Where you could work | Teach First

Where you could work

We recruit from all over the world and place participants in teaching jobs with schools in England and Wales. Wherever you’re teaching, you’ll find that Teach First participants form close-knit supportive groups and enjoy rich and varied lives outside work. Many choose to live with fellow participants and during the summer you will be given valuable advice on finding affordable housing and how to connect with other participants seeking accommodation in each local area.

The map below gives an overview of where we've placed participants to date, highlighting the concentration of placements in our local areas.

Be flexible about location

You may have strong initial views about where you want to work and we will try to take these into account when placing you. During the application process you will be able to state your local area preference. However, our focus is on placing highly motivated individuals into teacher jobs where they are most needed. We recommend that you be open minded about local area and understand that we will prioritise the needs of the schools and their children over the preferences of our applicants..

Information correct as of January 2016 - more information on locations you could be placed in will be provided when you're allocated your local area.

East of England

In the East of England, we currently place participants in Ipswich and Peterborough, and establishing relationships with schools and other partners in Norfolk is a key priority.

There is a stark need for our work in this region. Although the percentage of pupils claiming Free School Meals is lower overall in this area than national averages, it’s clear that areas with high levels of deprivation are masked by others that are significantly less deprived. Only 39% of pupils from the 10% most income-deprived postcodes in the East of England achieve five or more GCSEs at grade A* to C including English and Maths, compared to 77% from the 10% wealthiest postcodes.

There are currently 88 Leadership Development Programme (LDP) participants in the East of England, working in 40 schools in the area. Participants in this region have taught a number of different curriculum areas, including English, Maths, Modern Foreign Languages, Science and Primary.

Some of our ambassadors (those who have completed the LDP) have provided crucial support as we expand our reach across the East of England, including by providing support to our current participants.

“There’s so much to do in Peterborough. You could go and watch ‘The Posh’ at London Road or take a relaxing stroll or jog along the River Nene. There are also some great curry houses and we all went to a great Afghan restaurant. I haven’t been, but there is also an exotic pet refuge – how great does that sound? And you have the chattiest and friendliest cab drivers I have ever come across.”

East Midlands

Our work in the East Midlands currently spans Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire, and in 2016 we will be expanding further into more rural areas of Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire.

The East Midlands is a region with huge potential, but it also has areas of acute disadvantage – and one of the biggest achievement gaps in the UK. Primary-school pupils on Free School Meals in the East Midlands are 31% less likely to get five good GCSEs than their peers from higher-income backgrounds. This disparity is unacceptable and our job over the coming years is to provide all young people with the opportunity to access the life chances they deserve.

There are currently 183 Leadership Development Programme (LDP) participants in the East Midlands, and we work with 68 schools in the area. As the East Midlands spans quite a large area, we ensure participants are placed in clusters so they do not feel isolated. Our network of ambassadors (those who have completed the LDP) is expanding, and this is a key focus for us in this region over the coming years. There are plenty of opportunities for you to get connected to and work with our ambassadors.

“The best thing about working in the East Midlands is how diverse the area is. You can get from the middle of bustling cities to rural Derbyshire in half an hour, so you can really experience the best of both worlds; lots of amazing shops, theatres and amazing nightlife, as well as small country pubs and relaxing river walks. Also, the trains from Derby or Nottingham to London are so fast and cheap that if you want to travel further afield on weekends it's really easy.”


Our work in and around London spans from Slough in the west to Canvey Island in the east; and from parts of Hertfordshire in the north to Croydon in the south. London is the largest area we work in and this year we will be placing more than 800 participants in more than 300 schools.

Since 2000, London schools have improved dramatically and at a faster rate than anywhere else in the country. We are proud to have played a role in this – but there is still a lot to achieve. The gap in achievement between pupils from low-income backgrounds and their peers from wealthier families is often widest in outer London boroughs, so our focus now is on placing most of our participants in these areas and in parts of the adjacent counties.

There are currently 1,231 Leadership Development Programme (LDP) participants in and around London, and we work with 359 schools in the area. There are lots of opportunities to get involved in the network of ambassadors (those who have completed the LDP) in London. We have 2,000 ambassadors working across the area, and more than 1,000 ambassadors teaching in London’s classrooms, so it’s pretty likely you’ll have ambassadors working in your school or close by. Outside of school, we have an active Professional Services Network led by ambassadors at PwC and the London Policy Network, which meet regularly to discuss issues around education policy. There are also lively social networks across the capital.

“It’s exciting to work in a place where much has changed for the good in education over the last few years, but where there’s still real need for great teachers. There are so many participants each year in London it’s like being part of one big community. You’ll feel part of a local team of people teaching close to you, but also part of something much bigger, which spans right across the capital.”

North East

We work across the North East, in County Durham, Northumberland, Teesside and Tyne and Wear.

Some 52% of children in this region come from low-income families, compared to 45% nationally. This area has the lowest level of participation in higher education nationally, despite having the smallest average class size at both primary and secondary school and one of the highest levels of funding per pupil in real terms.

There are currently 136 LDP participants in the North East, and we work with 46 schools in the area. Participants in this region have taught a number of different curriculum areas, including English, Geography, Maths, Modern Foreign Languages, Science and Primary.

The North East has a friendly, close-knit and supportive Teach First community, established from day one with ambassadors (those who have completed the Leadership Development Programme) actively involved in each year’s LDP training for new participants. The North East was the first region to implement a voluntary buddy scheme, which has continued to expand and is now delivered nationally by Teach First. You can also get involved with conference days, socials and other events for all the North East’s cohorts and ambassadors throughout the academic year.

“I love that you have bustling city life, tranquil countryside and beautiful stretches of coastline all on your doorstep. It means it’s hard to get bored up here - there’s so much to do! I’m not from the North East and had only been to Newcastle once before. I wish someone had told me there was nothing to worry about and that I wasn’t going to miss home or London. The North East has it all!”

North West

In the North West we work in Fylde (including Blackpool), Greater Manchester, Lancashire (including Blackburn) and Merseyside.

Educational inequality is a very real problem for children in this region. There are 182 secondary schools and more than 700 primary schools stretching from Cheshire to Cumbria that are eligible for Teach First teachers.

There are currently 210 Leadership Development Programme (LDP) participants in the North West, and we work with 82 schools in the area. Participants in this region have taught a number of different curriculum areas, including English, Geography, History, Maths, Modern Foreign Languages, Science and Primary.

There are more than 300 ambassadors (those who have completed the LDP) in the North West who continue to engage with Teach First in a variety of ways. Last year around 40 ambassadors provided one-to-one support to our LDP participants, and a number of ambassadors in the North West have gone on to run social enterprises supported by Teach First, including Right To Succeed in Blackpool.

“From the rural landscapes of the Lake District and Cumbria to the bustling cities of Liverpool and Manchester, you can be anywhere in the North West within a couple of hours, which gives you a great range of things to see and do. Being a Teach First participant in this area is challenging but rewarding. Lots of the pupils have a strong sense of identity, wherever they live in the North West, which you can get really swept along with.”

South Coast

Our work on the South Coast currently focuses on Bournemouth, Dorset, Hampshire, Poole, Portsmouth and Southampton. Southampton and Portsmouth have among the highest rates in England of young people aged 16 to 18 years who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) – and both are more than double the national average. The Isle of Wight has been identified as one of the areas of greatest need for Teach First on the South Coast, with five out of six secondary schools eligible for our support.

There are currently 86 Leadership Development Programme (LDP) participants on the South Coast, and we work with 30 schools in the area. Participants in this region have taught a number of different curriculum areas, including English, Maths, RE, Science and Primary.

The Teach First community on the South Coast is very vibrant and there will be new opportunities to engage with it throughout the coming academic year. Ambassadors (those who have completed the LDP) are working closely with Teach First to improve our programme: one is leading on our South Coast Action Network, another has become our new Leadership Development Officer, and a third ambassador, who works for Handsdown Education, is facilitating sessions at “Super Saturdays” training events and providing bespoke support.

“The South Coast has the advantage of being on the beach and we definitely made the most of it. Barbeques and drinks on the beach were a great way to get to know fellow participants. Teaching is full on, but it’s definitely been possible to create a healthy work-life balance. You’re going to love it here.”

South East

In the South East we work across East Sussex and Kent. The majority of schools we work with are in Dover, Folkestone, Hastings, Medway, Swale and Thanet.

On average, children from low-income families in Kent do markedly worse than those in the rest of the country. Kent and East Sussex are less socially mobile than the rest of England, and much less mobile than London. In the South East 13% of nursery and primary-school pupils, and 11% of secondary-school pupils, are eligible for Free School Meals.

There are currently 165 Leadership Development Programme (LDP) participants in the South East, and we work with 51 schools in the area. Our participants have taught a number of different curriculum areas, including English, Geography, History, Maths, Modern Foreign Languages, Science, Primary and Early Years.

The Teach First community in the South East is developing year on year, with an increasing number of ambassadors (those who have completed the LDP) continuing to work in school across the South East, and more choosing to move into the area. We have a number of ambassadors who are mentoring current LDP participants in the South East, some in senior leadership roles in our partner schools and others who are piloting new and exciting projects in their schools.

“I absolutely love living by the coast. Having grown up in a city I was really worried I would find the South East too quiet. I live with other participants so I don’t ever feel alone and I find there is nothing better than going for a run on the beach (or eating fish and chips on the beach) after a long day at work. You will find that the other participants working around you become a vital support network, and amazing friends too.”

South West

Our work in the South West includes Gloucestershire, down to Devon and across to Wiltshire and encompasses some of the most deprived parts of England.

In Bristol, Gloucester and Swindon less than 27.7% of young people from deprived backgrounds access higher education. Our focus this year is to extend our work with schools in Bridgwater, Bristol, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Taunton, Swindon, and Weston-super-Mare, and will have a small cluster of participants working in Plymouth and Torbay - where educational inequality is a real problem.

There are currently 111 Leadership Development Programme (LDP) participants in the South West, and we work with 40 schools in the area. Participants in this region have taught a number of different curriculum areas, including English, Maths, Modern Foreign Languages, Science and Primary.

The South West only got its first cohort of ambassadors (those who have completed the LDP) in 2015, but there is already an active and engaged ambassador community. Many are still teaching and many others are still engaged in addressing educational disadvantage by volunteering as school governors. We have informal termly meet-ups to bring together ambassadors and LDP participants, and there is also a South West Action Network, which is involved in the strategic development of Teach First in the South West. The advantage of being in a smaller area is the really strong sense of community among our ambassadors and participants, which offers both informal and formal opportunities to meet.

“The joy of being close to the countryside and away from the smog of a city is one of my favourite things about working in Wiltshire.”

West Midlands

The West Midlands is the largest area we work in outside Greater London, and we are currently based in Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Telford and Wrekin, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton and Worcester.

The West Midlands suffered significantly in the recent recession, experiencing one of the highest rates of unemployment in the country. This sustained struggle has led to underachievement in the region’s schools. In the West Midlands, 22.2% of pupils at nursery and primary school, and 18.4% of pupils at secondary school, are currently registered for Free School Meals, which is greater than the national average by 3% and 2%, respectively.

There are currently 380 Leadership Development Programme (LDP) participants in the West Midlands, and we work with 129 schools in the area. There are lots of opportunities to get involved with the network of ambassadors (those who have completed the LDP) in the West Midlands. Ambassadors often offer support to current LDP participants, such as by providing one-to-one help and advice. There are also a whole host of groups to get involved in, including the Feminist Network and Policy Network.

“I love living in the West Midlands. Here you’ve got the option of a city lifestyle, but without the London price tag. The West Mids is a great place to be a Teach First participant. You get an awful lot of support from your school, university and Teach First during the programme, but no one seems to mention the immense support you get from each other. That’s what really helps you power through this tough but amazing experience.”

Yorkshire and the Humber

Yorkshire and the Humber is a diverse and large region, and our work here spans West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, East Riding and North and South Humber. It also includes cities like Leeds and Sheffield and rural and coastal areas like Cleethorpes and Grimsby.

The region currently has among the lowest attainment levels by seven-year-olds for reading, writing and maths in the country. It is the lowest-performing area in the country for pupils achieving five A* to C grades at GCSE.

There are currently 300 Leadership Development Programme (LDP) participants in Yorkshire and the Humber, and we work with 95 schools in the area. There is a strong sense of community in this region, with networking between current participants and ambassadors (those who have completed the LDP) increasing every year. We have ambassador-led networks for a variety of school subjects to increase the sharing of good practice. We also host social events and professional-development opportunities, and we have a lively Policy Network with more than 60 members. Participants in sub-regions within Yorkshire and the Humber create their own cultures with many of them living, working and socialising together.

“Yorkshire is an amazing place to live. The Yorkshire and the Humber team at Teach First really look after us, and everyone up north is so friendly. Being a participant in this region is great as we can all visit each other in our sub-regions and have a totally different experience. Yorkshire is so diverse and everything is on my doorstep, from Leeds city centre to Meadow Hall and the Yorkshire Dales National Park.”

Wales - Cymru

Wales has the second-highest rate of child poverty of any area in the UK, and pupils who are eligible for Free School Meals are 2.5 times less likely to get five A* to C GCSE grades than their wealthier peers. We hope to achieve a significant shift across Wales, which establishes a widespread belief that all young people can achieve, irrespective of their background.

There are currently 91 Leadership Development Programme (LDP) participants in Wales, and we work with 38 schools in the area. Participants in this region have taught a number of different curriculum areas, including English, Maths, Science and Welsh.

Wales has a small but growing network of ambassadors (those who have completed the LDP) who are keen to support participants and who regularly engage with our “Super Saturday” events. These are day-long events where our LDP participants and ambassadors come together for workshops and professional-development opportunities run by Teach First and external experts. They are a great opportunity to connect with colleagues and get access to high-quality training.

“I think teaching in Wales is so important. Going into a school – say, in the valleys – wasn’t where I imagined I would be teaching. I thought I would be teaching in inner-city schools like you see in London. However, when you get there you really see why you are needed. You get to stay there for two years, and the pupils see you as a teacher who’s there and cares about them, and they can really relate to you.”

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