Growing promising leaders

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The Teach First NZ Programme

The Teach First NZ education leadership programme provides successful candidates with the opportunity to teach in a partnered secondary school while completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching.

Our teaching programme is provided under a full scholarship (participants will need to cover costs to and from summer intensive) and participants are paid by their partner school on the untrained teachers base scale.


Acceptance into the Teach First NZ programme means that you can:


  • Make a real difference in the community and in the lives of our rangatahi
  • Develop your leadership skills and potential
  • Become a qualified teacher
  • Be paid as you learn
  • Be part of a national movement towards change
  • Receive a competitive salary, as well as 10 weeks of annual holiday
  • Receive a fully funded Postgraduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching
  • Build lifelong friendships with fellow participants
  • Access a network of participants, alumni, education leaders and businesses
The Teach First NZ Programme

What we’re looking for

To be eligible for the Teach First NZ Programme, you need to:

  • Hold New Zealand Citizenship or a Permanent Residency visa
  • Not currently have a teaching qualification that would allow you to teach in New Zealand secondary schools
  • Be eligible to teach in a priority* subject area
    (this either looks like fluency in a language or at least four papers in a qualifying subject, with at least one at level 300)

At each stage of the recruitment process we are also assessing for a range of competencies that have been identified by our key stakeholders as being vital for a successful teacher on the Teach First NZ Programme. These competencies are:


  • Humility, self awareness and openness to learning
  • Commitment and resilience
  • Relating to others
  • Serving community
  • Respect and empathy
  • Cultural intelligence
  • Commitment to kaupapa
  • Organisation and planning
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Achievement

*Our accepted participants apply for vacancies in schools serving communities made vulnerable by structural inequalities. Gaining employment is a condition of the employment-based Teach First NZ Programme. The most frequently-occurring learning area needs are in te reo Māori, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, general science, technology, design, English, and Pasifika languages. We welcome applications from candidates with expertise in less frequently-occurring learning areas, with the understanding that there may not be employment opportunities within our partner network.

Take our eligibility quiz
What we’re looking for

Our recruitment process

The recruitment process is your chance to share your story: your experiences, achievements, and motivations for working towards social change in Aotearoa.

Here are the four stages:


  1. Submit an online application! This is your chance to introduce yourself to our team and really tell us your story. You will notice there is an emphasis on young people and educational equity - because that’s what we are all about!
  2. If your application is successful, you will be invited for a phone interview where you will have another opportunity to discuss your background and demonstrate the key competencies we look for. At this stage we ask you to do a range of pre-reading (and watching) so you have a better feel for what we do at Ako Mātātupu.
  3. Success here will lead you to an Ako Centre, incorporating interviews, a group exercise, a sample teach lesson and self-reflection exercises hosted by our awesome staff in our offices at Kia Aroha College.
  4. If you are successful at our Ako Centre – congratulations! You will be made an offer to start your journey with Ako Mātātupu.
Our recruitment process

Key recruitment dates

Applications to join Cohort 2024 on the Teach First NZ programme are now open. Apply now to start with us in mid-November 2023.

Applications to join Cohort 2023 have now closed. We are now accepting applications and expressions of interest to join Cohort 2024!


We also accept deferred entry applications. If you wish to submit a deferred entry application, simply click ‘apply now’ and select Cohort 2025 as the cohort you are interested in joining.

Key recruitment dates

Take our eligibility quiz

Are you eligible to join our flagship programme? Our quiz will help you understand whether you meet our eligibility criteria as well as what subjects you may be able to teach.

Take the eligibility quiz!

Request an info pack

If you would like to find out more about our programme, how it works and who we are looking for, we have created an information pack just for you!

Request an info pack!