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University takes helm of Teach First training

16 January 2007

Canterbury Christ Church University has been appointed the National Co-ordinator of Teach First’s initial teacher training programme.

An Ofsted report revealed that headteachers have hailed Teach First as one of the best new initiatives to help London schools raise standards.

Since its inception in 2003, the University, through the Teach First scheme, has intensively trained 800 exceptional graduates to teach in challenging London schools.
Teach First has been so successful that the scheme has now been rolled out to Manchester and the Midlands with Canterbury Christ Church University at the helm of teacher training. Lord Adonis, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, recently highlighted its contribution to the dramatic improvement of London schools.  He stated that one of the reasons for its success was that it offered a wholly new approach to engaging high achieving graduates in teaching.
Canterbury Christ Church University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor (Dean of Education), Professor Sonia Blandford, said: “This new appointment reflects Canterbury Christ Church University’s successful partnership with Teach First and our commitment to delivering highly inspirational teachers to challenging schools in London, Greater Manchester and the Midlands.  The national roll-out of the scheme will increase the pool of talent coming into the teaching profession and help schools recruit additional quality teachers.”

Chief Executive of Teach First, Brett Wigdortz, said: “We are delighted to appoint Canterbury Christ Church University as National Co-ordinator of Teach First’s initial teacher education programme and look forward to working with the University during this exciting period of expansion.”

Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University was the first provider of the teacher training element of Teach First.  In 2006, the University of Manchester became the second teacher training programme.  Canterbury Christ Church University will co-ordinate the work of the other two providers.

The Teach First participants, top graduates recruited from universities across the country, undergo six weeks intensive training programme with one of the chosen providers before starting in the classroom.  Additional evening training and classroom support will be provided by their tutors throughout the first year, giving all Teach First recruits qualified teacher status, endorsed by the Teacher Training Agency (TTA).  In their second year, Teach First graduates will receive training and mentoring from the organisation’s business sponsors.  The Teach First programme lasts two years, at which point graduates will be free to continue teaching or go into fast track career training.

Teach First is a charitable education-business partnership that transforms exceptional graduates into inspirational teachers.  Teach First teachers gain the experience, qualifications, training and networks required to become a generation of leaders both inside and outside of education.

The Faculty of Education is one of the largest and most successful providers of postgraduate initial teacher education in the country.  Its primary provision has consistently been awarded the highest possible grades in inspections by OFSTED and all other courses which have been inspected to date are graded ‘good’ or ‘very good.’

Education has been at the core of Canterbury Christ Church University’s provision since its inception in 1962. The Faculty of Education has experienced an enormous growth of programmes from initial teacher training to higher degrees encompassing all phases of education.  Moreover, the University has been acknowledged nationally and internationally as a leading provider of teacher training and development.  Its growth and reputation has been sustained through periods of national change.


Claire Robinson, Media Relations Officer,
Canterbury Christ Church University,
01227 782391,

David Cutts, External Relations Assistant,
Canterbury Christ Church University,
01227 782826,

For media enquiries:

Claire Robinson
01227 782391