Coronavirus (COVID-19) information: trainee teachers
Thank you for the support you’re providing for pupils during this challenging time. Please continue to focus on the guidance provided by your school alongside this information from Teach First.
Last updated 18 March 2021
Following the government road map to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions we’ve updated our plans for school support from Teach First . Our priority is to support schools and teachers in the safest way possible. We are committed to working with you, your mentors, school and university to support you to progress through your QTS and PGDE.
During Step 1A of the lifting of restrictions we will start essential school visits. From Step B, it is our intent to visit all trainees where schools allow and where we're able to. Alongside this the majority of your meetings will still likely to be on the phone or video call. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your Development Lead.
We will not be running any face to face events until September 2021 at the earliest. Sessions will continue to take place online from both universities and Teach First.
Our priority remains protecting and supporting our schools, our communities and our employees. In response to COVID-19, all our programmes are continuing to be delivered remotely.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know it’s an uncertain time. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions to provide more guidance. As circumstances change, we'll keep these updated with the latest information as soon as we’re able to provide it.
- What will face-to-face visits in schools look like?
From 8 March to 29 March (Step 1A to Step 1B) we will only provide essential face-to-face support. This covers support that can’t be done online and is essential for the progress of that trainee on the programme.
From 29 March or Step 1B to the end of restrictions we will be intending to arrange a visit to all trainees where a school allows and we are able to. However, it is possible that the person visiting each school might be a different Development Lead to the one usually in that school. School visits for filming or wider engagement opportunities (e.g. having our business partners visit your school) may still take place but only with explicit permissions. To minimise risk and to reduce the likelihood of Teach First spreading COVID-19 between schools, our employees will only be permitted to make one school visit per day.
Our university partners are determining next steps regarding their tutor visits for the Training Programme and are continuing to work closely in partnership with Development Leads and our support teams.
- How should I support my school?
All schools are facing different challenges, and the exact details and policies will vary between each. As you’re employed by your school, please keep focused on their needs – we don’t want to distract you from that. If there’s anything you’re unsure of, you can check this with your mentor or Development Lead.
- What support will be available to trainee teachers?
Development Leads and tutors will continue to support trainees remotely. Trainees and mentors will access all of their Teach First learning online, with no in-person events planned for the remainder of the academic year.
This is to prioritise the health and safety of all involved and support with the forward planning for our partner schools and teachers. It covers in-person Training Programme CPD or training days, and those for school leadership programmes.
You’ll still need scheduled time set aside to conduct your live online learning and support. Both Teach First and our university colleagues are set up well for working with schools and trainees online to respond flexibly to the ongoing pandemic.
- What should I do if I need extra support from Teach First?
Please keep your Development Lead informed if you feel you need any additional support, including visits to your school.
- What about support from university partners?
Our university partners are determining next steps regarding their tutor visits for the Training Programme and are continuing to work closely in partnership with Development Leads and our regional teams. All universities will be continuing to provide support via phone or video call in the short term. Some may return to school visits in the summer term.
- How can I stay informed with the latest updates from Teach First?
You’ll continue to receive the trainee bulletins sent out every two weeks. This is the best way to stay informed about the support available to you as a trainee teacher.
- What’s the impact on QTS and PGDE for trainee teachers who started in 2019?
The Department for Education confirmed that trainee teachers were able to gain QTS this summer as planned. That judgement was made based on any assessments to date and progress towards meeting the Teachers’ Standards. You will still be able to complete your PGDE. You can read the updated ITT guidance from the DfE on their website.
- Can I still become a Teach First ambassador when I complete the programme?
Everyone who successfully completes one of our programmes becomes part of our ambassador community. We’ll share more detailed information about what this means closer to the end of the academic year.