rmews
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Hi there, I held a place for the Teach First scheme for 2017. However, I recently decided to quit for a number of different reasons- firstly I have found things about the organisation I find questionable, in particular it's status as a charity. I also found on the recruitment day that a lot of the other candidates were there for the wrong reasons and were more interested in using at a means to get into financial organisations such as PWC and Deloitte. Finally I decided to leave when I was denied any information regarding a deferral, and felt that my point of contact was more interested in retaining me so that she got her commission as a graduate recruitment officer- which is fair enough, but I didn't find her particularly supportive or informative. All of these are red flags for me, and have lead me to believe this is not the right way to improve education for children. Out of interest, I wanted to find out whether others have had the same experience- please post here/pm me if you have!
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Mojojojo
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(Original post by rmews)
Hi there, I held a place for the Teach First scheme for 2017. However, I recently decided to quit for a number of different reasons- firstly I have found things about the organisation I find questionable, in particular it's status as a charity. I also found on the recruitment day that a lot of the other candidates were there for the wrong reasons and were more interested in using at a means to get into financial organisations such as PWC and Deloitte. Finally I decided to leave when I was denied any information regarding a deferral, and felt that my point of contact was more interested in retaining me so that she got her commission as a graduate recruitment officer- which is fair enough, but I didn't find her particularly supportive or informative. All of these are red flags for me, and have lead me to believe this is not the right way to improve education for children. Out of interest, I wanted to find out whether others have had the same experience- please post here/pm me if you have!
Teach First is questionable to say the least. Putting 'top graduates' into schools with the hopes that they will miraculously change the system is far-fetched. But quitting just because you felt that other people were doing it for the wrong reasons is ridiculous. If people who have the potential to be good teachers (like yourself if you were accepted) are leaving the programme just because you don't like other people's reasons for doing it, then you're not helping the situation at all. Putting some teachers into schools is better than putting none in.
Yes there are some iffy parts to Teach First, but they're at least trying to do a good thing.
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rmews
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(Original post by Mojojojo)
Teach First is questionable to say the least. Putting 'top graduates' into schools with the hopes that they will miraculously change the system is far-fetched. But quitting just because you felt that other people were doing it for the wrong reasons is ridiculous. If people who have the potential to be good teachers (like yourself if you were accepted) are leaving the programme just because you don't like other people's reasons for doing it, then you're not helping the situation at all. Putting some teachers into schools is better than putting none in.
Yes there are some iffy parts to Teach First, but they're at least trying to do a good thing.
I did not quit just because I felt that other people were doing it for the wrong reasons, I did it for several reasons some of which I outlined above. But people participating in it for the wrong reasons is down to the marketing of the organisation which lead me to see it as a corporate entity rather than a charity, which is obviously problematic. The main reason I left is because of another career opportunity with a charity where I feel I will be better placed to directly alleviate social inequality, however this didn't seem relevant to my post. Many of the aspects of Teach First are hard to reconcile with their mission, for example the fact that your main point of contact and supporter is a graduate recruitment officer, therefore unlikely to give impartial and genuine support in lieu of retaining candidates. The process of leaving only confirmed my issues with the company- it was very difficult, even though I had not confirmed my offer based on location. There is something distinctly cultish about the whole thing.

Furthermore, I started this thread to find out others bad experiences (of which I have heard many through word of mouth) as there seems to be an untouchable quality to TF. Discussing the flaws of a company does not diminish their good work.
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I was unsuccessful from Teach First after the assessment centre, but I'm actually really glad!

My interviewer lambasted the organisation after going through the questions on the sheet! He said that they are not achieving their goal, are disillusioned and are recruiting the wrong people. He was very sceptical of how their main premise of putting 'top graduates' into schools with hopes of them miraculously changing a very damaged system. I left confused as to how someone who is employed by TF can be so negative about them. The sheer unprofessionalism struck me too.

I saw, like you that people at the assessment centre openly discussed how they're only applying for the partner schemes after the 2 year programme - e.g PWC, Goldman Sachs. Whereas I applied as I wanted to teach - these are probably the people who got in!

Most of the people there seemed to be very upper-class, privately educated and privileged individuals. I don't understand how putting such privileged people into disadvantaged schools is going to help. Children from low SESs aren't going to listen to someone who was born with a silver spoon in their mouth, who is lecturing them about university and how money does not matter.

When you receive an email telling you that you're unsuccessful for something you put so much time into, you should feel disheartened. But actually, I'm so relieved!
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Elitistcritic13
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Hi - my daughter recently applied to Teach First. She's an incredible young woman; despite the grinding poverty we've had to live with and being a co-carer to a difficult family member she has taught herself then got a 1st in her degree etc ( the first in her family to get a degree). Her application was immaculate and she was prepared to go anywhere. They refused
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harrysbar
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(Original post by Elitistcritic13)
Hi - my daughter recently applied to Teach First. She's an incredible young woman; despite the grinding poverty we've had to live with and being a co-carer to a difficult family member she has taught herself then got a 1st in her degree etc ( the first in her family to get a degree). Her application was immaculate and she was prepared to go anywhere. They refused
Sorry to hear that, very disappointing for her. She sounds a clever and resilient person however so I hope she will not be too discouraged but explore the other routes into teaching and be able to enter the profession some other way
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Elitistcritic13)
Hi - my daughter recently applied to Teach First. She's an incredible young woman; despite the grinding poverty we've had to live with and being a co-carer to a difficult family member she has taught herself then got a 1st in her degree etc ( the first in her family to get a degree). Her application was immaculate and she was prepared to go anywhere. They refused
I'm sorry to hear this- this is quite an old thread, so if you are looking for advice it may be best to start a new thread.

There are lots of routes into teaching, and honestly I have heard enough horror stories about Teach First to think it's probably the least good route for most people! Would she consider a PGCE or schools direct route?
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TheMandalorian
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Teach First is a load of rubbish. Schools take on Teach First trainees because they are cheaper than university led PGCE trainees. They give you six weeks of training before basically throwing you into a classroom and teaching whole classes by yourself. You don’t get the same level of support that you get from universities or even school direct.
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