Last month Russell Hobby shared the headlines of our new strategy, focusing on:
- Getting more great teachers to where they’re needed the most
- Strengthening school leadership so schools and teachers can thrive
- Supporting schools with our amazing community and a more positive policy environment.
As a 2004 ambassador I could not be prouder to lead the Network Development Directorate which will continue to support ambassadors. Back in 2003, I saw the poster on my University pinboard that said, ‘Are you on for a challenge’ and ‘do you want to change the world’? The answer to both was ‘yes’. I joined Teach First and it changed the course of my life.
The ambition for the ambassador community remains as audacious as it ever was. If the last fifteen years tell us anything, it is that ambassadors are extraordinary people, who have and can and will continue to achieve extraordinary things at an extraordinary rate, and that it is right to hope and believe that this community will drive real, positive change in education from many fields.
Our Network Development Directorate will be:
- Supporting a range of ambassador networks: connecting you with teachers, policy makers, business leaders, schools and change makers so that more extraordinary ideas can form
- Offering school leadership career development opportunities, for those working in schools (or looking to return)
- Promoting key volunteering activities that we know make a real difference to teachers and schools.
We've got a highly talented team (including many familiar faces) ready to connect you with networks, opportunities and each other. As well as network building, we will be focusing on amplifying and celebrating the Teach First community and connecting you with opportunities to make an impact.
Great things happen when passionate people get together, we've seen this time and time again, from teachers swapping lesson plans or talking about ways to support NQTs, to ambassadors around a table generating ideas for a social enterprise. We will be putting more energy into building great networks so that ambassadors can support each other directly.
Sharing and celebrating the Teach First community
We'll be ramping up our presence on social media, using our digital platforms more strategically and sharing more great stories of what ambassadors are doing and what’s going on in the wider education community.
Connecting you with opportunities to make an impact
As we focus on supporting schools to thrive (with great teachers and leaders) we'll be trying to make it easy for you to do the same, especially if you work outside of the classroom. We’ll share opportunities that can really have impact , like becoming a governor, volunteering with a local social enterprise or speaking to a class about your career.
But Teach First itself also relies on your help. When an ambassador speaks about their experiences in the classroom, people listen. There is no better way to convince a graduate to join Teach First, to help a participant to be the best teacher they can be, or to persuade a funder to invest than for them to hear from you. You can inspire so many people with your passion, experience and personal story. If you have any time to help us with this, please sign up here.
Providing light touch support
With a growing community our support will shift: we won’t have a Local Engagement Officer in each region, but we will have a whole central Network Development team. They will be your first point of call at Teach First, signposting you to relevant people or opportunities. Please email the team with any and every kind of query and a Network Officer will get back to you.
I am excited about the years ahead for the community and Teach First. The challenges in the system are great. There has been huge progress in many areas (e.g. in London, where children from low income areas now outperform the average for all pupils nationally). But child poverty remains shocking, the systemic challenges are immense, the money is tight and so we need to work even harder to make a real difference for all young people in the next few years ahead. I am confident that I’m working with the right people to get some of it done.
I look forward to working with you in the future.
Please email me at any time. I am always interested.
All the very best, Flora.