More high-flying graduates will soon have the opportunity to teach in nursery and reception classes after Teach First announced plans to more than treble its presence in the early years sector.
The scheme has already become the country’s largest graduate recruitment programme, with over 1,500 graduates expected to join the organisation and be placed in challenging primaries and secondaries across the country.
But it was today announced that Teach First has received funding from the Department for Education to place 50 graduates in the early years sector, with children in low income communities.
This year’s cohort will begin their training in June, before starting working in classrooms in September.
This marks a significant increase on the 16 it placed in early years settings last year. Just as in the other school stages, graduates will sign up for a two-year programme and work full time towards obtaining a PGCE. The trainees will also gain experience working with children below the age of three to “develop their expertise in early childhood development”.
Last week Ofsted hit out at the quality of a great deal of early years provision, arguing that children as young as two from deprived backgrounds should be taught in schools to prevent them falling behind their peers.
Teach First’s founder Brett Wigdortz said: “We know that attainment gaps between children from low-income communities and their wealthier peers start early and increase dramatically. At five-years-old, the gap in vocabulary development between those from the poorest and richest families is already 15 months.
“Bringing high-quality graduates and career changers into the profession, and developing them as early years teachers, is key to addressing this problem.”