Growing leaders for change

The potential of young people in Aotearoa New Zealand is limitless. Access to opportunity is not. Nor is it evenly distributed.


The aim of Teach First NZ’s work is to help all children to fulfil their potential by disrupting the inequities that exist in education and in society. Through our flagship programme, we contribute to achieving this vision by attracting more great people into the education sector who are committed to the same vision as us; supporting them to grow as teachers and leaders who can make a difference, and fostering their collective impact in the long-term as Kairapu to make an increasing difference for our young people.

We believe it is possible for all young people in Aotearoa to realise their full potential.

But we have a problem.

Aotearoa New Zealand has one of the highest rates of educational inequality in the developed world, ranking 33rd out of 38 countries.

This inequality is the result of multiple factors. To help fight the war against it, we bring together outstanding individuals and support them to become highly effective teachers and inspirational leaders to serve the amazing young people in our lowest-income communities.

We hold the space for these outstanding individuals to develop as teachers and leaders to work alongside their colleagues in schools serving low-income communities across the country.

In this way, we contribute to affecting the systemic change that is needed to achieve the vision of equality. 

The Teach First NZ teaching and education leadership programme is employment-based and provides carefully selected participants with the opportunity to teach in a secondary school serving a low-income community, whilst completing a Masters qualification over two years.

Eligibility Criteria

Our participants do not start out as teachers - in fact, they come from a range of academic disciplines and backgrounds.

To meet our eligibility criteria you must:

  • Hold New Zealand Citizenship or a Permanent Residency Visa;

  • Have completed a minimum of a Bachelors Degree;

  • Be eligible to teach one of our nine subject areas*:

  • Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, General Science)

  • Mathematics

  • English

  • Technology

  • Digital Technology

  • Te Reo Māori

  • Pacific Languages (Tongan, Samoan)

Find out if you are eligible?

We believe that great teachers and leaders demonstrate some key dispositions, and a range of skills, abilities and understandings and have used these to form our Ngā Āheitanga (Key Competencies).

Throughout the recruitment process, candidates are assessed for evidence of the following:

  • Interpersonal relationships

  • Cultural competence

  • Humility, self-awareness and openness to learning

  • Empathy and respect

  • Leadership and service

  • Adaptability and flexibility

  • Organisation and planning

  • Commitment and resilience

  • Achievement

  • Commitment to the Ako Mātātupu: Teach First NZ mission and vision

To apply for the Teach First NZ Programme you will first need to complete our online application form.

If your online application is successful, you will be invited for a interview where you will have another opportunity to discuss your background and demonstrate key competencies.

Success here will lead you to a Teach First NZ Assessment Centre, incorporating interviews, a group exercise, a sample teaching lesson and self-reflection exercises.

If you are successful at our Assessment Centre – congratulations! You will be made an offer to start your leadership journey with Ako Mātātupu.