Training Programme

A trainee teacher smiles and looks off-camera.

Train to teach and lead with expert support. Get paid from day one in class. Unlock potential in kids from disadvantaged backgrounds – and the potential in you.

  • Earn a salary and pay no fees
  • Gain internationally recognised teacher training qualifications
  • Make a difference in the classroom from day one
  • Expert support from your school and from us
  • Develop skills all employers are looking for
  • Make lifelong friends and connections
Duration
Two years (Optional third year to complete Master's)
June 2020 - five-week introductory training; September 2020 – start in the classroom

Become a future leader and make a difference every day on the largest teacher training and leadership programme in the UK.

Benefits

Earn a salary and pay no fees

From September 2020 you’ll get paid - including during holidays. And your salary increases as you progress.

Gain internationally recognised qualifications

Completing our programme will earn you a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Leadership (PGDE), worth double the credits of a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). 99% of people who qualify as teachers  with us achieve the top two grades (good or outstanding). You’ll also have the option of completing a master’s degree part-time over a third year.

Because they’re recognised across the world, your qualifications will allow you to teach abroad too.

Make a difference in the classroom from day one

As soon as the school year kicks off in September you’ll be in the classroom. Not just observing lessons. Actually teaching them.

You’ll be helping pupils from the poorest backgrounds reach their full potential. It’s far from your average day job – expect surprises, challenges and an unmatched sense of fulfilment.

The skills you develop will last a lifetime and, as you grow professionally, so will your positive impact on young people’s lives.

Close, expert support from your school and from us

You’ll have a mentor in school you can turn to whenever you need and a university tutor to assess your progress. A dedicated Teach First expert will oversee all your training and help with any issues that come up inside or outside the classroom. We’re with you every step of the way.

Our support doesn’t stop when you finish our programme either. You’ll continue to have access to opportunities, advice and career development opportunities to help you progress into leadership roles in school.

Develop skills all employers are looking for

Resilience, empathy, communication, initiative, leadership… the list of skills you’ll build as you train is long. And it’s a list that’ll impress any employer – success in the demanding classroom environment sets you up for success.

During your training you’ll get the chance to take on work placements with businesses and organisations that support us, opening the door to even more opportunities.

Make lifelong friends and connections

Join a network of like-minded people who understand the potential in all young people and the social and economic challenges that affect their education. At every stage of your career and wherever you are, this community will be on hand to share ideas, offer support or simply have a chat.

A group of Teach First trainees in discussion.
Portrait of Ruth Muleya.
A child’s experience is only the teacher in front of them, and I want to be that teacher.
Ruth Muleya,
Teach First Trainee
Hathaway Academy
One of the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 2018

Alter the Outcome

I'm really proud of my job, I'm really proud of what I do every day and I'm really glad that I made the decision.
Rachel Arthur,
Assistant Headteacher
Oldham Academy North

Eligibility

What could you teach?

Our trainees teach subjects across Early Years, primary and secondary in schools throughout England and Wales.

Your passion for a subject can inspire great things, whether it’s the push a young person needs to get a pass in their GCSEs or the first step on the road to a career that will fulfil and reward them. Take a look at our subject page to find out which ones we’re recruiting for right now.  

Here’s how you’re paired with a subject:

  • Rank your subject preferences in your application. You can only teach a subject if you meet our eligibility requirements (see “Are you eligible?” below).
  • Decisions on what and where you will teach are made based on your expertise and, crucially, the needs of our schools. We want to place you where you can make the most difference.
  • When we find the right candidate, we fill the vacancy, so apply as soon as you can.
  • You’ll be matched to a subject and location once you get a place on our Training Programme. We’ll then begin working to find the right school for you.

Where could you teach?

Find out where you could be teaching.

Some things to consider about where you might be working:

  • We only partner with schools in low-income areas, as we’re committed to building a fair education for all.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to list your location preferences in the application form.
  • While we will consider your preferences, schools’ and pupils’ needs come first. So it’s best to be as flexible as possible.
  • If there’s a reason you need to be in a certain location, talk to us before you apply. Once you’ve opened your application you’ll have a dedicated recruitment contact who’ll be happy to help.
  • Wherever you go there’ll be other trainees. We’ll help you make contact with them, settle in and find accommodation.   

Are you eligible?

There are some minimum requirements to join the Training Programme:

  • You’re a UK citizen or have the right to work in the UK.
  • You have or are expecting a 2.1 degree (with Honours) or higher (2.2 will be considered in certain circumstances).
  • Your degree and/or A-levels meet our curriculum requirements.
  • Grade C (or equivalent) in GCSE maths and English, and grade C in one science subject for primary teaching. These are required by the Department for Education.
  • Able to commit to five weeks training in June and July 2020, and full-time work from September 2020.

We know there’s much more to teaching than the right qualifications. That’s why we’re flexible. For example, if your degree doesn’t cover a specific subject on the curriculum there may be other ways you can show us you have enough subject knowledge. If you think this might be the case, get in touch with our team.

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

Still unsure about applying?

Don’t worry, it’s a big decision and it’s important that you make sure the Training Programme is right for you. If you have any questions at all, or want to hear from those who have completed the programme, we’d love to chat.

Not in your final year at university? If you’re in your early years of study, or if you’ve already graduated and aren’t ready to make the leap, you can experience teaching and find out more about us on our Taster programme or our internships for science, technology, engineering and maths students.

 

A teacher speaking to a pupil in the classroom.
Pupils in a classroom.

Alter the Outcome

I was looking for two key elements - one was challenge, and one was opportunities, and Teach First provided both of them.
Raza Ali,
Headteacher
Leytonstone School

Application

Before applying

Make sure you meet our eligibility requirements. There's an overview of eligibility in the previous tab or you can get all the details on our eligibility requirements page.

How to apply

Complete and submit our online application form. Do this as soon as you can for the best chance of teaching your preferred subject. We fill vacancies the moment we find the right people.

On the form you’ll be asked:

  • for information about yourself and your academic qualifications
  • questions that allow you to demonstrate our key competencies
  • how you’d respond to various scenarios you’re likely to face in school

We’ve got lots of hints and tips to help you fill in the form, so have a look before you start and refer to this throughout. You can save your form and come back to it – so don’t feel pressured to complete it in one sitting. We also have a dedicated team on hand to support you with your application, so would recommend having a chat with us before you hit submit. Email us to set up a call.

Each application form is read blind, which means details such as your name, age, gender and ethnicity are hidden. You’ll hear within ten working days whether you’ve made it to the next stage.

The selection day

If your application is successful, you’ll be invited to a selection day at our Development Centre. This usually takes place in our London office but we also hold them periodically in other locations. We can let you know when you receive your invite what locations are available to you.

On the day we’ll get to know you even better through a series of exercises. Unlike most assessment centres, ours isn’t just about the skills you have right now – it’s an opportunity to demonstrate your potential to learn and grow.

The focus of the day will be you and your development. We’re not looking for fully formed teachers at this point, we’re looking for people with the attributes to become them.

So what does the selection day involve?

An interview

Chat to an assessor about our key competencies and talk through moments you’ve demonstrated them. You can also ask them any questions you have about the Training Programme.

A group task

Work together on a task set by your assessors. They’ll be looking at how you interact with a group and come up with solutions. Afterwards you’ll have one-on-one time with an assessor to talk through your own, and the group’s, performance.

Teaching a mini lesson

A week before your selection day you’ll be sent information about a seven-minute lesson to prepare. You’ll deliver it on the day before writing an evaluation of how it went.

We love a level playing field. That’s why none of the assessors will have seen your application form – you’ll only be judged on how you perform on the day. Also:

  • we’ll pay full travel costs up to £35 and 50% on anything above that, up to £70.
  • we’ll provide sandwiches at lunch, and you’re free to bring your own refreshments.

Find out more about the selection day at our Development Centre.

The offer

Within two weeks of your selection day we’ll let you know if you were successful. If it’s a yes, you’ll be made an offer for our Training Programme. This will include the subject and/or phase (Early Years, primary or secondary) you’ll be teaching and the region where you’ll be placed.

You'll then have some enrolment tasks to complete to get you ready for the classroom. These include:

  • send details of your references.
  • complete an assessment of your subject knowledge and draw up a plan to prepare for starting in the classroom.

Once your offer is confirmed you can start preparing for our five-week Summer Institute, which begins your training. And we’ll let you know as soon as we’ve matched you with a school. This might be in the run-up to, or even during Summer Institute – whenever the right vacancy in the right school arrives.

A Teach First teacher with two pupils in the classroom.
I love speaking to incredibly passionate candidates...so they can become inspirational teachers.
Emily Haigh,
Recruiter
Teach First

Programme

This is where your teaching career begins. You’ve got an exciting, and busy, couple of years ahead.

Summer Institute

An intensive five-week course over the summer before you start in school, Summer Institute will get you ready for a class full of expectant pupils. The first four weeks will be spent in the region in which you’re going to teach, at your assigned university and in local schools. In week five you’ll get together with all the other new trainees.

During Summer Institute you’ll:

  • Learn the theory and practice of education and how to manage a classroom.
  • Grow your knowledge of the curriculum.  
  • Explore the area you’ll be teaching in.
  • Observe lessons and build relationships with your school, its teachers and pupils.
  • Get to know other trainees.

Learn more about Summer Institute.

Your first year

From day one you’ll be in the classroom, starting with 60% of a full lesson timetable before moving up to 80% – nothing sharpens your skills like teaching for real. Plus, you’ll earn at least the basic salary for an unqualified teacher.

You’ll spend most of your time in school but also attend training days and conferences run by us and our partner universities. You’ll build your knowledge of teaching theory, get more practical training and, no doubt, swap a load of stories with other trainees. Throughout the programme you’ll be supported, trained and assessed by a Teach First expert, a mentor at your school and a university tutor.   

Once you complete your first year on the programme, you’ll have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and be part-way to your Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Leadership (PGDE).

The summer holidays

Take a work placement with one of our supporter organisations such as Accenture, Barclays, Bloomberg, Citi and Bank of America. It’s optional, but there’s lots in it for you.

  • Experience a different sector to help you clarify your career goals.
  • See how leadership skills you’re building in school are valued in other workplaces.
  • Hone those skills so you go back to class an even better teacher.

Your second year

Now a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT), your salary will go up to between £23,720 and £29,664 (depending on where your school is). You’ll be teaching a full timetable and may have the opportunity to further build your leadership credentials with responsibilities such as:

  • becoming a subject or year leader
  • mentoring pupils as they think about what to do after school
  • running a club that helps pupils aim higher and achieve more

During the year you’ll complete the final two modules of your PGDE. We’ll still be there supporting you alongside your school and university, through training days, conferences and one-to-one support.

After the Training Programme

Continue progressing at your school, apply for jobs in other schools or explore completely different sectors.

With your PGDE you can work anywhere, at home or abroad, as a teacher. You’ll also be part-way to a master’s degree which you can complete part-time should you choose to over your third year in the classroom.

On top of that, you’ll be a Teach First ambassador and part of our 10,000-strong ambassador network. That means there are thousands of people just like you who’ve been through the programme and are working to create a fairer education system. They’re a close-knit, supportive bunch who are always happy to help.       

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
We’re an objective voice, challenging and supporting trainees.
Fiona Rutherford,
Teacher development lead
Teach First

Alter the Outcome

In terms of the career progression I've had, and the experience I've had, it's a superb choice.
David Crosby,
Principal Designate
King's Leadership Academy Bolton

Impact

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

  • Pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are more than 18 months behind when they leave secondary school
  • 28.5% of pupils eligible for free school meals achieved five good GCSEs including English or Welsh and maths in 2017, compared to 60.8% of those who aren’t
  • The poorest pupils are half as likely to go to university as their wealthier peers.

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. We want to support them to keep improving and 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 lives

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 pupils the chance to fulfil their potential.

Shaeera's story

Making that real palpable change is why I love being a teacher.
Andrew Campbell,
2015 ambassador and primary teacher

Alter the Outcome

One thing that really resonated about Teach First was this idea of – ‘let's give opportunities to kids who wouldn't normally have those opportunities’.
Frida Arthur,
Teach First Trainee
Towers School and Sixth Form Centre

Your journey on our Training Programme

Summer Institute

Your journey towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Leadership (PGDE) begins with this intensive five-week course.

A group of trainee teachers in discussion.
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Weeks one- four

Beginning in late June, you’ll spend four weeks in the region where you’re going to teach, at your assigned university and in local schools.

A trainee teacher listens intently during a session at Summer Institute.
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Week five

In week five you’ll get together with all the other trainees in your cohort to learn and share knowledge.

An arena packed with trainee teachers attending Teach First's Summer Institute.
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After Summer Institute

You’ll have a short break to prepare for your first classroom lessons in September.

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Start of year one

From your first day you’ll be in the classroom, teaching a partial timetable. This is also when you’ll start earning a salary.

Secondary school pupils laughing in class.
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End of year one

By the end of your first year you’ll have Qualified Teacher Status and be part-way towards your full PGDE.

A teacher standing at the front of the classroom and smiling
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Summer holidays

You can spend your summer break taking on a work placement or internship opportunity at one of our partners.

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Start of year two

Now a Newly Qualified Teacher, you’ll earn a higher salary and teach a full timetable.

A Teach First teacher listening intently.
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End of year two

You’ll complete the Training Programme having earned your PGDE. You’ll also become a Teach First Ambassador.

More about our ambassadors

Two Teach First ambassadors discuss teaching practice.
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Year three

You can choose to transfer your PGDE credits towards a Master’s degree, which you can complete part-time.

More about the Master's

A Teach First teacher.
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Beyond the Training Programme

You’ll have developed skills, earned a world-class qualification (or two) and given pupils the high standard of teaching they deserve.

Homework club

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