Teach First

Teach First is a social enterprise and registered charity in England and Wales. It exists with the primary aim of ending educational inequality.

  • In the UK children growing up in poverty are far less likely to achieve academically, in fact only 33% of children whom qualify for Free School Meals achieved at least 5 GCSEs at grades A*–C, the national average is 66%.
  • Lower academic achievement has a knock on effect, these same individuals are more likely to be unemployed, become involved with crime and even die earlier.

Teach First operates a Leadership Development Programme combining teacher training on a fully funded Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) course with leadership coaching, developing in its trainees the skills needed to be leader in the classroom as well as in wider society.

About the programme

The Leadership Development Programme last two years and follows this structure:

  • Trainees begin with the 6 week Summer Institute – a crash course introducing the theories and practice of teaching.
  • After the Summer Institute trainees enter their school and begin teaching. Trainees are supported by colleagues, the Teach First organisation and its partner universities. Throughout their first year at school trainees will work towards and achieve a PGCE qualification.
  • At the end of their first year trainees are given the opportunity to participate in a mini internship with an all together different kind of organisation.
  • Trainees will return to their school as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT). Participants will now be called upon to 'deepen their impact' within the school. This could mean taking on additional responsibilities.
  • Participants are offered the opportunity to gain a Master’s qualification. This is achieved over 2 years and on a part-time basis.

Around half of Teach First participants remain in teaching and 50% of those are now in leadership positions.

People discussing about business plan © vadymvdrobot Pretty, young business woman giving a presentation © lightpoet

Entry requirements

  • Candidates must have a good honours degree at 2:1 or above.
  • Good A Level/Highers grades are also required. Candidates must have at least a grade C in GCSE’s Maths and English*. Those placed in a Welsh secondary school need to have at least grade B. A grade C in Science is required for primary and early year applicants.
  • Teach First will accept other academic equivalencies. Please consult their website for more detailed information.


  • Applicants apply directly to Teach First via their website.
  • Those successful at this stage are invited to an Assessment Centre.
  • Success at the Assessment Centre leads to an offer of employment upon successful completion of literacy, numeracy, and curriculum knowledge tests. Candidates must also pass the Summer Institute to progress to their school.
  • Candidates are subject to Disclosure and Barring Services checks (DBS) as part of the process.


  • All participants are  employed and will receive a salary of £22,023–27,543 a year, depending on location.