Teacher recruitment

A teacher sharing a laugh with two of their pupils.

Our training develops talented people into inspiring teachers. That means more support, fewer costly recruitment ads, and individuals primed to unlock the potential in your pupils.

  • ‘Outstanding’ teacher training
  • Talent from diverse backgrounds
  • We recruit to teaching posts, saving you time and money
  • Rigorous selection to meet your needs
  • Ongoing support for your trainee and school

Find new teaching talent and inspire your pupils.


Outstanding training that shapes outstanding teachers

We’re experts at teacher training, with over 15 years of experience developing talent for schools tackling the greatest challenges. We’ve developed our two-year Training Programme based on best practice from across the globe – during our last Ofsted inspection it was rated ‘Outstanding’.

At the end of year one, your trainee will gain qualified teacher status (QTS). By the end of year two they’ll have earned a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), tailored to the needs of disadvantaged children. Alongside us, you’ll receive support from a leading university. We work with some of the best teacher training institutions to provide personalised, subject or phase-specific support.

Case study: Cheetham C of E Community Academy

Learn about our long-term partnership with Cheetham C of E Community Academy, a primary school in Manchester, to recruit and develop new teachers.

Key Benefits

  • 99% of trainees who gain Qualified Teacher Status with us achieve the top two grades.
  • Trainees are twice as likely to teach in low-income areas than those from other training routes after three years.
  • Our Training Programme is a Times Top 100 graduate scheme.

Teaching talent from diverse backgrounds

Our trainees are a diverse group. They come from a variety of social and ethnic backgrounds, bringing diverse skills and experience. Last year, half of them were the first generation in their families to go to university. Nearly a third are professionals who have come into teaching as a second career, bringing that experience with them to schools.

Wherever our trainees are coming from, you can be confident that they’ll have the talent and motivation to add real value to your school. As one of the top ten most prestigious graduate employers, entry to our Training Programme is competitive. Our trainees are all academically capable - but the thing that really unites them, and our chief priority when selecting them, is their potential to become great teachers.

We handle teacher recruitment, saving you time and money

We want to make life simpler for schools. Coming directly to us means you won’t have to deal with job ads or teacher recruitment agencies, saving you money and time – time you can spend on your pupils. And you can rest assured that they’ll always have a dedicated teacher, because we’ll make sure there’s someone in place at the start of the school year.  

Rigorous selection that meets your school’s needs

Over the years we’ve learned what makes a great teacher. We recruit people who can really make a difference to children from low-income backgrounds. We assess both on paper and in person, and we expect much more than just formal qualifications. We’re looking for the characteristics and skills that make a brilliant teacher including humility, planning, resilience and curriculum knowledge. 

We’ll work with you to make sure your trainee has the strengths and subject expertise that your school needs. 

Ongoing support for your trainee and school

Each trainee is backed up by a support system. Alongside a mentor from your school and a university tutor who’ll asses their progress, they’ll have a dedicated expert from our team. These trained teachers are specially recruited for their mentoring skills, supporting trainees from day one.

Your trainee will teach up to an 80% timetable in their first year and progress to a standard qualified teacher timetable in their second.

Once they’ve completed the programme, trainees will be a part of our ambassador network. This includes over 10,000 former Teach First trainees, all helping and supporting each other. They’ll also have access to a range of development opportunities that will help them further improve as classroom and school leaders.

Teacher and pupil looking at chart on table
Through Teach First, we got the sort of people we’d been looking for: passionate, committed, hard-working and who challenged our thinking.
Andrew Rushton,
Netherton CofE Primary School


The issue

The link between low income and low academic attainment is greater in the UK than almost any other developed nation. Children eligible for free school meals are less likely to get good GCSEs and go on to higher education.

This makes it more likely they will struggle throughout their lives, widening social inequality. It’s a cycle that we’re determined to break.

Our trainee teachers are placed in schools in low-income communities and  in challenging circumstances. We want to ensure that we provide as much support as we can to pupils in areas of socio-economic and educational deprivation.

Key stats: our impact

Recruiting the next generation of teachers
  • We’ve recruited over 10,000 teachers, supporting over one million pupils.
  • We attract people who wouldn’t otherwise have considered careers in teaching. In 2020, we received over 9,000 applications.
  • Our trainees are high achievers - 93% graduated with a first class or 2:1 degree.
  • In 2017, 99% of trainees who gained QTS achieved the two highest QTS grades.
  • Our training focuses on behaviour management, children’s emotional health and well-being.
  • Ofsted rated our training ‘Outstanding’ at our last inspection. It’s designed by some of the country’s top teacher educators.
Supporting schools to improve
  • Ours is the only teacher training route with published evidence of a direct link between our teachers and improved GCSE results
  • National GCSE data shows that around one in four Teach First schools improved by more than ten percentage points. And approximately 10% of the most improved schools are ones in which Teach First is active.
  • After partnering with us, underperforming school departments improved their GCSE results from 9% lower than others’ in the same school to 16% higher within two years.
  • In a recent Institute for Fiscal Studies study, 90% of headteachers said they would recommend us to other schools.
Lasting impact
  • Of our most recent cohort of teachers to complete the two-year programme, 80% are still teaching.
  • Across all cohorts of our teacher training programme since 2003, 61% of ambassadors are still teaching.
  • After three years in teaching Teach First teachers are twice as likely to teach in schools serving low-income communities compared to teachers from other training routes. 
  • This equates to 66% of our former trainees working in these schools, where recruiting teachers is the hardest.
  • Our trainees are seven times more likely to become senior school leaders after five years, compared with teachers from other training routes.
  • There are over 72 headteachers and over 2,100 alumni in middle or senior leadership roles across our ambassador community.
The [trainees'] passion is infectious. They are willing to listen, take on board ideas and contribute to the school as a whole.
Lynda Foxall,
Deputy Headteacher
Netherton CofE Primary School


What makes our teacher training programme stand out?

Our Training Programme is uniquely tailored to the needs of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, identifying trainees who share our vision to build a fair education for all. To achieve this, our curriculum is rooted in evidence, informed by 16 years of partnership from the people who know what works best: our network of schools.

But what really makes our programme stand out is the level of structured support your school and trainees receive from us and our university partners throughout the programme. Your school will still play an important role in shaping your trainees’ initial development, and we’ll work together every step of the way to build their confidence and competence as a new teacher. This also provides excellent opportunities for your existing staff to develop their mentoring skills, and we provide expert training to assist them in this key role.

What do we look for in a trainee teacher?

Thousands of people apply to join our Training Programme each year, but only a small fraction are accepted. Our thorough selection process saves you time and finds great trainees for teaching posts at your school.

To become a Teach First trainee we expect a 2:1 degree. Applicants must also demonstrate some of the attributes of a classroom leader: 

  • Humility, respect and empathy.  
  • An ability to interact.
  • Leadership.
  • Planning and organising.  
  • Problem solving.  
  • Resilience.  
  • Self-evaluation.  
  • Knowledge of their academic subjects.  
  • Knowledge of our mission.

How do we select our trainees?

Applicants undergo a rigorous online and face-to-face selection process so we can identify people with the potential to become great teachers.

Before starting the programme, trainees must:  

  • attend our development centre for a face-to-face evaluation, including a mock lesson
  • complete a subject knowledge assessment, which proves their suitability to teach their phase or subject and identifies any areas of curriculum knowledge they need to improve
  • provide us with satisfactory references
  • gain prior in-school experience
  • complete exercises which develop the self-reflection required of a classroom teacher.  
  • complete Summer Institute, a five-week, intensive residential course held from June to July, which readies them to start their in-classroom training in September

We also offer expedited entry to our training for Teaching Assistants and other classroom support staff, allowing them to qualify as teachers while continuing to work at your school. You can nominate eligible staff members through our Teaching Assistant Fast Track programme.

Who are our trainees?

They come from diverse backgrounds:

  • Almost half of them were the first in their family to go to university.
  • Almost a third went to schools in low income areas.
  • 22% of our trainees are BAME.

They bring varied experience:

  • 43% are new graduates.
  • 26% are recent graduates (up to two years after graduating). 
  • 31% are experienced professionals (three years or more after graduating).
  • Almost a third of the 2019 trainees switched careers to become a teacher.

They’ve studied a range of subjects at university:

  • 25% have studied maths, science and engineering.
  • 25% English and languages.
  • 41% humanities and law.
  • 5% art and music.
  • 4% business and economics.

Most importantly, 99% gaining Qualified Teacher Status go on to achieve one of the top two grades.

What does our teacher training include?

We work with leading universities and sector experts to draw upon the latest and most effective research in education. Our training focuses on equipping novice teachers to succeed in the classroom and helping pupils to learn most effectively. This includes:

  • School-based training: trainees spend time in schools from the beginning of Summer Institute and start teaching their own classes from September, continuously developing their teaching practice on the job
  • Wellbeing: supporting our trainees with their wellbeing, including access to an Employee Assistance Programme and an online wellbeing course
  • Subject knowledge: developing subject knowledge, supported by expert university tutors
  • Classroom practice: including guided reading and teaching reading across the curriculum
  • Behaviour management: training in classroom behaviour management, children’s emotional health and well-being
  • Qualifications: trainees achieve a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) tailored to the needs of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

What are the training commitments?

All trainees must:

  • spend five days widening their experience by teaching in a contrasting school
  • attend training days to develop subject knowledge, teaching methodology and further the academic element of their PGDE (training details vary slightly by area, but will require trainees to be released from school for up to nine days in year one and up to four days in year two) 

Early Years trainees must:

  • spend 20 days completing an alternative key stage placement (usually in the same school)
  • have their first five-day placement in a 0-3 setting to increase their understanding of early child development, fully funded at £200 per day (this should be completed before the end of the third term of their first year) 

Primary school trainees must:

  • spend at least 20 days completing an alternative key stage placement within the 5-11 age range 

Secondary school trainees in England must:

  • spend one day in a primary school to increase their understanding of teaching and progress in this setting 

Secondary school trainees in Wales must:

  • attend timetabled Professional Development Sessions, taking place from 2:00-5:30pm once a fortnight
  • attend four training days and two of these require time out of school. The other two days take place on Saturdays

How are trainees supported?

Trainees will receive support from us, your school and a university. While on the programme, each trainee will work with:

A Development Lead

An experienced teacher educator responsible for overseeing all training. We recruit Development Leads for their leadership capabilities and their ability to both nurture and challenge trainees.

A school-based mentor

Your school will nominate an experienced mentor to support each trainee. This mentor will work in the same key stage or subject, depending on learning phase. We provide training for school mentors to assist them in this key role.

A university tutor

We partner with some of the best initial teacher training providers in the UK. Each university appoints a tutor to support with training – this tutor will also lead the assessment of PGDE assignments and progress towards being recommended for QTS.

How is the programme structured?

The programme takes two school years to complete. It begins with a preparatory five-week course called Summer Institute, followed by QTS and Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) training in your school. 

Summer Institute

An intensive five-week course held in the summer before trainees start at your school. They get an immersive introduction to the theory and practice of teaching. Summer Institute was developed in partnership with the UK’s leading teacher training universities and will give trainees the skills and knowledge needed to enter the classroom and find their feet as new teachers.

Among other things, they’ll spend this time

  • learning how to manage a classroom
  • gaining knowledge of the curriculum  
  • getting to know the area they’ll be teaching in
  • observing lessons and building relationships with your school, its teachers and pupils
  • getting to know other trainees 

This is also when you’ll start getting to know them – they’ll spend a minimum of 11 days in school, including several days in your school getting to know the environment they’ll be working in from September.

The first year

Your trainee will be in the classroom at the start of the school year – nothing sharpens their skills like teaching for real. This varies for different school phases as follows:

Early years and primary school trainees

  • Early Years trainees become the lead class teacher of a nursery or reception class.
  • Primary school trainees become the lead class teacher of a Key Stage 1 or 2 class.
  • Initially they’ll teach a 60% timetable of lessons before moving up to 80% once they’re more established (usually after the first half-term).
  • Trainees achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) at the end of their first year.

Secondary school trainees

  • Secondary school trainees cover Key Stages 3 and 4 (Key Stages 4 and 5 in Business Studies only).
  • They’ll teach up to an 80% timetable of lessons from the start.
  • Trainees achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) at the end of their first year.

Alongside working in school they’ll attend training days run by us and our partner universities. They’ll build their knowledge of teaching theory and get more practical training. 

The second year

Now a newly qualified teacher (NQT), they’ll teach a timetable that reflects this and start building leadership credentials by taking on more responsibilities.

Trainees complete their Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) at the end of their second year. They can also choose to continue studying towards a full Master’s degree in education after their second year.

After the Training Programme

We’ll support them to continue progressing. They’ll have access to a huge network of people who’ve trained with Teach First and programmes that’ll help them develop into leadership roles at your school. Since 2003, over 60% of all our trainees who have completed the programme are still teaching and increasing numbers are returning to the profession after gaining knowledge and skills in other areas.

They’ll also be part-way to a Master’s degree designed to further their leadership and teaching abilities and develop greater insights into your school.

Portrait of Teach First ambassador Zara Khokhar.
There are so many skills I developed on the programme.
Zara Khokhar,
2009 ambassador and Head of History
St Albans Academy
Applicants are really put through their paces to ensure that they have the commitment, skills and mindset required to succeed in their roles.
Jo Jones,
Story Wood School, Birmingham


Your trainee’s salary

Your trainee takes up a paid teaching post for a minimum of two years, for which your school will pay the salary. In year one they should be paid within the unqualified teacher pay range. In year two this rises to the salary for a newly qualified teacher (NQT), which varies depending on location. 

Mentoring grant for year one

Your new trainee will be supported by Teach First, a university tutor and a mentor from your school that you identify. To help you with this, we will pay your school a grant of £2,600 per trainee, to assist the work and development of a school-based mentor.

Teach First’s school fees

The government covers the majority of the funding for the recruitment and two years of training. But we also ask your school to contribute towards the cost. This varies for different school phases and locations. In each of the two years the fee is:

Early Years and primary schools
  • Primaries in London: £4,100 per year
  • Primaries outside London: £3,900 per year
Secondary schools
Outside London
  • Non-shortage subjects (not listed below): £5,420
  • English: £5,920
  • Modern foreign languages and geography: £6,400
  • Science, design, technology and mathematics: £6,700
In London

Non-shortage subjects (not listed below): £5,620 

English: £6,120

Modern foreign languages and geography: £6,600

Science, design, technology and mathematics: £6,900

These costs are updated annually and have been agreed for 2020/21.

Science teacher Lizzie Pocklington in class with students
Portrait of Jake Howarth-Brown
Teach First is a very different and exciting programme, and their vision is truly aligned with that of our school’s.
Jake Howarth-Brown,
Little Mead Primary School, Bristol


Working with us

We partner with schools who teach a high number of pupils from low-income backgrounds.

Our criteria are agreed with the Department for Education (DfE) and are used to identify schools that will benefit most from working with us. We use the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) and Achieving Excellence Areas (AEA), a measure that recognises parts of the country where children consistently underperform.

This focuses on schools that have either:

  • an IDACI of 40 or greater (40% of pupils live in the three most deprived deciles)
  • an IDACI of 35 to 40 and an AEA score of 4 to 6
  • an IDACI of 30 to 35 and an AEA score of 5 or 6
  • an IDACI of 25 to 30 and an AEA score of 6

If you’re not sure, or if you think your school would benefit from our support but doesn’t quite meet these criteria, get in touch as we have some flexibility. Our team can talk this through with you.

How to apply

Applications to partner with us are open all year – new trainees will be placed in schools each September.

We work in partnership with schools to ensure that children from low-income communities have a great education. We can help you recruit driven, passionate trainee teachers who inspire your pupils. Your school’s needs are the priority. Applicants list their subject and location preferences when they apply, and we’ll match them to schools and subject areas where their skills are needed most.

We have dedicated teams in every region of England and in Wales. To find out how we can support your school, complete our short expression of interest form.

Teaching Assistant Fast Track

If you have Teaching Assistants or other classroom support staff who have the potential to be great teachers, you can nominate for a place on our Training Programme through Teaching Assistant Fast Track.

This expedited entry route will allow them to gain their QTS while working your school, ensuring that you keep hold of talented staff members and help them move forward in their careers.

Teacher sitting between two pupils
Girl at STEM fair wearing goggles
Teacher sitting on desk and smiling
Portrait of Jake Howarth-Brown
Teach First is a very different and exciting programme, and their vision is truly aligned with that of our school’s.
Jake Howarth-Brown,
Little Mead Primary School, Bristol

Develop teachers and leaders who share your commitment to a fair education. Our support focuses on your school’s needs, working together to ensure you thrive.

Partner with us

Three pupils smiling to the camera with their arms crossed

Find out about our teacher recruitment

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