Teach First

Our history

Since launching in 2002 over 5,000 of our dedicated teachers have worked with more than 1 million young people from low-income communities, supporting them to build the future they want for themselves.

 

 

2014

BBC Three documentary: Tough Young Teachers

This six-part BBC Three documentary series showed the sometimes gruelling, often life-changing journey of a new teacher on screen for the very first time. The story followed the journey of six new teachers, working in schools in low-income communities, as they came to understand what it means to be responsible for a classroom of young people.

2013

Our HEAPS scheme wins Opening Doors Award

As part of the Opening Doors Awards 2013, our Higher Education Access Programme for Schools (HEAPS) was not only nominated in the category for ‘Best Outreach Programme’, but was also declared the runner up in the Deputy Prime Minister’s Excellence Award.

We appoint a new Chair

Our trustees appointed Paul Drechsler as Chair of the Board of Trustees, effective 1 January 2014. Former Chair and current Chief Executive of the Wates Group, Paul takes over from Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO CBE, one of The Times 50 most influential women in Britain.

Our first Innovation Award winners are announced

Tutors United and Girls’ Network were named the winners of our 2013 Innovation Award. They shared £20,000, two salaried positions, and a wealth and support to help them develop their ideas and make a real difference to young people in the UK.

We're the UK's number one graduate employer

We became the largest graduate recruiter in the UK; with 1,261 graduates being recruited and trained this year. The Prime Minister joined Headteachers, school pupils, Teach First participants and ambassadors at Number 10 Downing Street to celebrate the achievement.

More than 1,000 participants join Teach First

We welcomed 1,262 new participants to Summer Institute in nine regions across England and in Wales for the very first time.

Wales welcomes Teach First Cymru

32 participants will be teaching in schools across South Wales as part of a three year pilot starting in September 2013.

We expand to early years

We expanded our primary provision to include early years to help ensure that some of the UK’s most disadvantaged young children get the excellent education they deserve. From September 2013, we’ll be training committed and talented people who want to work with children aged three to five.

Sunday Times Top 100 employers

This year we climbed 28 places to achieve the overall position of 11th best place to work in the not-for-profit sector.

We expand to two new regions

We are now in nine English regions having expanded to the South Coast and the South West.

2012

Brett Wigdortz receives OBE

As our 10th Anniversary year drew to a close, our Founder and CEO, Brett Wigdortz, received an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list.

Brett Wigdortz releases book

Our Founder and CEO, Brett Wigdortz, released his first book, Success Against the Odds: Five lessons in how to achieve the impossible. The book charts the creation and growth of Teach First in its first ten years.

We celebrate 10 years of work

More than 2,000 people came together for our 10th anniversary at Challenge 2012 in the Royal Festival Hall in London to look at how we can collectively end inequality in education. We also launched our Impact Goals to 2022, which set out our areas of focus over the next decade.

Nearly 1,000 new teachers start in the classroom

We recruited 997 participants and partnered with 519 primary and secondary schools. Our Initial Teacher Training provision was judged as 'outstanding' in all areas assessed by Ofsted.

We reach 2,000 ambassadors

Our ambassador community grew to 2,050 people.

We expand to the South East

We opened a new office in Rochester, providing pupils in schools in challenging circumstances in the region with over 40 great teachers from September 2012 teaching English, Maths, Science and Primary.

Times Top 100

We climbed to 4th place in the list of Times Top 100 graduate employers.

2011

Our first primary cohort start teaching

772 participants began teaching in our partner schools, including 84 primary participants for the very first time.

Ambassador community hits 1,500

Our ambassador community increased to 1,575 people.

2010

560 participants start teaching

This year's cohort of 560 participants start teaching in our partner schools.

We reach 1,000 ambassadors

Our ambassador community increased to 1,168 people.

Times Top 100

We climbed to 7th place in the list of Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.

We expand to the North East

We expanded to our sixth region, the North East, opening an office in Newcastle.

2009

Nearly 500 new teachers start in schools

485 participants start teaching pupils in 220 partner primary and secondary schools.

First Midlands cohort become ambassadors

Our ambassador community increased to 854, joined by our first Midlands cohort.

Times Top 100

We climbed to 8th place in the list of Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.

We expand to Yorkshire and Humber

Our Yorkshire and Humber launch event brought together politicians, schools, participants, and supporters to celebrate the expansion and cement the work that had already started in the region.

2008

We partner with 150 primary and secondary schools

This year's cohort of 373 participants began teaching in 151 partner primary and secondary schools.

First Manchester cohort become ambassadors

Our ambassador community increased to 635 people, joined by our first Manchester cohort.

2007

We partner with over 100 schools

This year we recruited 272 participants to teach in 118 partner secondary schools.

Ambassador community tops 400

Our ambassador community increased to 430 people this year.

We expand to the Midlands

This year we expanded into the Midlands, our third region.

Times Top 100

We climbed to 14th place in the list of Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.

2006

2006 cohort start in the classroom

We recruited 265 participants who started teaching in 90 partner secondary schools.

Ambassador community grows

Our ambassador community increased to 300 people.

Times Top 100

We climbed to 16th in the list of Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.

2005

Our third cohort start teaching

Our 2005 cohort of 183 participants began teaching in 73 partner secondary schools.

Our first cohort become ambassadors

Our inaugural 2003 cohort of participants graduated to become ambassadors.

We expand out of London

We opened an office in Greater Manchester, and began recruiting our first cohort to teach outside of London.

Times Top 100

We climbed to 19th in the list of Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.

2004

Our second cohort start teaching

Our 2004 cohort of 197 participants started teaching pupils in 65 secondary schools across London.

Times Top 100

We climbed to 42nd in the list of Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.

2003

Our first participants start to teach

Our first cohort of participants started to teach in 45 secondary schools in London. Haling Manor High School in Croydon was the first school to sign up for our participants.

First cohort starts Summer Institute

Our first training partner, Canterbury Christ Church College (now University) hosted the inaugural Summer Institute – six weeks of intensive training for our first cohort of 186 participants.

Times Top 100

We entered the UK Times Top 100 Graduate Employers at 62.

2002

Teach First launches

Our inspirational CEO, Brett Wigdortz, left the corporate world to set up a charity to improve education. He developed a business plan for Teach First after the McKinsey team he was part of had looked into how businesses could help improve secondary education in London and found that great teachers could raise pupils’ results by at least 40%. In July 2002, Teach First officially launched in Canary Wharf with a team of 11 committed employees led by Brett Wigdortz as CEO and Stephen O’Brien CBE & George Iacobescu CBE as co-chairs of the Board of Trustees. Canary Wharf Group and Citi become the first corporate supporters of Teach First.