On Saturday 20 January, Rt. Hon Amber Rudd, Deputy Lieutenant Sarah Kowitz, the Mayor of Hastings, headteachers, business leaders and others from the local community attended the Now Teach launch in Hastings.
The occasion was the much-anticipated launch of Now Teach, an Ark venture co-founded by Lucy Kellaway, which aims to encourage people who’ve already had one successful career to train as teachers.
Now Teach was first successfully launched last year in London – Hastings is its first location outside the capital. Now Teach hopes that it can offer value to coastal and regional areas where there is a struggle to recruit enough teachers.
Katie Waldegrave, co-founder of Now Teach said, "There is obviously a huge pool of talented people in the region, and our job is to persuade the most inspiring of them to redeploy their skills for the students who need them most."
Kellaway and Waldegrave set up Now Teach to encourage people who have already had one successful career to start again and train to be a teacher. Kellaway herself, along with 47 other recruits, began her teacher training last September in London. She hopes many more will join to teach in Hastings from this September.
Lucy Kellaway says training to teach is without a doubt the hardest thing she’s ever done, but also the most exhilarating: "It is hard in so many ways. There are at least a dozen roles you need to master – including performer, marshal, counsellor, clerical worker, mathematician, role model and nag – and you need to know exactly when and how to be which."
Hastings, like many other rural and coastal areas, is facing a crisis in teacher recruitment. Now Teach is actively seeking successful people from any profession who might be interested in teaching – particularly in subjects including maths, sciences and languages.
Amber Rudd said about the event: "One of my key priorities as the MP for Hastings and Rye is ensuring that we give our children the best possible start in life. I am delighted that Now Teach is bringing this fantastic scheme to our community and to see so much local enthusiasm for the project is wonderful. Now Teach is a hugely valuable programme: having teachers with transferable skills from other sectors will be beneficial to our local children, inspiring them to achieve their aspirations and to go as far as their talents will take them. It was wonderful to meet with and hear such inspirational people speak today. I will continue to work with local education stakeholders to ensure that we provide the brightest possible future for our young people."
Now Teach will be holding their next Hastings information evening on Wednesday 7 March at 6pm in The White Rock Hotel, where you will be able to find out more about the programme and what becoming a Now Teacher involves. Please visit nowteach.org.uk, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register or find out more.