Third NZCER independent evaluation report released

News items - Publications - 15 August 2016

This third report builds further on the successes highlighted in reports one and two, confirming the high-quality implementation of the Teach First NZ programme and positive impact in schools.

This month, the third independent evaluation report about Teach First NZ was released by NZCER (New Zealand Council for Educational Research).

According to the report, the key successful elements of the Teach First NZ programme are:


  • The robust selection process resulting in high-calibre participants
  • The responsiveness of the programme, in part made possible because of the small size of the programme, but also a consequence of the robust partnership between Teach First NZ and the University of Auckland Faculty of Education
  • Effective support and mentoring for participants from the school and partnership personnel
  • Immersion in the classroom, coupled with opportunities for participants’ critical reflection on themselves and their teaching

This third report also highlighted the fact that:

  • There is now more alumni support in schools and across subjects
  • Schools are more aware of the programme—staff as a whole know what it means, the programme is more established
  • There is deeper understanding of bi-cultural issues and a genuine desire to engage
  • There have been small shifts in the status of teaching

Other highlights from the report include:

In their concluding discussion section of the report, the evaluators wrote “ensuring high-quality mentoring for all participants continues to be an important focus of the programme. A number of schools recognise the dual benefits of the mentoring programme and the ability to develop another teacher and almost all the new 2015 schools have provided very good mentoring for participants. The on-going development of a community of mentors is one of the major strengths of the programme in 2015.”

One of the Cohort 15 mentors to a participant in the programme said “I love Teach First NZ. It brings fantastically qualified, enthusiastic young people who might not have gone into teaching otherwise. They’re super humans; competent human beings. The school will change when there are enough of these new teachers.”

The programme has been described as “being strengthened as it continues to develop” from year to year. Some of the key strengths they noted were “the selection processes; the quality, resilience and commitment of participants; the responsiveness of Teach First NZ and University of Auckland Faculty to all feedback and their ability to make changes and improvements as required; and the willingness of schools to embrace the programme.”

Another aspect that was mentioned was the fact that “all Cohort 14 participants were seen to be a great deal more confident, independent, and effective as teachers as they neared the end of their second year.”

Read the full report here