An initiative to recruit talented graduates to teach in deprived areas is now the biggest destination for university leavers, according to a survey of major UK employers.
Teach First has overtaken traditional big recruiters in banking, finance and the civil service.
The teaching scheme, launched in 2002, hired 1,261 graduates this year.
Prime Minister David Cameron praised the scheme for its “belief in its power to change lives”.
These latest recruitment figures are from High Fliers, based on a survey of 100 major graduate employers.
The figures show that Teach First has overtaken the finance firms and the Army to make it to the top spot this year. It is also the fastest growing scheme in the UK currently.
The Teach First charity was set up to send ambitious and motivated young teachers into schools serving deprived areas, with the aim of raising standards.
It has been claimed as part of the success of the London Challenge, which saw results in the capital outstrip other parts of England.
It has been expanding across England and Wales, with the aim of recruiting 2,000 graduates a year from 2015.
Trainees have six weeks of intensive training, with their subsequent training taking place in school, where they spend two years.
“It’s a remarkable achievement that Teach First has hired so many top graduates this year, overtaking recruitment at long-established graduate employers,” says Martin Birchall, managing director of High Fliers Research, which tracks the graduate labour market.
Teach First has also produced an analysis of its own recruits. There were 80% from leading Russell Group universities, but almost a quarter had been eligible for free meals at school and a third had been the first in their families to go to university. This is good news for those children who are disadvantaged and shows that teaching is becoming a popular profession, despite there seeming to be a lot of unsatisfied teachers in the profession according to the unions. I’m hoping that this news keeps up.