A Teach First Primer: The American Experience

What follows is a summary of the concerns raised by Andrew Hartman (@HartmanAndrew), teacher of history at Illinois State University and author of Education and the Cold War: The Battle for the American School, regarding the alternative teacher certification organisation Teach For America. Teach For America (TFA) provides the model for Teach First in the […]

US & UK Education Privatisation: The Differences

Renowned historian of education, educational policy analyst, and research professor Diane Ravitch today summarises nicely how education ‘reform’ “now in full operation in states across the nation” works in the US. First, set an impossible goal, say, 100% proficiency for all students. Second, say that there can be “no excuses,” no reference to social conditions […]

Finland, Japan, Wherever Next? Labour Twigg Fails To Impress

The BBC report that the UK Shadow (in the broadest sense of the term) Secretary for Education, Stephen Twigg, believes “England’s schools should learn from Japan”. He obviously hasn’t been reading the Economist recently. “THE yells of children pierce the night, belting out the elements—“Lithium! Magnesium!”—as an instructor displays abbreviations from the periodic table. Next, […]

Charity Begins At Home: TeachFirst’s Executive Pay

With all the talk of charity donations in the UK being hit hard by Tory attempts to clamp down on tax avoidance, we’ve been wondering how we could help education charities like TeachFirst to weather the coming storm. One potential way that sprang to mind was by curbing the handsome amounts TeachFirst executives are currently […]

Gove’s Change Rhetoric: Education Secretary’s speech to ASCL

Michael Gove, UK Ed Sec, spoke at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) conference on the the 24 March 2012 so we thought we’d run through the justifications he could come up with for alienating both teachers and headteachers with his needless reforms. There was a defence of free schools and academies. There […]

Not Very Joined-Up Thinking: Gove vs. IDS on foreign workers?

When you consider how desperate times apparently are in the UK, it would help that those with a democratic mandate were talking to each other. Last week, Ian Duncan Smith urged the recruitment of British workers, a few weeks before that Michael “The Governor” Gove decided to relax the rules regulating the employment of overseas-trained […]

‘Union attacks plan to employ ‘unqualified’ teachers’

Australian ABC News on yet more teaching union opposition to Teach for Australia: “The Northern Territory Education Union has slammed the Territory Government over its plans to employ people who are not qualified teachers to teach in Territory schools. Teach for Australia is a program that began in Victoria last year and will now be […]

Still No Special Measures for Teach First

The recent publication of OFSTED data on those schools causing concern in April 2011 has given us another chance to assess Teach First’s claim that they are addressing educational disadvantage. In England and Wales there are 322 Schools in Special Measures and 252 Teach First participating schools, of which only 5 (2%) are on OFSTED’s […]

Teach For America Rap & Lyrics

The approaching PR trainwreck that is TFA ridiculed on a popular American TV show. Four years at Radcliffe, that’s all you know A desire to do good and a four point oh You’re here to save us from our plight You got the answer ’cause you’re rich and white On a two-year sojourn here to […]

It Seems Even Teach First Recruits Will Be Disposable

A very revealing story regarding the employment practices of Teach For America has emerged Stateside that has worrying implications for Teach First and other Teach For All organisation recruits. In a New York Daily News article‘Amid threat of layoffs, city is recruiting 500 new teachers for next fall‘ we are told that ‘even as the […]


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