Pupils in a school science lab led by a Teach First teacher

The Big Class Challenge

Challenge the Impossible in the classroom.

The Big Class Challenge

What is the Big Class Challenge?

We're calling on teachers to deliver special lessons and asking volunteers to give complementary talks in schools, which will help pupils from low-income communities to explore the careers and goals they could pursue after school.
Anyone can get involved across the UK using our free lesson plans for teachers and guidance packs for volunteers.

Be inspired by leading figures who have already taught lessons as part of Big Class Challenge

How can I get involved?


  • Download our free lesson plans for EYFS and key stages 1-4 and deliver the lessons in your school 
  • Invite a non-teacher friend to speak to your pupils about their post-school journey
Our guidance packs will make it easy to talk about the next steps for your pupils. They include ready-made worksheets and presentation slides, saving valuable time to deliver a fun and thought-provoking one-hour lesson for children of all ages. By inviting a non-teacher friend to speak to your pupils you will give them a chance to learn about a range of options for the future that they may never have thought possible.


  • Use your contacts and networks to arrange a school visit to talk to pupils about your post-school journey  
  • Download our volunteer pack for guidance about how you can prepare and deliver your talk 
  • Encourage any teachers and schools that you know to download our teacher guidance packs and deliver lessons to pupils. 
Regardless of the route you took after school or your career to date you will have useful information to share with pupils. Your story, your company’s story, your classroom story – they can all be inspiring to young people and help to support schools with teaching about careers. You don’t need to have special qualifications or experience of delivering talks in school to take part. The key is that you are willing to support pupils to think about their next steps after school.

When does it take place?

The ideal dates are between 11-22 December 2017 – that's when the Big Class Challenge will happen across the country, to bring attention to the urgent need to better prepare young people for life after school. However, there is no time limit on the relevance or importance of this, so if you can't join us for the Challenge, remember that the lessons and talks can be delivered at any time.  

Why should I take part?

By getting involved you'll play a vital part in tackling the issues surrounding post-school progression for disadvantaged pupils in the UK. Our recent report 'Impossible' showed that:
  • In every part of the country a person from a low-income community is less likely to take on an apprenticeship;
  • Young people on free school meals are half as likely to progress to university than their wealthier peers;
  • Disadvantaged pupils are almost twice as likely to be not in education, employment or training (NEET) after they finish school.
This is what we call the 'class ceiling', but with your help we can show that actually, the sky is the limit.

What you’ll be contributing

As a teacher

You will be giving vital input to pupils about their lives beyond school. At Key Stages Three and Four, the lessons focus on demystifying the options available to pupils post-16 and post-18, a key factor that the Behavioural Insights Team have found contributes to inequalities in destinations. The lessons also bridge the gaps between careers and qualifications, helping pupils overcome another significant barrier, as identified by the Education Endowment Foundation (PDF download). At Key Stages One and Two, and at Early Years Foundation Stage, the lessons also work to undermine stereotypes that determine pupil expectations and aspirations from an early age, the importance of which is highlighted by Oftsed (Word download) and researchers at King’s College London and Stanford University (PDF download).

As a volunteer

You will be providing valuable first-hand insight into careers and the different routes to get there that pupils might not otherwise access. Pupils will get a chance to learn from your experiences and be encouraged to explore and consider their own options for the future. Research from the Education and Employers Task force (PDF download) found that a young person who has four or more encounters with an employer at school is 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in education or training upon leaving education, and can earn up to 18% more during their career.

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