TeachFirst, the education charity, are offering £20,000 , and more, for innovative education projects, to make a difference to those kids who need most help. Be ready to pitch your idea, and prepare for some worthy competition!
Over the past few months I have been very lucky to be part of the Teach First Innovation Weekends, as a dragon, judging the pitches. This was an accelerator programme for the Innovation Award. Thanks to Ayd Instone, who helped make the days full of innovation and positive energy, and for getting me involved!
Anyone can enter, you don’t need to be a TeachFirst grad. And the weekends proved that! I saw the full range, from teachfirsters still training, to experienced publishing professionals, parents, governors, and many teachers.
Though there were clearly highlights and some rock solid projects that I am looking forward to seeing happen, my overall impression was that the calibre and enthusiasm was incredibly high. I had a great time, and hope to be able to support a few of these brilliant people to make the difference, and to ‘Do the Do’ they created. It chimes perfectly with the whole point of creat_ED, the event I helped run at the Barbican this Summer. I am really pleased that so many of the Teach First Innovation weekenders came along! We need more social entrepreneurs!
So, if you have an idea to transform educational outcomes why not pitch for the innovation award. Worst case, you’ll have tried something of importance, and met loads of great people and learned more. Best case, a salary, office and support to make your vision come true. Teach First say:
We are offering up to £20,000, two salaried positions, and a wealth of experience and support to the winning individual or team, to support the development of the best ideas for social enterprises that will make a real difference to the state of education in the UK.
You have till the 19th of August – so get going!!
I know there have been detractors of TF, mainly based on misconceptions, wonderfully cleared up by Laura McInerney here! (BTW If you don’t follow Laura – as @miss_mcinerney on twitter, you should!!) But, given the renewed debate about the politics of this movement in the US, I cannot help but feel it is more important for more of us to get involved, and expand the range of influences on this organisation that has already proved itself to be a powerful catalyst for educational reform, to support the most disadvantaged in our schools.
What are you waiting for??
(Declaration of Interest Note – I was not paid to be a dragon, though they did cover my travel expenses and gave me a bottle of wine to say thanks.)