Teach First in the UK

Partner stories - 10 January 2012

Teach First NZ is inspired by the successes of our sister programme in the UK, Teach First. We partner with Teach First through the global Teach For All network.

Teach First was founded in the UK in 2002 as an independent not-for-profit programme working to address educational disadvantage by transforming exceptional graduates into effective, inspirational teachers and leaders in all fields.

Teach First targets highly motivated graduates and works to support them as teachers in schools facing challenging circumstances. After the two year programme, it equips and inspires Teach First ambassadors [alumni] to work towards expanding educational opportunity from within and beyond the classroom. Around sixty percent of alumni stay in schools, while others go on to work across a range of sectors.

Teach First is now one of the largest recruiters of Oxford and Cambridge graduates, and was recently ranked 3rd in The Times Top 100 graduate employers in the UK. The programme is so competitive that in 2011 Teach First received over 5,000 applications for 700 places.

In 2011 Teach First was rated ‘outstanding’ in all 11 categories examined by the UK education inspectorate Ofsted, across 4 regions. Teach First is supported by all main political parties in Britain and over eighty leading businesses.

What Teach First participants say:

“Teach First has easily been one of the toughest experiences of my life... Because of how challenging it is, it’s a pretty amazing feeling when you succeed”.
Paul Durkin, Teach First 2003 ambassador

“The training and everything that Teach First provides, gives you that real impetus and drive to succeed and make a difference.”
James Harding, Teach First 2007 ambassador

“It’s definitely challenging, I mean there’s no doubt about the fact that it is quite a tough programme and it is very character building.”
Sid Djerfi, Teach First 2003 ambassador

Further information about Teach First in the UK can be found on its organisation website and its graduate website.