What we're doing | Teach First

What we're doing

Just 20% of pupils eligible for free school meals progress to university

For pupils from independent schools the figure is 86%.

Research shows that great teaching has the power to break this link between wealth and educational success. However, research also shows that schools in the most challenging circumstances – the very places where excellent, inspirational teaching could make the most difference – face the greatest difficulties in recruiting teachers.

We are building a movement to break this cycle.


We recruit and train outstanding graduates and experienced professionals, placing them in the schools that need them most, where their energy and passion can make a real difference. Around 60% of our ambassadors stay in teaching beyond their time on our programme, often moving into middle and senior leadership positions. Many go on to pursue social equality in other areas. We support them in these efforts in many ways, such as by helping them set up their own charities and social enterprises. Some go on to become influential figures in government, the media or business, and all of them bring to their professions an understanding of educational inequality, as well as the skills and motivation to fix it.

Since our launch in 2002, we have grown to become the largest graduate recruiter in the UK, tackling the problem in schools and classrooms across England and Wales, and campaigning for greater awareness of educational disadvantage through our influential network of current and former teachers, and our contacts within business and government.

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