Working at Teach First
Not only are we building a fair education for all, we're building a great place to work too. It’s a big challenge – we need your help to take it on.
- We relate to one another with trust and fairness
- Our pay and benefits are designed so you can work and live well
- Our performance management is based on open communication
- We'll offer you opportunities to grow and develop
- You'll be able to contribute to a better future for young people
Building a fair education for all. And a great place to work.
Trust and fairness
Trust and fairness are at the heart of how we work
If you ask our people what’s great about working at Teach First, one word comes through strong. Trust. It’s so important to us that it’s one of our cultural principles.
We know our people and teams thrive when we trust each other to perform. No micromanagement or clock watching here! You get your work done in the way that works best for you, your team and your life.
Working this way helps us to be more diverse and we want to build on that.
Having a diverse team means we get a variety of views and make better decisions.
Bring your whole self to work
Our challenge is to unlock the potential in all our children, not just some. To rise to it, together we’re creating a culture where everyone, from any background, can do their best work. Whether you’re on one of our programmes or an employee, we’ll support you to perform, grow and contribute with the confidence to be yourself.
Our decision-making should involve and be held to account by those with the personal experience of the barriers we’re here to break down. This connects us to the communities we serve
That’s how we’ll build a fair education for all.
One thing you’ll notice when you apply with us…
We ask you to remove all identifying information from your CV and covering letter.
Why do we do this?
We want to judge your application on what you’ve told us, your experience and your potential.
We blind screen all our applications. That means we don’t see anyone’s identifying information, including race, age or gender, when making decisions about who meets the criteria for going to the next stage of recruitment.
And for our most senior roles…
We know we need more diversity at our most senior levels. For these roles we insist on short lists for interview which are diverse. At least 30% of candidates invited to interview will be from historically underrepresented groups. You’ll know which roles we do this for as it’ll be included in the recruitment information we provide.
Find out more about:
The work culture is like no other. I feel safe to make my own decisions and know that I am trusted to do so.
Pay and benefits
Live and work well
Transparency is important to us so we’re clear about the salary offered for each job when you apply.
And because we know just as well as you do that the world is constantly changing around us, we review salaries regularly to make sure they’re competitive with charity jobs elsewhere. Find out more about our pay scales and job levels (PDF).
Our mission is critical and the work’s important, but so’s your life. We’ve put together a benefits package that means you can live and work well. Let’s start with the basics we all get …
We give you 27 days (plus bank holidays) a year. And that annual leave increases the longer you’re with us (up to a maximum of 31 days after 10 years’ service). Because it’s important for all of us to rest, pause and reflect, three of those days are taken by everyone during our holiday shutdown at Christmas.
We’ve all got to think ahead so we’ll match up to 6% with employer contributions.
We want to look after ourselves so we can look after others, so we provide Vitality health insurance for all employees. Through Vitality not only do all our people get private healthcare, but access to all sorts of incentives to live a healthy and balanced life.
A work-life balance that’s right for you leads to wellbeing and us all succeeding together. That’s why we give you control over how and where you work. We have core hours so you know when your colleagues will be around, and you can flex your work around your life. Find out more about agile working at Teach First.
If you need a more guaranteed working pattern, let’s talk. Over a hundred of us already have flexible working agreements in place and we’re making over 70 different patterns work. So why not join us and push those numbers even higher? Find out more about flexible working at Teach First (PDF).
Life assurance and income protection
Because sometimes life happens. If it does, we’ll have you and your loved ones’ backs.
And even more options…
Each year our people get to choose from flexible benefits options.
At the moment these include:
- buying/selling annual leave
- interest-free season ticket loan
- dental insurance
- health screening
- discounted dining
- cycle scheme
- give as you earn
Family life and work
If you have a family, caring responsibilities or are thinking about starting a family, it’s important that work works for you. Agile and flexible working is a huge part of that, but so are some of the basics like leave and support. As you might have gathered, benefits and family are important to us, so we give you more than the statutory requirements. Find out more about our family policies (PDF).
It makes such a massive difference to be able to work where and when suits you, around business needs.
We’ve got a huge challenge ahead: building a fair education for all. To rise to that challenge, together we must do the best work of our lives.
Our approach to performance management is based on ongoing open and honest communication between you and your line manager.
Performance is an ongoing activity. It’s every day, after any interaction or project. We all want to know how we are doing and that’s why we don’t wait for an annual cycle to have those conversations.
We believe feedback is critical to high performance, so you’ll regularly receive feedback on how you’re getting on. We commit to making feedback as specific as possible and will always focus on the impact of your actions. Rather than the hours you work. This way we believe you’ll build on your strengths and perform in new situations.
We also expect you to give feedback to your colleagues and us. That’s the way all of our performance will improve.
Recognition – we all need it. We want you to know we see your good work, so we recognise you for it – both what you do and how you do it.
We hold regular Principles in Action Awards to recognise great examples of living out our cultural principles. And our performance management system means you’re recognised for what you’ve achieved.
The best thing about working at Teach First is the culture of high expectations. You can trust you’ll be held accountable to doing good work and it is okay to hold others accountable as well.
If we’re going to rise to the challenge ahead of us, we need to unlock the potential of everyone that works at Teach First. While you’re with us we want you to grow and develop.
Professional qualification support
Your development is important – it helps you and us achieve our aims. That’s why we have a fund to support with funding courses and qualifications that help your professional development.
Apprenticeships aren’t just for those new to the workplace. We’re using our apprenticeship levy to make sure our people have the skills and knowledge needed to grow in their roles. We offer apprenticeship options in management, project management and many more. We’re open to discussing converting many roles into apprenticeships where a government approved scheme exists.
We’ve all experienced good and bad management. And we all know which we’d like more of. We want our people to excel as managers so their teams can too. We provide specific development opportunities and support for our managers.
Career break option
Sometimes getting experience outside of Teach First or having a bit of a break from the norm will help you grow. And we know that you’ll bring what you learn back with you, so we can grow too. We offer career break options for all our employees with two or more years’ service.
I feel very lucky to work somewhere that has supported me to carve out a successful career, allowing me to move roles and develop skills in new areas while making me feel valued.
We’re about tackling the injustice created by educational inequality. It’s our contribution to a better future, and it can be yours too. To do this we need you to contribute your ideas and talent, no matter your role.
Some of the ways you can contribute to our purpose and work:
Vision Engagement Days
We do purpose-driven work to build a fair education for all. Staying close to that purpose is so important to us that we offer our people three days a year where they can do voluntary work that gets them close to our purpose. In the past year our employees have used their vision engagement days to provide career coaching to pupils, run reading and creative writing workshops, volunteer as student mentors, take up school governor positions and much more.
Having your say at work
We don’t just do one survey a year and make a few changes. Our people’s contributions make real differences to how we work and all our experiences here. Here are a couple of ways we make that happen...
Each of our directorates is represented at our elected employee forum that meets regularly through the year. You can contribute ideas to improving your experience at work. Plus, if you want to get more involved, you’ll have the opportunity to run for election too.
Our employee survey – it’s always on. This means we’re continually hearing from our people on what’s going on and can see what’s making things better – and what’s not.
Diversity and inclusion
With a diverse and inclusive workforce that has personal experience of our mission we’ll be able to unlock our potential. Every day our work takes us towards a fairer future. But we need to do more. Find out about the action we’re taking to improve our diversity and inclusion.
And there are ways you can get involved too. We have four employee led affinity groups right now. And we’re always up for people creating new ones too. The groups meet regularly and sit on our employee engagement forum.
I've worked at Teach First for nearly 8 years and there's a reason I'm still here - I've been valued, challenged and rewarded and I think it's a great place to work.
How it works
- Register for an account. Once you have an account you’re set, that’s the only time you’ll need to do it. No matter how many roles you apply for with us.
- Submit a CV and cover letter. Make sure you’ve told us why you’re fired up about working for us and how you meet the essentials plus any ‘nice to haves’ from our job description.
- Assessment. This depends on the role you’ve applied for. It could include a telephone interview, one or two face to face interviews or a task. Once you’re through to the assessment stage, don’t worry we’ll let you know what to expect.
- Job offer. You’ll hear from us swiftly after the assessment stage. If you get an offer this will include the key details like your salary, hours and location. After that it’s on to the paperwork.
- Reference check. We’ll need to be in touch with two professional referees and get completed references before you can start with us.
- Get the paperwork set. As well as making sure you get paid on time, we need to make sure you’ve got the right to work in the UK. And to keep everyone we work with safe, for some of our roles, we need to complete DBS checks.
- Start with us. We’re looking forward to your first day with us.
Top tips for applying to work here
We know a lot of time and effort goes into applying for charity jobs. So, we want you to make the best use of that time to create an application that makes you stand out.
- Take a look at our top tips on what we’re looking for in an application. Hint: keep it simple and focused.
- Read the job description and tailor your CV and covering letter. Tell us how you meet our criteria. The easier you make it for us to see how you meet the essentials and any nice to haves, the more likely you are to make it through to the next stage of assessment.
- We’re fired up about our work and building a fair education for all. Tell us how you’re fired up about our purpose and the role you’re applying for. Find out more about our mission.
- How we work is as important as what we do. We’re focusing on our culture and doing the best work we can – together. Read our principles. How will you add to our culture and us succeeding together?
- Keep it focused. Ideally no more than two pages for a CV and one page for a cover letter.
- Use plain English. We’re on a mission to ditch the jargon and acronyms. Join us.