s at A-level. I was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to the University of Warwick, endorsed by the prestigious Swiss multinational investment bank Credit Suisse as part of the ‘Steps to Success’ Programme. It was at this moment I realised the power education can have in opening doors and creating opportunities. So, it awoken my desire to influence and improve education, ensuring that learners have the best chance to fulfil their academic potential and develop into well-rounded adults.

Therefore, in the early years of my university experience, I made a pivotal decision to join the FED Learners Council in 2021. The council brings together diverse learners from various backgrounds to discuss and evaluate the UK education system. Our goal is to assess the curriculum’s robustness, the relevance of learning styles, and the adequacy of support for current students, all with the aim of contributing to a new, long-term education policy in the UK.

My initial engagement with the FED involved participating in online learner stakeholder council meetings, chaired by Mohammed and Claire. These sessions provided a platform to connect with fellow students, share experiences, and actively contribute as consultants. One standout opportunity was influencing Ofsted’s new 5-year strategy during a call, where we addressed challenges facing young learners and proposed future improvements. In the meeting, concerns were raised about potential division and alienation caused by creating gifted and talented groups among pupils. This prompted a shift in focus towards advocating for a more holistic education approach, valuing individuals and encouraging a broader range of extra-curricular subjects. Anna Trethewey, Head of Strategy at Ofsted, acknowledged our contributions and included in the strategy.

Furthermore, my role as a FED Learner Council member presented the exciting opportunity to participate in an Education Roundtable at No.10 Downing Street. Here, we focused on ensuring young people’s agency and voice in shaping the education planning framework for the UK. Advising Rory Gribbell, then Senior Policy Adviser to the PM and now Lead Adviser at Ofsted, provided valuable experience in reasoning with senior leaders and crafting practical solutions, enhancing my problem-solving skills. We stressed the importance of genuine accountability and feedback groups, rejecting tokenistic approaches. Also, encouraging that young people voices are genuinely heard and listened to. This opportunity not only expanded my network but also garnered recognition, leading to invitations for further consultations and events.

I was invited to Santander’s Chairman’s Annual Drinks Reception by the FED which exposed me to senior stakeholders promoting enterprise, skills, and careers for young people. This experience highlighted that education extends beyond exams, emphasising individual development. Being part of the Learners Council had a direct impact on me, uncovering my passion for enterprise and career development. This passion led to my selection to represent the FED on a panel alongside Dr Rania Marandos and Dr Anne Bamford at a Skills Conference hosted at Guildhall, City of London. I discussed the importance of further skills development and the implementation of fusion skills in the education curriculum.

The FED continued to provide rare opportunities, including an invitation to Windsor Castle for a 2-day consultation in partnership with The Brookings Institution with global education leaders. Hosting a panel during this event, alongside Charlie Radman, Global Education Technology Leader at HP, made me realise the transformative potential of tech and entrepreneurial thinking. This realisation influenced my decision to formally study Entrepreneurship (MSt) at Cambridge Judge Business School. Moreover, I was also featured in the FED Educational Consultation Report 2023.

Most recently, I had the honour of representing the FED Learners Council at the annual ambassador meeting at the Athenaeum Club. I was responsible for showcasing our collective work and impact. At the Athenaeum Club, I had the privilege of meeting Chris Outram, Founder of OC&C Strategy Consultants, Trustee of United World Schools, and current Board Member of UCL Global Business School for Health. We talked on a lot of topics, including building a business, running a charity and other thought-provoking subjects. This initial encounter evolved into further online Zoom calls with Chris, where he generously shared his valuable insights.

Being part of the FED Learners Council has not only facilitated my individual and academic development but has inspired a continuous pursuit of learning, expanded my professional network, and provided opportunities for personal growth. In summary, the FED Learners Council is the ideal platform for young learners aspiring to influence change in education while undergoing a transformative personal journey.


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