Findings from Research into the Impact of Non-teaching Ambassadors

Caroline Sharp, Richard White, Matt Walker, Clare Southcott, Anneka Dawson

18 July 2013

NFER recently undertook a study to explore the impact of non-teaching Teach First ambassadors on the Teach First vision that no child’s educational success should be limited by their socio-economic background. Commissioned by Teach First, this short document sets out the findings from the research. Fifty-nine case studies were undertaken comprising interviews with 60 ambassadors, 52 stakeholders (primarily employer representatives) and 27 beneficiaries (primarily children and young people). Face-to-face and telephone interviews were undertaken between November 2012 and March 2013.

Key Findings

  • Many of the ambassadors were directly involved with children and young people, largely through the Higher Education Access Programme for Schools (HEAPS). This was reported to have a range of impacts on young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, including developing their confidence and key skills and raising their aspirations to apply for university. Others were working to advance the Teach First vision by working in educational charities.
  • Many ambassadors who worked through other individuals and organisations described their impact on improving outcomes for disadvantaged children and young people as ‘indirect’. Some of the most notable examples of indirect impact were provided by those working in overseas charities and Teach First’s sister organisations in developing countries. Other ways in which ambassadors thought they were having an impact included being a school governor, supporting teachers, working through their company’s CSR programme, advocacy and fundraising for Teach First.
  • Ambassadors said that the Teach First network was a huge help to them in making an impact on improving outcomes for disadvantaged children and young people. It provided them with access to volunteering opportunities, support for new social enterprises, and a forum in which ambassadors could discuss ideas with like-minded individuals.
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