Now Teach announces DfE not funding new contract

The news of our funding situation was covered in national and sector media, and led to a wave of support from all corners. Here's a summary.

2 mins

5/8/2024 4:00:51 PM
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When we shared the news that the DfE is no longer planning to fund a new Career Change Programme contract we expected some people to care.

But the announcement created a huge response in the press and on social media with people sharing their support for Now Teach's work and disbelief that funding would not continue.

The Sunday Times carried Now Teach co-founder Lucy Kellaway's article breaking the news:

In 2017, when I was just 58, I quit my cushy job as a Financial Times columnist and retrained as a maths teacher in an east London comprehensive. At the same time, I co-founded a charity aimed at people like me who were done with their long professional careers and wanted to start again doing something more useful.

Seven years on, Now Teach — and my own teaching career — has gone better than could reasonably have been expected.

At a Now Teach strategy day last month, we cheerfully plotted the next seven years: further national expansion and further ways of deploying the experience of our teachers. None of us around that table expected what happened next.

A few days later, our chief executive was called into a meeting with the Department for Education (DfE) and told there would be no more money. The government, which has funded us for the past five years, said it appreciated what we had done but was pulling the plug.

This led to significant comment on social media from education leaders and public figures, including comment from  Money Saving Expert's Martin Lewis.

It was covered on the same day by the Observer, the Financial Times, and Schools Week, and later by Radio 4's Today programme, TES and LBC.


Now Teach CEO Graihagh Crawshaw-Sadler was interviewed later in the week by education weekly Schools Week, reflecting on the impact of the decision:

Asked if cutting funding would narrow the pool of talent it recruits from, CEO Graihagh Crawshaw-Sadler said: “I think that is a risk.”

She added: “I think due to the fact we’ve had career changes with significant professional experience joining the profession, wanting to talk about it – those much needed good news stories, people describing the hope and the humour that they have found in their new identity as a teacher.”

Formed in 2016, the charity has helped more than 1,000 older people retrain. While it is not a teacher training provider, it helps recruit and supports career changers.