Minister of Education announces support for the Teach First NZ programme to scale

Press releases - 13 December 2017

The charity Teach First NZ: Ako Mātātupu today welcomed an announcement by Minister of Education Chris Hipkins MP of additional support to increase the scale of its flagship teaching and leadership programme.

Release Date: 13 December 2017

The announcement means that the charity will be able to recruit up to 80 new participants to start its unique programme in time for the 2019 academic year. The additional funding will enable Teach First NZ teachers to serve a greater number of schools and students across Aotearoa New Zealand. For their 2018 Cohort, the charity is working with 45 participants.

Teach First NZ is an independent charity with a vision to ensure that all young people fulfil their potential, which the charity aims to achieve by addressing the systemic causes of educational inequality.

Through its flagship programme Teach First NZ recruits high achieving university graduates into teaching and provides them with leadership development. The programme starts with an initial residential, campus-based academic course followed by two years of employment-based training in the classroom. Participants end the two year programme as registered teachers, and join an alumni network of others who have completed the programme who the charity continues to support and work with.

Now in its sixth year, the programme has strong support from schools, and has shown positive results based on a number of independent assessments by NZCER. To date Teach First NZ has recruited and supported 150 people to complete the programme, all of whom have taught either STEM subjects, Te Reo Māori or English in a secondary school serving a decile 1 to 5 community. 90% have worked in schools serving a decile 1 to 3 community.

Those completing the programme are employed by a secondary school, with reduced teaching time in order to work with a funded in-school mentor and the charity’s tertiary provider, the Mind Lab by Unitec. The aim is to draw a new pool of talented individuals into teaching and provide them with leadership skills in order to have a long-term impact on educational inequality.

Teach First NZ: Ako Mātātupu CEO, Jay Allnutt, said “Our programme is about providing all young people with the teachers they need, and building a pipeline of education leaders for the future.

“To end inequality in educational outcomes for young people we will need people making a difference as teachers in classrooms, leaders in schools and working in other areas which affect this. We’re glad to be contributing to that effort, alongside schools, tertiary providers and others in this space”.

To view the governments full announcement head to

For media enquiries contact Jay Allnutt at or call +64 (0) 22 645 4660

For enquiries about applying to join the programme contact or visit

Applications to join the 2019 Cohort to start the Programme in November 2018 year are currently open. For enquiries from schools about appointing a Teach First NZ participant to a vacancy for the 2018 Academic year contact

If you wish to download a version of this press release please click here.