Teach First Funding

The Parliamentary Information Office of the Parliamentary Yearbook has been monitoring progress in Government policy relating to higher education for a major feature in the next edition on further and higher education

Education Secretary Michael Gove announced earlier this month that the Government will provide further funding to accelerate the expansion of Teach First – the successful charity which recruits top graduates to work in the most challenging schools.

The charity Teach First is a powerful movement founded to directly address the problem of educational disadvantage. Founded in 2002, Teach First has already changed the lives of thousands of young people. Teach First harnesses the energy, enthusiasm and drive of exceptional graduates to provide leadership, motivation and, above all, inspirational teaching in schools in challenging circumstances across England.

Since its founding in 2002, Teach First has placed over 2,520 teachers in schools in challenging circumstances to work with students to raise their achievement, access and aspirations. It has also been voted 7th in the The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers, positioning it as the highest ranking charity in the history of the survey.

The Prime Minister said of the charity

“Teach First is a programme that recognises our shared responsibility for raising standards in schools, combining business, the voluntary sector and schools themselves. Fast tracking exceptional graduates into challenging inner city schools is a great idea and one that should be expanded nationwide.”

This month’s announcement means that tens of thousands of children across England will benefit from a £32.4million Government investment in the programme next year – an increase of more than £3million. The majority of this funding goes to Teach First’s 14 university training partners.

The funding will help the charity train 1,250 top graduates, from 70 different universities, next year before they go on to join schools in the most challenging circumstances – double the number who took part in the charity’s Leadership Development Programme in 2010.

The Government has also announced its support of Teach First’s goal to train 1,500 participants in 2014/15 – triple the number who took part in the Leadership Development Programme in 2010.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said:

“The countries which give their children the best education in the world are those which value their teachers most highly and where the profession attracts the brightest graduates.

“Our priority is to deliver robust standards and high quality teaching to all pupils, whatever their background. To do this we must attract highly talented people into education because the quality of teachers has a greater influence on children’s achievement than any other aspect of their education.

“By expanding Teach First, the Government is delivering on this commitment.

“Teach First works in primary and secondary schools where more than half of pupils come from the poorest 30 per cent of families in the UK.

“This expansion will mean that Teach First would be able to reach 90 per cent of eligible schools by 2016, boosting the Government’s commitment to recruit more top teachers across England.

“It will also make Teach First the largest graduate recruiter in the country. It recruits exceptional graduates – those having at least a 2.1 degree – who go through a thorough assessment process and intensive two-year training programme.”

The announcement comes as part of the Coalition Government’s drive to raise standards in our schools, by making it a highly attractive career for top graduates.

Welcoming the additional Government support, Brett Wigdortz, CEO and Founder of Teach First, said:

“I’m delighted that in our 10th anniversary year the Coalition Government has confirmed this significant contribution to support the growth of Teach First.

“We have always been extremely grateful for the cross party support Teach First has received from governments over the past decade, as well as the support of our other partners, including schools, universities and businesses, who collectively ensure that we can achieve our goals.

“This decision will help us to get one step closer to our ambitious aim to ensure that no child’s educational success is limited by their socio-economic background.”

The additional Government grant, which accounts for a significant amount of Teach First’s overall funding, will help them to expand into two new regions – Kent & Medway in 2012 and the South West in 2013.

It will also help support the growth of its Teach On programme, which accelerates Teach First teachers to become senior leaders and head teachers.

The Parliamentary Information Office of the Parliamentary Yearbook will continue to report on the progress of the Teach First and Teach On programmes as we go through the months ahead.

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