Ladies and Gentlemen,
Having successfully ruined the productivity levels of this school by interrupting everything I just want to say, before we go, what an enormous pleasure it’s been to visit this remarkable school and I can’t thank the Head teacher enough for making all the arrangements and enabling us to see the work, not only of the Teach First Teachers, but also many of the pupils.
Dame Julia Cleverdon is far too generous in what she said about the origins of Teach First. What I can’t believe is that it’s ten years since this whole enterprise started. Apart from making me feel even older, it is I think a great credit to Dame Julia in particular for her huge energy and enthusiasm for making all this work. I’m enormously grateful to Brett for all that he has put into this. You never quite know when you begin this sort of initiatives whether anything is going to happen or whether anybody is going to be interested. The wonderful thing is that there have been so many teachers who have come from university, who would have gone into something else, who have seen the point of Teach First. So for what it’s worth I think we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all those graduates and there are now 6000 applying for 1000 places. So it shows just what an enormous movement this has become. To see the difference it’s making to children’s lives as we’ve seen today is I think of enormous encouragement. So above all else I think it’s an investment in the future.
I can only salute those graduates who’ve given up so much of their lives to make a difference to other people’s lives and I know it will make a huge difference to this country’s prospects for the future. Thank you particularly to all those supporters and generous hearted people who make this possible because without your help, as Dame Julia would say, ‘it ain't gonna work’. Thank you.