From education to employment

DfE funded project shows long-lasting positive impact for teaching profession

teacher high fiving student

Data revealed by Transition to Teach shows that 90% of newly qualified teachers still see themselves in the teaching profession 5 years from now   

The Department for Education (DfE) funded Transition to Teach programme, delivered by Cognition Education, reached its successful conclusion in August 2023, after recruiting and mentoring 338 teachers through initial teacher training, qualified teacher status and early employment.  

Transition to Teach worked with over 80 School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) and Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers during the project’s 3 year duration, benefiting the learning of 57,570 pupils.  

An average of almost 90% of newly qualified teachers who successfully completed the Transition to Teach programme gained employment as teachers. 90% said they were likely to remain in the teaching profession 5 years from now.  

The Transition to Teach programme was set up to support eligible career changers into teaching, including those who had taken early retirement or had been made redundant.  

338 career changers were recruited to the Transition to Teach programme, each with an average of 12 years of work history and associated transferable skills.  

One of the career changers who went through the Transition to Teach programme is Nour Ben Slama, a former business travel consultant working in the travel industry, now working at Birkenhead High School Academy in the Wirral. Nour said her experience with Transition to Teach was a positive one: 

“I worked in the travel industry with companies including American Airlines until 2019 before losing my job due to the pandemic. Friends told me that I’d make a good teacher. I got in touch with Transition to Teach and began my PGCE in 2021/22. As I live in Liverpool, I trained to teach secondary French and Spanish with Archbishop Blanch School Direct Partnership in Liverpool, at both an all girls’ school and an all boys’ school. 

“It was fortunate that a job came up within the Trust I worked at when I qualified, and Nigel, my guidance and development advisor at Transition to Teach was a huge support not only with my application but all through my training year and into my Early Career Teacher (ECT) year from September 2022. As I’m half Tunisian and half Belgian, I never attended an English high school, so Nigel was on hand for advice on the cultural aspects of the UK education system as well as practical things such as timetabling.  

“The transferable skills I took with me into teaching from the travel industry include the ability to communicate effectively, think on my feet and act decisively. People often underestimate the travel industry, but it can be stressful. My past industry experience really helps to inspire pupils around future careers, such as at a recent inclusivity day where I prepared Tunisian food and shared pictures of myself meeting elephants in Malaysia and in the cockpit of a plane. It really helps for students to see the use of languages in the real world. 

“Making a difference as a teacher is what makes the job so worthwhile and I particularly enjoy the pastoral side. This year, I was a year 7 form tutor and built good relationships with my students, whether helping them with any challenges they were facing, or talking about getting tickets to see Taylor Swift!  

“90% of Transition to Teach trainees saying they’re likely to stay in the profession 5 years from now sounds accurate because I think you only go into teaching if you have a passion for it. You’ve got to be organised, hard-working, approachable, caring and have a good sense of humour. My Transition to Teach experience has been a positive one, and I hope that others are able to benefit from the programme in the future.”  

In the North West, Transition to Teach worked alongside Ripley ITT. Former director of teaching school and SCITT director Julie Bostock said the career experience that Transition to Teach candidates brought to the classroom was valuable: 

“Our Transition to Teach participants brought life and career experience into our schools, bringing in examples and activities when teaching maths and science which linked to real life applications from the workplace, making these more relevant and accessible for students. They were also able to contribute to careers education in school through bringing their prior work experience into the curriculum.  

“Transition to Teach provided additional support for trainees experiencing a change of career into teaching which was very valuable. Trainees were able to benefit from this extra layer of advice and support when needed, and have been well supported beyond ITT during the ECT induction period. I believe the support on offer has contributed to the high percentage of trainees who see teaching as a long term profession for them. Trainees have gained employment in schools in areas of challenging socio economic circumstances and disadvantage, improving the life chances of children in these areas.” 

The Transition to Teach programme has been led by Cognition Education whose national and international projects have impacted almost 1 million students worldwide. In the UK, Cognition Education delivers the DfE National Tutoring Programme from its new UK office in Manchester city centre. The programme provides tuition for those whose education has been most impacted by the pandemic through Academic Mentors. 

Cognition Education is part of the Cognition Learning Group, a leading provider of education, training, consultancy, and digital learning solutions. Cognition Learning Group secured a 2 year contract to deliver the DfE’s Teacher Mentoring Programme (TMP), commencing in August 2023. The Group also acquired Yorkshire based leadership and management development company, Aspire, in October 2022.  

Tracey Newman, Managing Director, UK said:

“We’re incredibly proud of what the Transition to Teach programme has achieved, supporting career changers into teaching and on an ongoing basis, giving trainees the tools they need for a long term career in teaching.  

“It’s an exciting time for Cognition Education as we continue as a delivery partner for the National Tutoring Programme and for Cognition Learning Group as we commence with the £4.2 million Teacher Mentoring Programme, delivering on the DfE’s commitment to providing effective support for new teachers through effective mentoring. As a Group, our focus is on growth in the UK market for education and digital learning.” 

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