Time to Teach

A prospective teacher smiling with arms crossed.

Train to teach in Bradford, Greater Manchester or South Yorkshire on our pilot programme. With a salary from day one, it’s ideal for those who aren't fresh out of university.

  • Train in school and build confidence before leading classes
  • Earn a salary from day one, even during the summer holidays
  • Get support from us, the school and our wider network
  • Teach in a school near to you
  • Access funded professional development opportunities
  • Make a difference to the children who need it most
Two years plus one term.
Applications for this programme are now closed.

Get support to transfer your skills into teaching and build a new career helping pupils from low-income backgrounds thrive.


Earn a full salary throughout the programme

You’ll get paid from day one on the programme. You’ll even earn a salary during the school holidays, and no unpaid summer training is required.

Turn your professional experience into classroom expertise

In your previous career you built up plenty of skills that are vital in the classroom. We’ll show you the ins and outs of teaching and how those skills can help you get the best from your pupils and develop a fulfilling career in education.  

Get expert training and support from your school and from us

In school you’ll have a mentor you can turn to whenever you need. You’ll also be given a dedicated Teach First contact who can help with any issues that come up inside or outside the classroom.

Shadow teachers and start taking lessons from the start

Training takes place in the classroom, not the lecture theatre. That means you’ll be observing teaching and building up your confidence, and, before long, teaching lessons yourself. You’ll spend your first term getting used to the school, then you’ll be given your own classes to teach.

Be placed in a school in a commutable location

We only partner with schools in low income areas, so you’ll be working with young people who need inspiring teachers the most. As long as you live within our pilot area, you’ll be placed in a school that’s a commutable distance from your home.

Ongoing career development from our networks

Our support to help you change career doesn’t stop when you complete Time to Teach. You’ll become part of our ambassador network, with access to training and career opportunities, advice and career development programmes that’ll help you progress into leadership roles.

If you’d like to learn more, register your interest and we’ll be in touch with information on the programme, any upcoming events or to arrange a call with one of our recruiters to answer any questions you have.

Teacher pointing at students workbook
two teachers walking


Let’s make education fairer

Too many young people aren’t fulfilling their potential at school. We should, and can, do better.

Pupils from poor backgrounds are less likely to succeed in the classroom and less likely to go on to university or well-paid jobs. The cycle continues from generation to generation, widening social inequality. It’s a cycle we’re determined to help break.

The stats are sobering

Unlocking potential

Our challenge is to build an education system in which all young people thrive, regardless of their background. Schools in low income areas are already doing a brilliant job in tough circumstances, but with our support they can do even more to overcome the barriers they face.

There’s no quick fix. We work with schools for the long term, developing inspiring teachers and effective leaders, and connecting them to networks of support. We started in 2003 and some impressive strides have already been made:

  • We’ve placed more than 10,000 teachers in low income areas positively impacting over 1 million children.
  • Pupils in our partner schools improve their GCSE results by one grade overall.
  • Within two years of partnering with us underperforming school departments improve GCSE results from 9% lower than others in the same school to 16% higher, on average.
  • Our teachers are over seven times more likely to progress to senior leadership positions early in their career than those from other courses.
  • 63% of our former trainees who are still teaching work in schools in low-income areas.

Behind every stat are thousands of real stories

It’s easy to get lost in the numbers. They’re important and one way we can measure success. But teachers work with people. Every positive statistic represents young lives changed for the better. That’s where the real satisfaction is, giving all pupils the chance to fulfil their potential.

Shaeera's story

A teacher points something out to a pupil in the classroom.
We’ve been working with Teach First for seven years. The difference they make is huge.
Rose Hughes,


Here’s how you’ll spend your time on our programme.

April - September 2020

Settle into your school and get ready to take on your own class in September:

  • Learn about planning, assessment and behaviour management, and observe experienced teachers put these concepts in action.
  • Start teaching for real - after building your skills methodically, you’ll take on your own lessons when you’re ready.
  • Complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course to bring your knowledge of the curriculum up to scratch.
  • Spend a week in a different school with fewer pupils from low-income families. This will widen your experience of teaching and understanding of the barriers those in areas of high deprivation face.
  • You’ll have the May half-term off, and then six weeks paid holiday during the summer, before returning to your school in September.

All your training is based on world-class teaching methods and will be delivered by Teach First. You'll be teaching 11-16-year-olds and you'll be earning an Unqualified Teacher (UQT) salary

Your first year

From September 2020 to July 2021 you’ll be:

  • in school five days a week
  • allocated your own classes
  • teaching 80% of a full lesson timetable (by the end of the year you’ll be ready to go to a full timetable)
  • spending two weeks observing and teaching in another school to widen your experience
  • continuing to earn a UQT salary

Throughout the year a mentor at your school will be on hand to give support during the week. And you’ll have regular check-ins with a Teach First contact who can also provide extra support if and when you need it as you change career.

By July 2021 you’ll have official Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Summer holiday

Six weeks of paid holiday during the summer.

Your second year

From September 2021 you’ll be a New Qualified Teacher (NQT). But what does that mean?

Firstly you’ll be earning an NQT salary.You’ll also be teaching a full five-day timetable, so you can really hone your teaching skills. But you won’t be on your own, you’ll still have a mentor at school and a Teach First contact to call on.

Also, as part of our programme even at this early stage you can boost your career by taking a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accreditation in expert teaching or a National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML).

What happens once you’ve completed Time to Teach?

You’ll end our programme with:

  • Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
  • being part of our global ambassador network
  • opportunities to continue developing your career with us

If you’d like to learn more, register your interest and we’ll be in touch with information on the programme, any upcoming events or to arrange a call with one of our recruiters to answer any questions you have.

Female teacher writing on whiteboard
Two teachers sitting next to each other. Teacher in foreground laughing


Time to Teach is currently only available in Bradford, South Yorkshire and Greater Manchester

So if you’d like to work in other areas, take a look at our Training Programme which is available in locations all over the UK.

Time to Teach is currently only for science, English or maths

These are the subjects that are most needed in these areas. To be eligible to apply to teach them you need the following qualifications and experience: 

  • A GCSE grade 4 (grade C) or the standard equivalent qualification in English and maths
  • We would consider a first class, 2.1 or 2.2 honours degree
  • Sufficient subject knowledge to teach maths, science or English. To show this you’ll need to have either, a degree, A level (B or above) or sufficient work experience in a related subject. 
  • Three years or more previous experience in another career 
  • The ability to work in Bradford, Greater Manchester or South Yorkshire

What if you have non-UK qualifications?

You can still apply. Add your overseas qualifications to the online application form. If we make you an offer we’ll need proof they’re equivalent to the UK ones we require – we’ll help you do this at the time.

Who we’re looking for

As we said, qualifications aren’t everything. Throughout the selection process we look for people with the characteristics to make a great teacher. We call these our ‘key competencies’ and they are:

  • humility
  • respect and empathy
  • interacting with others
  • leadership
  • planning and organising
  • problem solving
  • resilience
  • self-reflection
A teacher speaking to a pupil in the classroom.
Pupils in a classroom.

Your journey on Time to Teach

First year - April

Your journey towards becoming a teacher starts in April, where you earn an Unqualified Teacher salary and learn essential classroom skills.

three teachers sit side by side taking notes
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First year - September

By September you’ll be in school five days a week, teaching 80% of a full timetable to your own allocated classes.

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18 months in

You’ll be a Newly Qualified Teacher in your second year, teaching an increased timetable and getting paid more as a result.

teacher sitting with primary student
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Career development opportunities 

Take on a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accreditation to develop your skills and networks, or a National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership that will help you become an exceptional school leader.

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Beyond Time to Teach

After the Time to Teach programme has finished, you’ll be a member of our ambassador network, who continue to advocate for educational equality within the teaching profession and other sectors.

people sitting on chairs at a conference
5 of 5

Time to teach? How to change your life in a year 

Join our Training Programme

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