This fourth report builds further on the successes highlighted in reports one, two and three, confirming the high-quality implementation of the Teach First NZ programme and positive impact in schools.
On Friday a new report evaluating the Teach First NZ Programme by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) was released. The report shows the Programme has achieved “Well”, “Very Well” or “Extremely Well” in sixteen out of eighteen evaluative focus areas.
The report is based on a four-year evaluation by NZCER looking at how well the Teach First NZ programme, delivered during its pilot phase in partnership between the Teach First NZ Trust and the University of Auckland, has been implemented and has achieved its overall outcomes and objectives.
The Teach First NZ programme recruits individuals who have high academic and non-academic achievement with a focus on high need subject areas to undertake a two year, employment-based Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and leadership development programme. Programme participants are employed by a secondary school serving a lower-decile community whilst they complete the programme. The aim of the programme is to help reduce educational inequality in New Zealand, and alumni of the programme are supported to continue in teaching, move into school leadership roles, or pursue educational equity through roles in other sectors.
Areas in which the Programme was evaluated to have delivered ‘extremely well’, the highest rating, included ‘Programme Responsiveness’ and ‘Completion Rates’. The Programme achieved a completion rate across the initial three cohorts of ninety one percent, while the response of the Trust to feedback from participants, principals, other in-school partners and the first three evaluation reports has been noted as a key strength.
Other areas where the Programme was judged to have been implemented ‘Very well’ included attracting high-quality applicants, with a growing number of high-calibre Māori and Pasifika applicants, the “strong and fluid” partnership between the Teach First NZ Trust and the University of Auckland, and participant and alumni connection with each other and the Teach First NZ Trust.
In relation to the outcomes of the Programme, the report noted the strength of Participants’ contribution to their school’s pastoral life, the leadership development course offered by the Trust, and the Programme’s impact on the quality of teaching and learning in participating schools.
Teach First NZ CEO, Jay Allnutt, said: “It’s great to have evidence of how well the Teach First NZ Programme has been implemented and is achieving its outcomes. There is a lot that we can learn from to make the Programme even more effective in the future”.
In early 2017 the Teach First NZ Trust has developed a new qualification with the Mind Lab by Unitec as part of the Teach First NZ Programme, which is now going through the regulatory approvals process with NZQA and the Education Council.
Jay said “In developing a new qualification with the Mind Lab by Unitec we have been able to draw on the lessons from these evaluations. The new qualification will enable us to support participants to develop as great teachers, contribute to the effectiveness of their schools and go on to help address educational inequality on a systemic level”.