Department for Education
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Teach First Leadership Development Programme extended to early years

Committed and talented people who want to work with young children will be able to train to teach with Teach First, the Government announced yesterday. 

Teach First’s reach will be extended so that young children get better quality early education and the early years profession gets the respect it deserves.

The charity’s primary provision currently only reaches children aged five and over. This will be extended so that children aged three and four will also be covered. From September 2013, 20 recruits will begin working with younger children. There will be another roll-out in September 2014.

Elizabeth Truss, Education and Childcare Minister, said:

Parents want and deserve high-quality early education for their young children. The extension of the Teach First Leadership Development Programme into the early years will mean talented individuals will be even more attracted to this important profession which makes all the difference to young lives. I hope it will encourage bright graduates who otherwise may not have considered working with young children.

Teach First has an excellent reputation for delivering high-quality teachers. This announcement will help to capitalise on this expertise for the early years profession to get the status it deserves. It will also drive up early education quality in poorer areas where it is most needed.

Trainees will do a two-year training programme while working full time in schools, nurseries and other early years providers in poorer areas. They will gain a post-graduate certificate in education at the end of year one. Young children will be able to benefit from high-quality graduate leadership. 

Teach First is a charity which recruits, trains and supports people with leadership potential to become inspirational teachers in schools in low-income communities across the UK. In the past ten years more than 400,000 young people have been taught by Teach First teachers.

John Colenutt, acting Chief Executive Officer of Teach First, said:

We know the impact of a great teacher and how vital it is to intervene as early as possible to ensure that every child receives a great education.

This is an exciting development for Teach First and is allowing us to respond to the needs of our partner schools which are keen for us to provide graduates to teach their younger pupils.

We are tailoring the training for those who will be working with three-to-seven-year-olds to ensure that they are fully equipped to manage the very different demands of the early years context, and to support the children in their care.

Notes to editors

1 Teach First’s vision is that no child’s educational success is limited by their socio-economic background. It believes that the scale of change needed is so great it requires a movement of leaders to make a difference at a pupil, school and system level. 

2 Trainees commit to a minimum of two years at their partner school, where they teach an newly qualified teacher (NQT) timetable; and nearly three-quarters choose to stay for at least a third year. Their 13 month initial teacher training starts with the unique six-week summer institute which provides trainees with intensive preparation for teaching in their school. Trainees then complete both their post-graduate certificate in education training year and their first year as an NQT in their school.

3 The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education Project found that the quality of early years provision is related to better intellectual and cognitive, and social and behavioural development, in children when they begin primary school.

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