Stephen Timms, Shadow Minister for Employment and MP for East Ham, today taught a Citizenship lesson at Little Ilford School, Manor Park on the subject of campaigning. In doing so, Mr Timms joined dozens of other leading individuals from the worlds of politics, entertainment, business and sport who swapped their day jobs for the classroom, as part of charity Teach First’s annual Teach First Week.
A key player in getting Teach First off the ground as Schools Minister in 2002, Stephen Timms is taking part in Teach First Week during the charity’s tenth anniversary year. The week runs from 12 to 16 March 2012. He was also accompanied by Teach First Ambassador, Tom Rose, who was recruited as part of the charity’s first cohort of teachers in 2003. Tom is now Regional Director for Teach First’s London region.
Stephen’s lesson is just one part of an entire morning spent at the school. Before the lesson, he met with pupils to talk about the importance of aiming high in education and beyond. After the lesson, he took part in a thirty minute discussion with Year 11 pupils about their future prospects.
Other guest teachers taking part in Teach First Week include Marks and Spencer Chairman, Robert Swannell, world record breaking sailor, Dame Ellen MacArthur, TV personality, Adrian Chiles, humanitarian and author, Terry Waite CBE, and Editor of The Independent, Chris Blackhurst, who will all go back to school to encourage pupils to strive for more.
Teach First works in partnership with schools and other organisations to break the link between low family income and poor educational attainment, which is stronger in the UK than in almost any other developed country. It does this by recruiting and training high calibre, passionate graduates to become effective, inspirational teachers in schools in challenging circumstances.
Over 2050 Teach First teachers are currently working in schools to raise the attainment, aspiration and access to opportunity of their pupils across England, including nearly 900 who have decided to stay in teaching beyond the two year programme.
Teach First founder and CEO Brett Wigdortz said: “I am thrilled that a record number of guest teachers have agreed to be part of Teach First Week 2012. It acknowledges the urgent need for us all, regardless of our day job, to play a part in eradicating educational disadvantage, and ensuring that a generation of young people from low-socio economic backgrounds have the same chances in life as their wealthier peers.”
Speaking after his morning in the classroom, Mr Timms said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed being back in the classroom today. Teach First is doing a terrific job of bringing exceptionally able young people into teaching in schools like Little Ilford. I take my hat off to all Teach First teachers; it is not an easy task but it is a vital one.”