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Leadership Development Programme



A two-year journey of training, mentoring and internship opportunities

Teach First is a movement for change - an idea and a commitment to do something important. At the heart of the strategy to end educational inequality is Teach First's Leadership Development Programme (LDP).

The Leadership Development Programme is an intensive two-year programme that combines your development as a practising teacher with personal and business skills training, internship opportunities, mentoring and access to Teach First's ambassador network and supporters.

Exactly how your journey evolves will be up to you - this is your journey, and, while there are a number of fixed requirements along the way, Teach First expects you to take the lead in shaping your route.

Whatever opportunities you decide to take up, Teach First want you to focus at all times on how you can best impact the lives of the young people in your classes.

Through the programme, you will acquire the skills to become a leader and teacher, and you'll learn how to adapt to new situations. You'll learn about yourself: what your strengths are, what you need to work on. Most of all you'll identify ways to use your drive and passion to raise aspirations in schools, challenge educational inequality and help children and young people to realise their full potential.

Summer Institute

Your two-year Leadership Development Programme starts with a six-week residential Summer Institute

Your LDP begins at Summer Institute, an intensive six-week immersion into the theory and practice of teaching. Developed in partnership with the UK's leading teacher training universities, it will give you the skills and knowledge that you need to enter the classroom and begin finding your feet as a teacher.

Participants spend the first four weeks of Summer Institute in their local area, while weeks five and six bring all participants together in one location. During Summer Institute you will experience a variety of sessions, events and activities each designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge required to begin teaching.

The majority of your training will be delivered by Teach First's university partners and will focus on curriculum knowledge, education theory and practice, and classroom management. You will also spend time in schools working with pupils, teachers and members of the local community to develop an understanding of local context, observe teaching practice and develop professional relationships with your school mentor and university tutors.

It is also your first opportunity to meet your fellow participants and begin to build a supportive and sustaining network of likeminded individuals. Summer Institute is a lot of fun and a lot of hard work; places where lasting friendships are made and where you will lay the foundations for your leadership development journey.

Leadership development

Teachers are leaders. Every day they inspire and motivate large groups of young people to engage, to work and to succeed.

Achieving this in the face of the host of challenges and distractions that young people face requires true leadership. Teach First's Leadership Development Programme (LDP), and the skills, strategies and behaviours you learn as a participant will set you apart whatever career you choose.

Top recruiters look for leaders - people who have a track record of making things happen and inspiring others to achieve to their full potential. A major feature of the LDP is its focus on developing your leadership skills.

Focus on leadership

Why focus on leadership? Because teachers have to be leaders. Engaging, motivating, guiding and inspiring 30 young people would be a test for any leader in any sector yet teachers do it several times every day. Your ability to lead and to inspire is what will enable you to influence the achievement of all your pupils, and your leadership abilities will make you stand out in your future career.

Teach First will draw out your leadership abilities as a communicator and an influencer in a way that no other graduate programme can. They will enable you to develop the knowledge, understanding, personal skills and strategies to unite and focus groups of individuals on subjects and tasks.

You will learn to praise, guide, lead with authority, gain and maintain respect, and harness the abilities of disparate individuals to reach a common goal and achieve great results. You'll be doing all those things within a school setting with students and colleagues, but over 80 supporter organisations recognise that these skills are directly transferable to leadership roles in other organisations - in business, charity and government.

Teaching qualification

At the end of your first year, you'll achieve a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)

As part of this, you will also gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Gaining a PGCE means that, whatever you choose to do with your career after the LDP, you can always return to teaching jobs in UK education.

You'll start at your school as an unqualified teacher and your progress will be continually monitored and supported by your school, Regional Training Provider and Teach First.

Progress, achievement and reflection

The award of a PGCE is based on you having developed a file of evidence of your progress, achievement and reflection. Your file will comprise four written assignments (two of which will be at Masters level), a weekly journal of written reflections on your experience and how you could improve on the lessons you have delivered, teaching observations and a final external assessment.

In your second year you will teach as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT), which will allow you to participate in your school's induction programme - usually featuring further training, orientations and conferences. You will also continue to be closely supported by your mentors, tutors and Teach First.


During the Leadership Development Programme, you'll earn a salary while receiving teacher training leading to a PGCE

There are many variables that will determine how much you earn as a participant. In year one you'll receive at least the basic salary for an unqualified teacher, rising in year two to the basic for a newly qualified teacher (NQT), which is £22,023 - £27,543 depending on location. However, you may earn a lot more, depending on your local area, the school you work in, and any management responsibilities you take on. Many participants have added departmental, year group or leadership responsibilities to their roles from very early in their careers and these can significantly add to your earnings.

Accommodation, transport and food expenses are provided over the Summer Institute. However, Teach First is aware that some applicants may require financial support over this period and we would not want financial circumstances to discourage you from applying. For more information about the support we can offer in the area of expenses covered teacher training, contact the recruitment team.

Key benefits of the Leadership Development Programme

Where you could work

Teach First 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.

Be flexible about location

You may have strong initial views about where you want to work and Teach First 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, their focus is on placing highly motivated individuals into teacher jobs where they are most needed. Teach First recommends that you be open minded about local area and understand that they will prioritise the needs of the schools and their children over the preferences of applicants.