Teach First NZ announces new collaboration

Press releases - 16 March 2017

Today Teach First NZ: Ako Mātātupu and the Mind Lab by Unitec have announced a new collaboration to deliver Teach First NZ’s unique, employment-based initial teacher education and leadership development programme focussed on lower-decile secondary schools.

Release Date: 16 March 2017

Teach First NZ is an independent charity working to address educational inequality in Aotearoa New Zealand. It was launched in 2011 and has been recruiting high-achieving graduates to teach in lower-decile secondary schools since 2012. Through their flagship programme, the charity aims to draw a new pool of talented individuals into teaching and provide them with the leadership skills they need in order to have a long-term, systemic impact on educational inequality.

The new collaboration will see Teach First NZ working with the Mind Lab by Unitec to deliver the initial teacher education qualification element of their work. Participants on the programme receive eight weeks of intensive, residential pre-service training, and ongoing academic and in-school support over two years, achieving registered teacher status by the end.

The Mind Lab by Unitec is a unique education collaboration working to redefine professional development for teachers through an applied, progressive and blended postgraduate qualification specialising in digital and collaborative learning.  Their work blends highly practical postgraduate knowledge taught in the Mind Lab’s purpose built, creative learning environment, together with classroom-based applied practice and online learning.

To date, Teach First NZ has been working with the University of Auckland to deliver the teaching qualification through its pilot phase. The University of Auckland continues to support the values of the Teach First NZ programme, and students who started the programme in late 2015 and 2016 will continue to work with and be supported by partner schools, the staff at the University of Auckland and Teach First NZ through to completion of their qualification in 2017 and 2018. 

Since 2013 Teach First NZ has recruited over 100 high-achieving graduates to teach in secondary schools serving decile 1-5 communities. In its most recent cohort, 60% of the cohort are teaching the shortage ‘STEM’ (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects, and 33% are Māori or Pasifika. Over 90% of the programme’s alumni have continued as teachers, with 60% continuing to do so in lower-decile schools in New Zealand.

Teach First NZ launched recruitment for its next cohort this week, which will be the first to complete the new qualification with the Mind Lab by Unitec. For the first time, applicants can apply to teach digital technology/ IT, alongside those applying to teach Maths, Science, Chemistry, Physics, Te Reo Māori and English. 100% of those who are accepted onto the scholarship programme, which has to date been supported by the Ministry of Education, go on to work in a decile 1 to 5 secondary school.

About Teach First NZ: Ako Mātātupu
Teach First NZ: Ako Mātātupu is an independent charity working to help reduce educational inequality in Aotearoa New Zealand. The charity has been delivering its flagship 2-year, employment-based initial teacher education and leadership development programme in partnership with the University of Auckland since 2012.

For more information visit www.teachfirstnz.org

For media enquiries contact Jay Allnutt at jay@teachfirstnz.org

For enquiries about applying to join the programme contact apply@teachfirstnz.org or visit www.teachfirstnz.org/programme

About the Mind Lab by Unitec
The Mind Lab by Unitec was established in 2013 to progress teacher education and to develop confidence and capability for teachers, heads of departments and Principals as they navigate the evolving education landscape. Its focus for the past two years has been on developing teachers who have been working in the profession for some years. This includes teachers with as little as two years’ experience to those with over 40 years.

Unitec is New Zealand’s largest institute of technology with more than 20,000 students studying over 150 work-oriented programmes. Its purpose is to be a world leader in contemporary applied learning and an agent of positive economic and social change. In particular, Unitec is focussed on inspiring and engaging people, allowing them to see opportunities to be better – creating a community where everyone teaches, everyone learns and everyone fulfils their potential.

For more information visit www.themindlab.com or contact Frances Valintine frances@themindlab.com

Notes for Editors
- The Mind Lab by Unitec was chosen as the new provider by Teach First NZ through a competitive selection process undertaken in late 2016, as part of which the charity released a public Request for Expressions of Interest.

- Teach First NZ and the Mind Lab by Unitec will be developing the qualification, which will be subject to NZQA and Education Council Approval, throughout 2017.

- The Teach First NZ programme has been supported to date by the Ministry of Education. This support has included covering the costs of the teacher education qualification and in-school support.

- The next 2018 cohort of participants will start their qualification with the Mind Lab by Unitec in November 2017, subject to relevant approvals and funding.

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