Diversity and inclusion

Three pupils playing with musical instruments.

We’re about tackling injustice. To do that it's crucial we reflect the communities we serve. Our decisions will be better because of it. Whether it's with our programmes or employees.

  • We’re transparent by default – so we share how we’re doing
  • We take a focused approach to improving our diversity and inclusion
  • We can do better
  • We’ll always need to improve because our communities are constantly changing
Three pupils playing with musical instruments.

We’re building a fair education for all. And a fair place to work.

Diversity - what we think

Bring your whole self to work

Our challenge is to unlock the potential in all our children, not just some. To rise to it, together we’re creating a culture where everyone, from any background, can do their best work. Whether you’re on one of our programmes or an employee, we’ll support you to perform, grow and contribute with the confidence to be yourself.

Our decision-making should involve and be held to account by those with the personal experience of the barriers we're here to break down. This connects us to the communities we serve.

That’s how we’ll build a fair education for all.

men and women laughing

Our achievements

We’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far, while continuing to work to improve our diversity and inclusion.

Our employees:

  • 66% of our senior leaders are women. Our median Gender Pay Gap for April 2019 was 0.38% in favour of men.
  • 12% of our employees identify as Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME). That’s compared to 9% for the charity sector as a whole.
  • 6% of our employees identify as LGBT+.
  • 20% of our Trustees are BAME compared to 9.6% of trustees in the top 100 charities by income.

Find out more about our gender pay gap reporting.

Our School leadership programmes:

  • Headship programme members: 9% BAME.
  • Senior leader programme: 9% BAME.
  • Middle Leader Programme: 11% BAME.

Our Training Programme:

  • 22% of our 2019 Trainees are BAME (that’s up from 15% in 2015).
  • 12% of our 2019 Trainees are LGBT+.
  • 49% of our 2019 Trainees are the first generation of their family to go to university.

Supporting schools:

We support schools in upholding equality – for example, in our CEO’s piece in the Guardian about teaching LGBT issues.

Teach First employee doing Run the River
Teacher with pupils

What we're doing to improve

We’ve still got work to do to meet our goal of reflecting the communities we serve. So we can unlock our full potential to build a fair education for all. Here’s some of what we’re doing to get there:

Our programmes

  • We use contextual recruitment. In our Development Centres we select for potential rather than perfection. This means we have a more diverse cohort of trainees.
  • We blind screen our applications for our Training and School Leadership programmes. That means we don’t see anyone’s identifying information, including race, age or gender, when making decisions about who meets the criteria for going to the next stage of recruitment.
  • We publish our diversity and inclusion data to hold ourselves to account to reach our goals. Read or 2020 data in this report.

Our employees

  • Our aim is to increase commitment among senior managers to recruit, train and promote talented people from under-represented groups.
  • For our senior and middle management roles, we insist on short lists for interview which are diverse. At least 25% of candidates invited to interview will be from underrepresented groups for all management and leadership roles. And for our most senior roles at least 50% will be.
  • We’re introducing targeted learning and development opportunities for our BAME identifying colleagues – including management apprenticeships and reverse mentoring
  • We’re increasing our equality, diversity and inclusion training to help managers and others in the organisation fully understand the structural challenges experienced by BAME colleagues
  • We also use blind screening for applications to work for us.
  • We’re signed up to the principles on racial diversity for ACEVO (that’s the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations)

We know we’ve got work to do

Our focus for our employees:
  • We’ve prioritised three areas of work, so we can focus and measure our efforts in improving our diversity and inclusion:
  • Increasing Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic representation, especially at our own senior levels.
  • Enhancing socio-economic diversity and improving social mobility.
  • Continued focus on creating a great place to work for working parents.
Our employee affinity groups

We’ve got four affinity groups and networks at the moment, listed below. They’re all employee led, and we’d love to hear from anyone who’d like to set up their own group.

Teach First at Pride parade
Teacher in classroom with pupils
Women talking

Our reports

Our Diversity & Inclusion reports

Measuring our progress is an essential part of our approach to Diversity & Inclusion. We believe transparency drives equality through accountability. 

That’s why we publish our employee diversity data so you can judge how we’re doing and our progress for yourself.

Our diversity data

  • Demographic Data. Every six months we’ll publish our full demographic data for our employees. Our latest report shows that:
  1. Ethnicity: Employees identifying as BAME has increased from 14.7% at 31/8/20 to 17.2% at 28/2/21 (+2.5%). ‘Not answered’ has fallen from 9% to 2.8%.
  2. Disability: Employees identifying that they have a disability has increased from 4% to 6.5% (+2.5%). ‘Not answered’ has fallen from 10% to 3%.
  3. Faith/Belief: Employees responding that they have ‘no religion’ has increased from 48% to 53%. ‘Not answered’ has fallen from 10% to 3.1%.
  4. Social Mobility: Employees responding that they were eligible for free school meals has increased from 10% to 15.8% (+5.8%). ‘Not answered’ has fallen from 28% to 5.7%.

Read the February 2021 report.

Read the 2020 report.

Read the 2019 report.

  • Gender Pay Gap Report. We publish this each year in line with government requirements.

Read the 2020 report.

  • Ethnicity Pay Gap Report. From 2020 we’ll voluntarily report our ethnicity pay gap each year.

Read the 2020 report.

University students attending a Teach First event.
Teacher with girl at desk with work

Our employee affinity groups

BAME Affinity Group

We’re working to influence and support an increase in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) representation across the charity, especially at senior levels. We’re also working to help make Teach First a charity that truly celebrates and encourages diversity.

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LGBT+ Affinity Network

We exist to promote and support equality and inclusion for all employees, with a particular focus on LGBT+ issues.

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The Neurodiversity and Disability Affinity Network

We promote inclusive culture across the organisation so that people who are neurodivergent, or who have disabilities or chronic conditions are given the right support to be their whole selves at work and thrive.

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Working Parents Affinity Group

We aim to connect parents, discuss issues and make recommendations to influence positive changes for parents across the organisation.

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Women's Network

We aim to promote an environment in which women feel able to bring their identities to work.

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