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Teach First

teach firstThink you’re up to working in some of Britain’s most challenging schools? Then think about applying for the Teach First graduate training programme. Read on to find out more.

What is Teach First?

Teach First is a charity which works to fight educational disadvantage by placing graduate teachers in challenging schools in poor areas. Teach First began in London in 2002, and has now expanded to include schools in the East Midlands, North East, North West, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside.

How does it work?

Teach First runs a Leadership Development Programme. This begins when participants attend a six week intensive summer school, where they learn leadership skills and classroom practice. They are then placed in a challenging school, where they work for a minimum of two years. Participants complete a PGCE during their first year, and have the option of studying a master’s degree in education, leadership or educational leadership in their second year.

How do I apply?

Applicants are expected to have at least a 2:1 bachelor’s degree in a National Curriculum subject. Applications are first made online. Successful applicants are then invited to an assessment centre, where they must make a presentation and pass an interview before being accepted.

Will I be paid?

Teach First participants are paid as Unqualified Teachers for their first year, with salaries ranging from £17,657 to £21,731 for teachers working in inner London. They are then paid as Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) in their second year, from £21,588 to £27,000 in inner London. Participants are not paid for the summer school, although meals and accommodation are covered, and small means-tested loans are available.

What happens after two years?

After the two years of training are complete, participants become fully qualified Teach First ambassadors. Many choose to stay on in teaching, and there are also other initiatives available, such as:

  • Social entrepreneurship – training to support social venture
  • Governance for Change – sitting on a school governing body
  • Policy First – working to shape education policy
  • HEAPS (Higher Education Access Programmes for Schools) – supporting pupils in the transition to higher education

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