Hiring trainee teachers with us? Here’s all you need to know

This section provides answers to frequently asked questions about hiring trainees from our Training Programme.

Frequently asked questions

Your new trainee teacher

What are the benefits of hiring a Teach First trainee?

When you hire one of our trainee teachers, we’ll support your school every step of the way. We’ll discuss what you’re looking for and keep things as simple as possible by:  

  • Hiring a new trainee teacher to work in your school for a minimum of two years, starting in September.  
  • Saving you valuable time with our rigorous recruitment process. We’ll take care of recruiting talent, reviewing applications and interviewing candidates based on what your school needs.   
  • Providing high-quality training – rated Outstanding by Ofsted – and comprehensive support throughout the two years from a Teach First development lead, university tutor and school-based mentor (including a £2,400 grant per trainee to develop an existing staff member).   

By partnering with us, you’ll receive access to many benefits, which include: continued development for your existing staff, funded CPD, exciting opportunities for your staff and pupils, and access to our wide range of networks in education. 

How will Teach First recruit trainees for my school?

We collaborate with our partner schools to find talent that is suited to the needs and context of the school. From the time a vacancy is raised, a member of our team will be in touch to learn more about your staffing needs for next year. 

Our recruitment process starts with a detailed online application form before the trainee moves to a comprehensive face-to-face assessment – all managed by us to save you time.   
Before each trainee teacher joins their school in September, they’ll have: 

  • been evaluated at our development centre through interviews, mock lessons and role plays 
  • completed a subject knowledge assessment, to discover how ready they are to teach a subject or phase 
  • completed suitability to teach checks
  • identify areas of curriculum knowledge they need to improve, some trainees may complete a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) as preparation.

To find out more about hiring trainee teachers, you can fill in our online form to tell us what you need and a member of our team will be in touch.

What support does the trainee receive through Teach First?

Throughout their first two years, trainees receive a comprehensive range of support to help them build the confidence and skills required. Your trainees will work with these key roles: 

  • Development Lead: An expert Teach First teacher educator who will oversee all training and your trainee’s development.
  • School-based Mentor: The mentor will be a teacher who’s already in your team and is designated to support the trainee. To fund the work of a mentor for each trainee in your school, we pay your school a grant of £2,400 per trainee.
  • Tutor: We work with some of the best teacher training universities in the UK. A tutor is from one of our partner universities and will lead the assessments of PGDE assignments.
How much does it cost to recruit a Teach First trainee?

Our fees depend on what subject or key stage teacher you require for the next year. Please note that the following fees are our prices for trainees starting in 2024: 
Fees for early years and primary are:

  • £2,400 in year one, £1,600 in year two.

Fees for secondary schools are:

  • Non-shortage subjects (not listed below): £5,700 in year one, £5,700 in year two. 
  • Modern foreign languages: £6,700 in year one, £6,700 in year two. 
  • Maths, physics, chemistry, biology, computing​: £7,000 in year one, £7,000 in year two.

For more information on fees, please read the 'Costs' tab on our website. Alternatively, fill in our online form and tell us what you need. A member of our team will be in touch. 

What training will the teachers receive before they start at my school?

Before trainees start at your school, the trainee will complete Summer Institute – the initial training which equips them with the core skills they need in the classroom from September. During this training period, they’ll learn some of the fundamentals to start teaching, such as such as behaviour management, pupil assessment and lesson planning. They’ll also boost their curriculum knowledge and meet other trainees. 
Trainees will have the opportunity to choose from part-time (9 weeks) or full-time (5 weeks) training, making Summer Institute more accessible to trainees with other commitments. Both models will contain the same curriculum content and opportunities for school-based experience.  

During Summer Institute, they’ll spend a minimum of two days at your school. Trainees will observe lessons and start building relationships with the teachers and pupils they’ll be working with full-time from September. 

When will my new trainee teacher start?

All trainee teachers will start in September to begin the academic year. Before they start, they’ll complete Summer Institute – the initial teacher training which equips them with the core skills they’ll need to teach in the classroom.  
During this time, they’ll learn some of the fundamentals to start teaching, such as behaviour management, pupil assessment and lesson planning. They’ll also boost their curriculum knowledge and meet other trainees. 

What happens after the two years?

When the trainee has completed the two-year programme, you’re free to offer them a permanent contract. The majority of trainees continue to teach after the two years. 
We’ll also offer ongoing training and qualifications, supporting them to progress and stay in teaching, such as our Early Careers Framework, National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) and Careers Leader programme. They’ll also learn from and share best practice with thousands of teachers through our support networks. 

Your school

Is my school eligible to work with Teach First?

We prioritise recruiting trainee teachers for schools in England that teach a high number of pupils from low-income backgrounds. 

Our criteria are agreed with the Department for Education (DfE) and used to identify schools that will benefit most from working with us. We use the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) and Pupil Premium (PP) information for each school to guide us. 

This focuses on schools that are ranked in the top 70% most deprived areas (based on IDACI) and where the proportion of pupils eligible for pupil premium is in the top 50% of all state-funded schools. 

We understand that no set of criteria is ever going to perfectly capture the many forms that deprivation can take, so if you think your school would benefit from our support but doesn’t match the standard eligibility criteria above, please get in touch through our online form.

How do I raise a vacancy with Teach First?

The first steps to raising a vacancy is simple. All you need to do is fill in our online form and tell us what you need. A member of our team will be in touch to discuss the next steps.

When can I raise a vacancy with Teach First?

We currently recruit trainees to start each September as standard, and you can raise a vacancy with us at any time. To get in contact with a member of our team, fill in our online form and tell us what you need. We’ll get in touch to discuss next steps.

What if I don't know my staffing needs yet?

Please feel free to get in touch using our online form and a member of our team will get in touch to discuss how we can help your school and create extra capacity.

The Training Programme

How have other schools found the Training Programme?

Results from our 2021 Headteacher survey indicate / show that:  

  • 88% of headteachers were satisfied with their school’s partnership with Teach First. 
  • 93% of headteachers rated the quality of the Training Programme as either ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
What are the online elements to the Training Programme?

Over the past two years, we’ve been developing a blended learning approach that combines online and in-person training. This means that we can deliver high quality training online, which is more accessible and flexible for trainees.  

Below are the tools we’re using to help make the work we do more accessible to those who need it most:  

Brightspace hosts the learning content for some of our programmes.   

IRIS Connect 

IRIS Connect is a video-based app that will be used by all trainees to record lessons, reflect and receive feedback from their support roles.  

Powerful Action Steps (PAS) aka StepLab 

We're exploring how instructional coaching will help support roles track a trainee’s progress towards QTS on the Training Programme. 


Zoom will be used for seminars, lectures and group meetings online.   

We provide trainees with IRIS kits including devices to record reflections and licences for all users of Brightspace, IRIS and Steplab. Learn more about how our online tools support trainees.     

What’s new about our Primary Training Programme?

Based on school feedback, research and consultancy, we’ve made some changes to our Training Programme to support primary schools.

Both our Early Years and Primary curricula have been comprehensively redesigned to align with new frameworks and Ofsted priorities, and to set our trainees and the children they teach up to be successful.

Training is informed by sector experts and the latest research to equip our trainees with the relevant skills and knowledge they need to succeed as a teacher.


Development Lead

An expert Teach First teacher/ educator who will oversee all training and your trainee’s development.


A designated member of staff at your school who’ll support the trainee throughout the two years. There is a £2,400 grant per trainee to develop an existing staff member into a mentor. 


A university tutor from one of our partner universities who’ll lead the assessment of PGDE assignments.

SKE (Subject Knowledge Enhancement)

A course designed to bring a candidates knowledge up to secondary teaching level.

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