Our country needs teachers, now more than ever. Join our most important cohort for a generation.
- 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
- Join a community of recent graduates and career changers
Make a difference every day on the largest teacher training and leadership programme in the UK.
Earn a competitive salary from day one
You’ll earn from the outset – no fees, no debt. Based on the latest proposed teaching salaries, Teach First trainees outside London should expect to start earning from £20,282 in Year 1 (depending on where your school is) and rise in Year 2 (again, depending on where your school is). You’ll also receive corporate coaching worth an estimated £900 and a fully-funded teaching qualification.
Government-backed salary increases are coming
Last year the government set out proposals for the biggest increase in teachers’ starting salaries in 15 years. When starting our programme in 2021, this means you’re expected to earn around £30k once qualified (so from September 2022).
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.
Access to rapid career progression opportunities
After completing the Training Programme (and when you’re ready), we’ll help you to step up and lead change at school. This support makes our teachers over seven times more likely to progress to senior leadership roles early in their career than those who train through Higher Education Institution routes. With career progression comes salary progression: middle leaders working outside London can earn up to £40,500 per year, and headteachers can earn upwards of £100,000.
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. You'll also build a solid list of skills in the classroom, setting you up to impress any employer.
Close support from your school and from us
You’ll have a mentor in school you can turn to whenever you need. You'll also have a university tutor to assess your progress. A dedicated Teach First expert will oversee all your training and help with any issues inside or outside the classroom. We’re with you every step of the way.
Join a growing community of graduates and career changers
Join a network of like-minded individuals who understand the potential in all young people, and the challenges that affect their education. At every stage of your career, this community will be on hand to share ideas, offer support or simply have a chat.
Our community is made up of people from many different backgrounds. In 2019, 30% of new trainees joined us from another career, 28% had graduated in the past two years, and 42% came straight from university. Your diversity is your strength: wherever you're coming from, you've got a set of unique skills to bring to the classroom - enabling you to develop as a fantastic teacher.
A child’s experience is only the teacher in front of them, and I want to be that teacher.
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.
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.
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.
Making that real palpable change is why I love being a 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’.
This is where your teaching career begins. You’ve got an exciting, and busy, couple of years ahead.
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.
During Summer Institute you’ll:
- learn the theory and practice of education and how to manage a classroom
- grow your knowledge of the curriculum and your subject
- get to know other trainees, your support roles and your university tutors
Your first year
From day one you'll be in classroom, starting with 80% of a fully qualified teacher's timetable (60% for Primary and Early Years). 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, The Bright Ideas Challenge, The Lord Mayor's Appeal and Citi. 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 at least £25,900. 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.
Reasons for joining the Training Programme
We’re an objective voice, challenging and supporting trainees.
Alter the Outcome
In terms of the career progression I've had, and the experience I've had, it's a superb choice.
What could you teach?
Our trainees teach various subjects in schools throughout England. Schools are in the greatest need of science, maths, computing and modern foreign languages trainees.
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.
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?
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, such as a mortgage or caring responsibilities, 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.
- For secondary teaching: Grade C/4 or equivalent in GCSE maths and English.
- For primary teaching: Grade C/4 in one GCSE science subject is also required (in addition to maths and English).
We know there’s much more to teaching than the right qualifications. That’s why we’re flexible. For example, if your degree or A-levels don’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:
- respect and empathy
- interacting with others
- planning and organising
- problem solving
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.
Alter the Outcome
I was looking for two key elements - one was challenge, and one was opportunities, and Teach First provided both of them.
Make sure you meet our eligibility requirements. There's an overview of eligibility in the previous tab, or you can read more here.
For further help with your application, we recommend you browse our guidance and refer to it throughout the process:
How to apply
On the application form (below) you’ll be asked:
- 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
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.
Applications for our Training Programme commencing in 2021 are now closed. If you are interested in starting teacher training this year, please visit the Get Into Teaching website for more information on the range of alternative options available.
If you're interested in hearing from us, get in touch below:
The selection day
If you are successful in your application, you’ll be invited to a selection day via our virtual Development Centre.
Due to the current situation with COVID-19, all our Development Centres are taking place virtually on an online video conferencing app. When you receive your invite we’ll let you know more information about how to download the app.
Despite taking place virtually, we have made every effort to keep the key aspects of our Development Centres the same. The information below on what a selection day involves is still a useful read to help you understand what to expect:
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?
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.
A teaching episode
A week before your selection day you’ll be sent information about a four-minute teaching episode to prepare. You’ll deliver it on the day, receive feedback from assessors, and then re-deliver it taking this feedback on board.
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.
Find out more about the selection day at our Development Centre.
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.
I love speaking to incredibly passionate candidates...so they can become inspirational teachers.
Your journey on our Training Programme
Your journey towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Leadership (PGDE) begins with this intensive five-week course.
After Summer Institute
You’ll have a short break to prepare for your first classroom lessons in September.
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.
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.
You can spend your summer break taking on a work placement or internship opportunity at one of our partners.
Start of year two
Now a Newly Qualified Teacher, you’ll earn a higher salary and teach a full timetable.
End of year two
You’ll complete the Training Programme having earned your PGDE. You’ll also become a Teach First ambassador.
You can choose to transfer your PGDE credits towards a Master’s degree, which you can complete part-time.
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.
Student Taster Online
Discover the thrill of teaching and supercharge your CV in just two days. For undergraduates and students with deferred offers.
STEM Online Experience
Try out teaching on our online experience for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) students in their penultimate year of university.
Career Changer Taster Online
Explore changing career to teach science, maths, computing or design technology. Build skills and learn why your next role should be in the classroom.