Teach First: a rollercoaster ride, but one that's open to all

4th September 2009 at 01:00

I do not see why Teach First should be seen as an elitist route into teaching in the sense that it is open only to graduates of a particular class ("A class of their own? The rise and rise of the Teach First graduates", August 28).

If it is elitist in terms of recruiting the best graduates regardless of background - good. Teach First should recruit like any major company - with a commitment to diversity, attracting talented applicants not only from top universities but from a far wider pool. Transparency is essential in dispelling some preconceptions. Publishing metrics such as the number of participants from independent schools may highlight a need to engage more actively with bright state school pupils to raise their awareness of the scheme before they reach university.

My concern is Teach First's effectiveness in screening out applicants who apply as a hedge against declines from corporate employers, where they intended to go in the first instance. Those applying as a stepping stone into well-regarded private sector jobs must be weeded out early on.

Jason Chin, PGCE student, Institute of Education, London.

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