The aim of the extended partnership is to attract, train and retain brilliant teachers for those schools serving disadvantaged communities in these regions - with a particular focus on teachers of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), where the need is greatest.
A cohort of 20 teachers started in September last year across schools in Grimsby & Scunthorpe with a further 26 at schools in Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton and St. Helens. This is in addition to the 16 teachers in Grimsby & Scunthorpe and 14 in Merseyside recruited in 2019 – bringing the total across the partnership to 76 teachers recruited.
Through the revamped partnership, Ørsted and Teach First are also keen to inspire local young people by highlighting the variety of fulfilling career paths available on their own doorstep.
In addition to offering financial support for recruitment, Ørsted will also assist with school visits – as well as providing coaches for local teachers to give an insight into the many skilled roles available in the industry. The partners have been working closely together to continue to support teachers and schools during the ongoing pandemic and explore COVID-safe activities.
The partnership extension is part of a broader approach Ørsted is taking to support young people both in and out of the classroom. The company recently announced support of two upcoming facilities in its local communities – Youth Zone in Grimsby and Eureka Mersey in Merseyside.
Duncan Clark, Ørsted’s Head of Region UK, said: “Ørsted shares with Teach First a vision of hope and opportunity for our local communities and we see our renewed partnership as the next step in our journey together, as we look to provide inspiration to both young people and young teachers alike. Offshore wind is a rapidly growing industry which is creating a real sense of purpose and ambition in the regions where we operate. We see it in the teams at our operations hubs in Grimsby, Merseyside and Brightlingsea, in our apprentices, in the suppliers and local stakeholders we work with every day. We want to highlight the scale of opportunity available to young people on their own doorstep and nurture the sense of purpose and ambition in future generations.”
Russell Hobby, CEO of Teach First, said: “Brilliant teachers and thriving schools have the ability to unlock the potential in all young people – and transform lives and communities. Ørsted’s renewed support for recruiting teachers, while helping to provide clear pathways to future employment, will make a huge difference in building a fair education for many young people living the coasts of the North East and North West, opening up opportunities in school and beyond.”
Kate is a teacher at Halewood Academy, in Knowsley, and took up her post with support from the Teach First & Ørsted partnership. She said: “I'd been considering teaching for a while, but I was hesitant about delaying my entry into the workforce. I really liked that with Teach First you were employed straight away as a teacher but still received support from your school, Teach First, and the university. Being given responsibility for your classes from day one made me feel confident in the classroom. On the whole, I've become more confident in taking on leadership tasks in school and in my daily life – I suppose standing up in front of 30 kids five times a day helps with that.”
Catherine, a teacher at Winterton Academy, near Scunthorpe, said: “The fact that Teach First specifically works with schools in disadvantaged communities was definitely a factor in my decision to choose this training route. For me, it was a conscious decision to be part of something that led to change in the whole community not just the school. The community itself has been through quite a lot of industrial decline so one of the opportunities we have as a teachers is to help pupils see what job options are out there and what they could study at university. It’s really nice to instil aspirations in kids that they never knew they had.”