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Teach First: Making sure young people succeed whatever their background

Teach First is a charity aiming to end inequality in education ensuring no child’s success is limited by their background. In 2014 we formed a partnership with Teach First to help accomplish this.

This year we carried out in-depth research into young people’s progression after school. Together we investigated the availability and take-up of apprenticeships, for example. We found that a lack of information and financial barriers could put off young people from low-income backgrounds.

Apprenticeships might be seen as a low-wage option because the headline figure for the minimum wage is just £3.30 an hour. But the average salary is closer to £6 an hour and there’s rapid salary progression within months.

Young people on apprenticeships miss out on the financial support available to those in full-time education or training, such as help with travel costs. And what’s more their parents can’t claim child benefit, unlike those whose 16- to 18-year-old children remain in full-time education or vocational training.

In our joint report, we recommended that the government should build on its ‘find an apprenticeship’ website and develop a nationwide UCAS-style ‘one stop shop’. This should outline all available apprenticeship opportunities and link directly to employers’ application processes. And we called on the Low Pay Commission to investigate whether financial issues deter less well-off young people from applying.

We also continued to give Teach First direct support – mentoring teachers and entrepreneurs setting up education-related social enterprises, providing CV and assessment training and giving pro bono consulting advice. All this support will help Teach First to remain a vital force giving all UK children the high-quality education they deserve.

"We've been thrilled with the support that PA provided on our Progression Report. This report is helping make the case for supporting more disadvantaged young people get the support they need to succeed, and we couldn’t have done it without the expertise and generous support of the PA team.”

Jonathan Dando – Associate Director of Press, Public Affairs and Policy – Teach First

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