Announcement from Teach First NZ CEO and Board of Trustees

News items - Press releases - 25 August 2016

Following six years at the helm of Teach First NZ, I have decided the time is now right for someone new to lead our work into its next phase. As such, I will be stepping aside from my role as CEO, and joining our Board as a Trustee.

The decision has been one of my most difficult, having founded and grown the organisation from just a metaphorical seed to what is now a nationally significant equity initiative.

I have not yet decided on the next steps in my career, other than that I plan to be actively involved in supporting Teach First NZ's impact through a role as a Board member, as well as through other endeavours. While the search for our new CEO takes place, I continue to remain in the role.

I'm immensely proud of the early impact Teach First NZ has had:

  •   --  Three independent NZCER evaluation reports have praised the programme's implementation and impact in schools.
  •   --  In 2014 Teach First NZ won our first New Zealand Association of Graduate Employers award and has since been recognised as one of our country's top graduate employers (the first ever teaching programme to be recognised). Well over 1,200 graduates have now applied to join Teach First NZ, and the programme is as competitive as ever.
  •   --  The University of Auckland diploma that forms a central part of our two-year programme was the first ever postgraduate-level and the first ever employment-based teacher training programme to be approved in New Zealand.
  •   --  In 2015 Teach First NZ was invited to host groups from over forty countries at the Teach For All Global Conference, which was held in Auckland.
  •   --  The impact of Teach First NZ has, in part, led to the development of new legislation designed to further embed the links between Teach First NZ and schools.
  •   --  Just this month the expansion and extension of the programme was formally announced by the Minister of Education.

With the innovation we bring, we've also had to navigate challenges, and none of what Teach First NZ has achieved would've been possible without the support of our Board of Trustees and Advisors, our Patrons and Kaumatua, our staff team, the Ministry of Education, the University of Auckland, the growing number of funders and supporters, and our global partner Teach For All. I'd like to thank two individuals who came alongside me from the very start -- our Founding Board Chair Deborah George and the Dean of Education at the University of Auckland Professor Graeme Aitken.

I'd like to particularly acknowledge the schools we serve, as well as of course the incredible participants and alumni from now five cohorts -- especially those from the first cohort who took that leap of faith in joining what was then a fledgling start-up.

Teach First NZ was setup because education in New Zealand simply isn't fair -- our system's inequity in outcomes is a catastrophe and much more work must be done to tackle the issue. Teach First NZ has the potential to have a significant role in this critical work, and I look forward to continuing to support our growing community to exert the influence required for positive change.

Shaun Sutton
Co-Founder and Chief Executive

Message from the Teach First NZ Board of Trustees

The Board would like to recognise the energy, professionalism and hard work that Shaun has bought to his role as CEO over the past six years, and we look forward to his ongoing contribution as a Board member.

We will shortly commence a comprehensive search for a new CEO to further develop and expand this innovative, cross-sector initiative focused on reducing educational inequities in Aoteaora New Zealand.

Teach First NZ is well-positioned to make a significant difference to student achievement in this country. We thank our partners, alongside our school and community stakeholders, for their strong support as we continue to tackle this issue together.

Deborah George
Co-Founder and Board Chair