Teach First joins forces with Google to address teacher shortage
Partnership aims to support the training of a generation of ICT and science teachers to work in low-income communities
23 May 2012
Charity Teach First and Google have today (23 May) announced plans to work together to train and support more than 100 ICT and science teachers to work in schools serving some of the country’s lowest income communities.
The three year partnership, which aims to address the severe shortage of teachers in these economically important subject areas, will see Teach First and Google train 102 teachers, 34 for each year of the partnership. Over the life of the partnership Google will support 61 ICT and 41 science teachers to work in schools in challenging circumstances across the country, with the first 34 entering classrooms in September 2012.
Teach First is an independent charity working to break the link between low family income and poor educational attainment. Teach First places outstanding graduates to teach and lead in schools in challenging circumstances, and is creating a movement of leaders who are committed to raising the achievement, aspirations and access to opportunity of children from low socio-economic backgrounds.
The partnership was borne out of a shared concern that too few young people were leaving school with the skills and interest to work in the UK’s rapidly growing science and technology sector.
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 and enthuse their classes.
Speaking about the partnership Teach First Founder and CEO Brett Wigdortz said: “The shortage of ICT and science teachers is an issue facing most schools, but this issue is especially acute in those schools serving low-income communities.
“Through joining forces with Google Teach First will be able to ensure that, over the three years of the partnership, 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.”
Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman Google said: "Science transforms our understanding of the world, and gives us the building blocks to transform our lives. We recognise there’s a severe shortage in the UK of people equipped to teach computer science. So, we’ve joined forces with Teach First to help train and support more than 100 first rate science and computer science teachers over the next three years"
Notes To Editors
About Teach First
Teach First is an independent charity working to break the link between low family income and poor educational attainment which is greater in the UK than in almost any other developed country.
The scale of change needed is so great that it requires a movement of leaders to make a difference at a pupil, school and system level. Teach First is working towards achieving its mission by enabling its participants and ambassadors in the classroom to raise the achievement, aspiration, and access to opportunity of children from low socio-economic backgrounds, whilst developing a network of leaders with a life-long commitment to ending inequality in education from both inside and outside the classroom.
Since launching in 2002, Teach First has recruited and trained increasing numbers of participants – more than 757 new participants began their teacher careers in September – and is working to place 1140 graduates per year by 2013, which would make it the largest graduate recruiter in the UK.
Teach First operates in six regions across England: London, West Midlands, East Midlands, Yorkshire the Humber, North West and the North East.
The charity has expanded to work in the primary sector with the first cohort of 84 Teach First primary teachers entering classrooms in September in London, the East and West Midlands, the North West and Yorkshire & the Humber.
Teach First is raising the quality and profile of the teaching profession and has made teaching in a challenging school one of the most prestigious options for top graduates. In 2012, Teach First was ranked 4th in the coveted league of Times Top 100 Graduate Employers. Interest in the programme continues to grow amongst top graduates, with the number of applicants rising from 3,000 in 2009 to over 5,000 in 2011.
Teach First has built a national reputation for collaborating with schools, local authorities and business partners to help close the attainment gap. Working in six regions across England, it knows that placing inspirational teachers in schools in challenging circumstances for a minimum of two years drives improvement in standards and results.
A recent external evaluation by the University of Manchester identified a link between Teach First and improved GCSE results. The 2010 research found that schools in challenging circumstances which employ Teach First teachers have seen a statistically significant improvement in their GCSE results. The report also found that the more Teach First teachers were placed in schools the bigger the improvement.
Teach First partners with primary and secondary schools where more than half of pupils come from the poorest 30% of families in the UK, according to the IDACI (Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index). In some cases Teach First will use its discretion to explore working with schools who do not meet this criterion.
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