Pupils from a Teach First partner school sitting together on a pebble beach near their school

Challenging disadvantage together

How are school leaders tackling educational inequality across the UK?

Challenging disadvantage together

We work closely with headteachers across the country to tackle inequality in education. We know there are a range of challenges that schools currently face – some determined by regional geography, and others that are common to all. 

To mark our 15th anniversary, we asked school leaders from our partner schools, who form our National Schools Forum, to write about the key challenges they face in their schools and communities; the innovative solutions that they have implemented, in collaboration with others, to address these challenges; and to offer thoughts on what more needs to change to ensure that the children from the least advantaged communities have the best possible education. 

Whilst these essays may not represent Teach First's own policy positions, we think it is vital to hear from school leaders on the front line to provoke discussion and debate so that, as a nation, we can come together to find the best ways to address arguably the most important social issue of our time: educational inequality.

Introducing the authors of our case studies:
  • Foreword by Paul Drechsler CBE
  • Introduction by Dr Vanessa Ogden
  1. The importance of education and place (Vanessa Ogden)
  2. Incentivising collaboration in a competitive system (Andrew Day)
  3. Inclusion in a changing landscape (Ed Vainker)
  4. Business engagement with schools (Vicky Bishop) 
  5. Community cohesion and social integration (Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson) 
  6. Vocational and technical learning (Jason Ashley) 
  7. Selective education and school reform (Cliff Stokes) 
  8. School partnership in a competitive system (Anna Hennell James)
  9. School funding (Peter Elliott and Peter Knight) 
  10. Teacher recruitment and retention (Jane Nolan) 
  11. Breadth and balance in the curriculum and Progress 8 (Simon Barber) 
  12. Leader recruitment and retention (Angela Trigg) 
  13. Assessment and transition between key stages (Andrew O’Brien)
  • Conclusion by Dr Vanessa Ogden

Many of these school leaders will be at our Impact Conference on 24 October, where the issues highlighted in these case studies and many more will be debated by attendees from the education sector and beyond.

You can download a free copy of the full case studies below.
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