Google Chairman announces new partnership with Teach First
24 May 2012
On Wednesday 23 May - in the auspicious surroundings of London’s Science Museum - Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, announced plans to support the training of over 100 Teach First ICT and science teachers.
This inspiring three-year partnership between Google and Teach First is borne out of the severe shortage of teachers in these economically important subject areas. It will see a new generation of teachers working in schools in challenging circumstances to enthuse pupils about ICT and open their eyes to the possibility of a career in the sciences. Too few young people currently leave school with the skills and interest to work in the UK’s rapidly growing science and technology sector – this partnership is a step on the road to changing this.
Google's contribution will support Teach First's training of 102 teachers, 34 for each year of the partnership. Over the three years, Google will support 61 ICT and 41 science teachers to work in schools across the country, with the first 34 entering classrooms in September. To ensure that the ICT teachers, and their pupils, have access to the latest cutting-edge technology, Google will also provide each teacher with a bursary to fund the purchase of innovative teaching aides to inspire their classes.
Speaking about the partnership, Teach First Founder and CEO, Brett Wigdortz, said: “Through joining forces with Google, Teach First will be able to ensure that more than 20,000 pupils from low socio-economic backgrounds will benefit from having access to inspirational ICT and science teachers. It is fitting that, as we mark our tenth anniversary and begin to look to the future, we have been joined by a truly 21st century organisation. This partnership has the potential to help a generation of young people access the technologies of the future.”
When asked how big businesses could affect transformational change, Eric commented: “We think we should put our money where our mouth is. In our case we are putting money into Teach First, a programme to improve the number of maths and science educated teachers in the country - we are going to fund 100 teachers which will reach more than 20,00 students. It’s a small but important step I think, and if more companies and more people who have stake in Britain do this, the better for everybody. We like to show an example – think of this as a first step.”
Highlighting the symbolic importance of this partnership, Eric Schmidt paraphrased Plato in his speech: “…the direction of your education determines your future. If children aren’t inspired to learn about science, it’s a lost opportunity for them and a loss to the world.”
If you would like to find out more about joining us to support more STEM graduates into the classroom, please contact Katy Miles