Press Release

22 July 2011

A programme which recruits, trains and places top graduates as teachers to work in schools in challenging circumstances, and is delivered by Canterbury Christ Church University, has been graded 'outstanding' in a recent inspection by Ofsted.

Canterbury Christ Church is a regional provider of independent charity Teach First and was the original University partner to develop the national programme with the charity that now operates in six regions across England.

Ofsted’s team of inspectors awarded the University’s Teach First programme “outstanding” - the highest rating possible. This comes a year after Ofsted also graded the Faculty of Education’s Initial Teacher Education provision “outstanding”.

In the Teach First review, inspectors highlighted graduates’ outstanding progress and attainment, commenting that “even in their first year of training they are well on their way to coming inspirational teachers, and some already are”.

Inspectors also highlighted the “well-targeted” support provided by Christ Church tutors and programme leaders, which includes a high level mentoring scheme and tracking system.

Dr John Moss, Dean of the Faculty of Education, said: “Canterbury Christ Church University was Teach First's original University partner, designed the initial teacher training programme with Teach First, supported Teach First in rolling out the national programme, and has been responsible for training a high proportion of the Teach First trainees trained to date.

“We are very proud of the success of the programme and our ongoing contribution to it.”

Teach First works to break the link between low family income and poor educational attainment by placing outstanding graduates (participants) to teach and lead in schools in challenging circumstances.

Commenting on the report, Teach First Founder and CEO Brett Wigdortz said: “The work we and our university partners do across the country to identify, train place and support our teachers in schools in challenging circumstances has rightly been recognised as Outstanding.

“These positive ratings mean that children in our partner schools are receiving high-quality education from outstandingly well-trained and highly motivated teachers who understand the crucial role they play in breaking the link between family income and educational attainment.

The following strengths in Canterbury Christ Church University’s regional provision in partnership with Teach First, were identified:

• the success in placing high-quality participants into schools in challenging circumstances to raise students’ aspirations and achievement and, in this way, meeting the needs of schools in the region

• the extremely high calibre of participants and their commitment to raising educational achievement and addressing educational disadvantage

• the participants’ relentless focus on the learning and progress of the students they teach, which is supported outstandingly well by the training they receive

• participants’ understanding of how to teach a diverse range of students and how to promote good behaviour and attitudes to learning

• the level and quality of support for participants’ personal well-being and professional development that result in exceptionally high retention and attainment

• the integration of all aspects of the programme to enable participants to make outstanding progress against very high expectations

• the highly effective combination of the close monitoring of participants’ progress, their own perceptive critical reflection, the setting of sharp developmental targets and the role of the reflective journal in supporting participants’ outstanding achievement

• the extremely thorough and rigorous process of self-evaluation and improvement planning that leads to continuous improvement in all of the outcomes for participants.


Notes to Editor

For a copy of the full report, please contact the Teach First press office at or on +44 (0) 121 654 9248.

Independent charity Teach First and its university partners have undergone the first ever full inspection by Ofsted of the way they train teachers to work in schools in challenging circumstances. The education watchdog gave them the highest rating possible.
The provision was rated ‘Outstanding’, in every one of the 44 categories assessed, including the training of inspirational teachers to work in schools in challenging circumstances. The full Ofsted report is released on Friday 22 July.

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional expertise.

• In 2010 the Faculty of Education received ‘outstanding’ grades in its Ofsted report for primary, secondary and post-compulsory programmes, together with its employment-based routes into teaching. The University’s primary provision has the unique record of having been awarded the highest Ofsted grades in all inspections since 1996.

• 94 % of our recent graduates gain employment or are in further study in the first six months after graduating (2009/10 DLHE survey).

• Along with over a thousand undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training courses on offer, we are also home to world-leading and internationally recognised research in Education, History, Music and Sports Related Studies.

• Canterbury Christ Church University was founded in 1962 by the Church of England as a teacher training college.

Teach First

Teach First is an independent charity working to break the link between low family income and poor educational attainment which is greater in the UK than in almost any other developed country. The scale of change needed is so great that it requires a movement of leaders to make a difference at a pupil, school and system level. Teach First is working towards achieving its mission by enabling its participants and ambassadors in the classroom to raise the achievement, aspiration, and access to opportunity of children from low socio-economic backgrounds, whilst developing a network of leaders with a life-long commitment to ending inequality in education from both inside and outside the classroom.

Since launching in 2002, Teach First has recruited and trained increasing numbers of participants – more than 770 new participants began their teacher training in June – and is working to place 1140 graduates per year by 2013, which would make it the largest graduate recruiter in the UK.

Teach First operates in six regions across England: London, West Midlands, East Midlands, Yorkshire & the Humber, North West and the North East.

The charity has expanded to work in the primary sector with the first cohort of Teach First primary teachers entering classrooms in September in London, the East and West Midlands, the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber.

Teach First is raising the quality and profile of the teaching profession and has made teaching in a challenging school one of the most prestigious options for top graduates. In 2010, Teach First was ranked 7th in the coveted league of Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.  Interest in the programme continues to grow amongst top graduates, with the number of applicants rising from 3,000 in 2009 to over 5,000 in 2011.

Teach First primary schools must have more than 50% of their pupils living in the lowest 30% of the IDACI*, prioritising those schools with higher levels of deprivation.

Teach First secondary schools must have one of the following:

• A first criterion based on the IDACI - Teach First works in schools that have more than 50% of their pupils living in the lowest 30% of the IDACI, prioritising those schools with higher levels of deprivation;

• A second criterion based on attainment - Teach First prioritises schools with low attainment in regards to the 5+ A*-C (English & Maths) GCSE measure. Teach First works in schools whose results fall below the lowest 30% of the national distribution;

• Teach First also works in schools that have a Challenge status: either National Challenge or City Challenge.

*Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index.



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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:14:00