• Graduate Employers Guides - Teach First

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Employer Information


Application deadline:

  • April. However, places are filled on a rolling basis so applications for certain subjects close once the positions are filled. This means that subjects like English or History which typically have a high number of applicants but are not as in demand as Maths or Sciences will close for applications as early as November.

Starting salaries:

  • Participants are paid c.£17.5-19.5k outside of London and up to £22-23.5k in inner-London in their first year working as an unqualified teacher.
  • In their second year participants are paid on point 1 of the qualified teacher's pay scale. In inner-London this is currently £27k which compensates for the high cost of London living. Outside of London this is £21.5k. Some participants take on extra responsibilities within their school in their second year of teaching and in doing so can receive substantial additional payments.


  • London, West Midlands, East Midlands, North West, North East, Yorkshire & the Humber, South Wales, Kent & Medway.


  • Education, Charities.


Email: Telephone: Address:

What is Teach First?
Teach First is a charity which places graduates in English schools in order to address the problem of educational disadvantage. The first teachers were placed in London in 2003 and the project has continued to expand since then to the regions mentioned above. The schools which meet the requirements to have TF participants placed there will have more than 30% of its pupils on free school meals and/or less than 25% A*-C GCSE results (including English and Maths). The programme lasts 2 years. You teach the first year full time unqualified working towards gaining QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) at the end. You are prepared for this by a 6 week Summer Institute (so be prepared for giving up your summer!). Then you stay in your placement school for your second year to complete your NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) year. After this, what you decide to do is up to you. You can stay at your school, leave your school but remain in teaching or go on to something else. Throughout the 2 years Teach First will give you opportunity to gain a Masters in Educational Leadership and provide you with opportunities to meet and work with people outside of education in various industries including Law and Finance. In the summer between the 1st and 2nd year participants are given the opportunity to apply for "Summer Projects" which are mini-internships of up to 3 weeks in a wide variety of businesses. You can also arrange your own.

What roles are available at Teach First?

  • Teacher at either primary or secondary level

Application process for Teach First.

  • Online application form --> assessment day --> Offer conditional on successful completion of a Subject Knowledge Audit and completing the Summer Institute.

Entry requirements and type of person suited for Teach First.

  • 2.1 degree or above, 300 UCAS points (or equivalent, excluding General Studies)
  • Have a degree or A-levels that satisfy Teach First's Teaching subject requirements
  • Grade C (or equivalent) in GCSE Maths and English (Grade C in one Science GCSE is also required for Primary teaching eligibility)
  • Flexibility to work anywhere within our regions

  • You’ll need almost limitless supplies of energy, enthusiasm and optimism to tackle the inertia and disenchantment that characterise challenging schools.
  • You’ll need to be creative, brimming with ideas and capable of packaging and repacking ideas and concepts to capture the interest and imagination of students who, for whatever reason, have disengaged from education.
  • You’ll need self-discipline, and have the courage to confront failure and come back for more, because not everything you try will work.

And you’ll need thick skin – rhino thick. Be prepared to be challenged on everything you say or do and to engage your emotional intelligence to build relationships with people who feel you owe them a lot but may not feel they owe you anything in return.

(Taken from Teach First appliction section of the website)

Future prospects and training at Teach First.
Well first off you will get the infinitely useful Qualified Teacher Status, meaning you can come back to teaching whenever you want. It is also transferable overseas in a lot of cases. Then, as mentioned above TF provides you with opportunities to do internships and network with a wide variety of businesses and sectors so it gives a lot of future prospects.

Other comments about Teach First.
It's really, really hard. Just be prepared!!


If you have applied to Teach First, we would like you to hear from you. Please use the following form to detail your experiences of application, to aid those interested in following a similar career path.

Position applied for: Teacher
Year of Application: 2007 (to start Sept 2008)
Region: West Midlands
Educational Background: A Levels, Honours Degree - Modern Languages (French and Italian) University of Durham, 1st class.'

What were your experiences of the application process?
I found the application process very efficient. After I had filled in the online application form I heard within 2 weeks that I had been offered a place at an assessment day, which was conveniently in Durham. After the assessment day I found out by phone that I had been offered a place on Teach First 2 days after the assessment day.

What is it like working for Teach First?
Well, you don't technically work for Teach First! You are employed by the school Teach First place you in. You could see TF as a glorified recruitment agency - they seek out high quality people then place them and give them support, training and guidance throughout the 2 years. Because of the nature of how TF works it can sometimes be a bit disorganised, in my experience. However, all the staff within TF are wonderful, supportive and only want you to be the best teacher you can be. Your school could be a different matter, however! Every participant's experience is different - it can come down to something as small as the department you are in.

How has it compared to your expectations?
Much harder! I was not naive when applying - I knew it would be tough! However it has surpassed that. My expectations though were that the kids would be the hard part, but it actually turned out to be my school and attitudes towards Teach First that were the biggest challenges to overcome.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
No idea! At the moment I just want to finish my second year of Teach First and then see what happens after that. :)

Finally, any advice you would give to potential applicants?
Do your research. Make sure you have a piece of evidence from your experience to go with every TF core competency. Also, don't be put off if you've talked to people at the beginning of their first year who say it's horrible and they want to quit. Everyone thinks that at the start. At the end of my first year I am now loving it. It is extremely fulfilling.

Position applied for:
Year of Application:
Educational Background:

What were your experiences of the application process?

What is it like working for Teach First?

How has it compared to your expectations?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Finally, any advice you would give to potential applicants?

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