Now Teach, the organisation founded by former Financial Times journalist Lucy Kellaway to encourage professionals to become teachers later in life, is to receive £350,000 in government funding.
Nick Gibb, the schools minister, has today announced that the money will allow the charity to expand out of London and start work in Hastings, one of the government’s social mobility opportunity areas.
Launched by Kellaway and Katie Waldegrave in 2016 with the support of the Ark academy chain, Now Teach has so far recruited around 50 new teachers.
The charity focuses on maths, science and modern foreign languages, subjects where there is a particular demand for new recruits, giving its trainees access to government bursaries when they join the profession. Training and pay comes via the School Direct programme.
Applicants arrive from a wide range of professional routes. Recent recruits include a former NASA scientist, a hostage negotiator and the head of a hospital trust.
Kellaway, herself a Now Teach recruit who started work as a maths teacher at Hackney’s Mossbourne Community Academy last September, is “delighted” with the funding to help the charity expand in its second year of operation.
After founding Now Teach in 2016, Kellaway became a convert, joining Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney as a maths teacher last September, at the age of 57.
“We look forward to working closely with the DfE in years to come,” she said.
Gibb is also full of praise for the charity, saying: “We want to continue exploring every opportunity to attract the best and brightest into the profession.
“Great teachers are at the heart of our plans to ensure every young person reaches their potential, and the expertise that these experienced professionals have can be put to great use in the classroom, teaching pupils valuable knowledge and skills.”
The funding for Now Teach is part of a series of new measures aimed at boosting teacher recruitment, including student loan forgiveness pilot for teachers in shortage subjects and a £10 million investment in new “gold standard” national professional qualifications in schools, including courses on headship.
Changes to bursaries were also announced last year, with the amount trainees can receive for joining in shortage subjects rising to £35,000.
Now Teach will host a launch event at Hastings Pier on January 20.