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News & Publications > OB News > Find out what OBs really think - Old Brentwoods survey 2023

Find out what OBs really think - Old Brentwoods survey 2023

14 Dec 2023
Written by Karen Faulkner
OB News

In December 2023 we sent out an online alumni survey to 3770 Old Brentwoods, with the aim of better understanding the community that sits at the heart of the Brentwood School Association. 

Through a series of short multiple choice questions and in depth free form questions we sought to gauge OBs experiences at the School, the perceived value of their Brentwood education and their interest and involvement in alumni activities.

We received over 250 responses and the key findings are summarised below:

Attitude towards Brentwood

OBs feel proud of their association with the school.

A total of 89% of OBs said they agreed with the statement ‘I feel proud to have studied at Brentwood School’, with 57% strongly agreeing.

79% agreed that being a former pupil of Brentwood was a part of their identity, with 44% strongly agreeing.

56% felt that it was important to them to have an ongoing relationship with the school.

42% said the school had played an important role in their professional career, whilst 40% credited Brentwood with giving them a lifelong network.

OB network

Three quarters of those that responded indicated they were in touch with other OBs several times per year.

43% of respondents said they were regularly in touch with 1-5 Old Brentwoods, 29% were in touch with 6-30 and 5% indicated they had regular contact with more than 30. 23% said they were not regularly in touch with any OBs.


The majority of respondents  indicated that they would be interested in attending an event at the school in future.

81% said they would be interested in attending a Brentwood School event in the future, with the biggest factor impacting attendance being able to see who is attending from their peer group.

The most popular type of event was year group Reunions

Brentwood School Association

OBs are willing to support the Association in many different ways.

47% of respondents expressed a willingness to support the careers programme at the school.

27% said they would be willing to gather a group of classmates for the OB dinner in March.

13% would consider a charitable donation to the foundation supporting bursaries

9% were interested in being an alumni ambassador, helping to promote events and campaigns within their OB network


The awareness and readership of our main alumni publications is high.

57% of respondents said that they ‘always’ read the Brentwood School Times/Chronicle with a further 27% aware of it and would ‘sometimes’ read it. 76% said that they always or sometimes read the Old Brentwood digital newsletter.

We were also loved hearing about OBs strongest memories of the school. A selection of which can be found below:

“The camaraderie and growing up. I didn’t realise it at the time but I came out more adult and with increased confidence”

“You were treated as an adult. The range of sports and facilities was exceptional. Loved the discipline of CCF.”

“Meeting people who I know I will have in my life forever”

“Intense workload but coupled with a caring and funny atmosphere. A combination of the traditional and the modern.”

And learning about lifelong enthusiasms that were developed at Brentwood:

"Singing in the chapel choir and choral society gave me my lifelong love of classical music.”

“Rugby, lifelong player, member and officer of a local Rugby Club, it would have been Old Brentwoods RFC if they had existed in 1958. Chemistry, it became the basis of my career and I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.”

"I developed a commitment to working to reduce poverty and later to conserve the environment, which have guided my life."

"Definitely politics because the teaching was so engaging, the lessons so fun and I will be interested in it forever now School/amateur shows because Brentwood showed me how amazing they can be and I’ve seen several since Striving for excellence with everything - it was really encouraged and the support was amazing."

"Brentwood allowed me to continue my passion for learning languages. Brentwood led me on to study languages at university for my bachelors and now studying my masters in languages in Germany and France. I do not think I would be in this position I am in now without Brentwood and without the encouragement I received from my teachers."

You said, we did

In several areas of the survey people were explicit about how they wanted to be involved, so we have already started actioning:

Completed or in process:

  • Those noting an interest in supporting our Careers programme will be contacted by our Head of Careers to discuss further outreach.
  • We have reached out to the individuals wanting to support the OB dinner in March, to assist with invites and registration. 
  • Those expressing an interest in supporting the bursary programme are being contacted with more information for them to support their decision

The survey also demonstrated a consensus or appetite in certain areas, so going forward we will be considering:

  • How best to connect people in the OB network to improve peer to peer engagement.
  • Invitations for a possible focus group around a specific purpose.
  • A potential reunion model for OB events and networking. 

Thank you to all those who took part, this feedback is hugely valuable in helping us to build alumni relations, the Association, and Foundation, in the right way. We will likely have a similar survey in future and we are keen to also hear thoughts from the non OBs in the Association.

If you missed the survey but would still like to share your thoughts with us then we are always keen to hear from you: 01277 240451

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