New Report Highlights Early Successes of Teach First NZ

Principals and co-ordinators reported that all participants were having a positive impact on the school, particularly in their departments. Participants’ content knowledge, the resources they developed and shared, their facility with technology, and their attitude towards wanting to do the best for all students were all seen to make a valued contribution to the school.
— New Zealand Council for Educational Research


On June 26, Teach For All’s New Zealand partner, Teach First NZ, welcomed the release of the first independent evaluation of its program. Written by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER), the report is the first phase of a four-year evaluation, commissioned by New Zealand’s Ministry of Education. 

In its report, the NZCER praises the implementation of Teach First NZ’s program, which is implemented in partnership with the University of Auckland, and highlights its success at attracting talented individuals to teach in schools serving low-decile communities (communities of lower socio-economic standing). The vision of reducing educational inequity is central to Teach First NZ’s success—a vision affirmed by the report’s finding that participants have a “very clear focus” on why they are teaching: to ensure that all of their students achieve their full education potential, regardless of socioeconomic background.

“We are delighted that this report reflects the positive impact our participants are having in their classrooms, supported by a growing number of dedicated school partners,” remarked Shaun Sutton, Chief Executive of Teach First NZ, in response to the evaluation’s release. “We are committed to continually developing the programme to ensure all participants are equipped to advance the life chances of children affected by educational inequalities in New Zealand.”
 

Additional highlights of the NZCER evaluation include:
 

  • Participants were frequently described as “high calibre,” “hard working,” “resilient,” and “well-liked,” and recognized for having raised expectations and energized departments.
     
  • Some participants were reported to be “beacons” in their schools, for accomplishments including raising student literacy and NCEA achievement levels.
     
  • All school principals surveyed for the evaluation stated that, if possible, they would like to employ more Teach First NZ participants in the following year.
     
  • Principals “unanimously” judged Teach First NZ participants to be “performing extremely well in the classroom.”
     

For more information about the NZCER report, read Teach First NZ’s media release or the full report.

See additional press coverage of the report, including an interview with a current Teach First NZ participant.

For reports on the impact of other Teach For All partner programs, see our Research Summary.