Ed Balls and Lucy Kellaway talk unconventional careers with Ark and Bloomberg

 On Tuesday 5 September, Ark and Bloomberg hosted a careers discussion between ex-Cabinet minister, Ed Balls and CEO of Now Teach, Lucy Kellaway.

The two former colleagues, who met early in their careers at the Financial Times (FT), discussed their lives at work, their unconventional careers, and the future of teaching.

Mr Balls, formerly Secretary of State for Education, and most recently a contestant on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing discussed his odd career trajectory with Lucy, who recently left her position of associate editor at the Financial Times to start Now Teach. The new initiative, supported by Ark Ventures, aims to bring late-stage career changers into the teaching profession.

“I started teaching when I realised that after 32 years, my job was no longer a challenge” Lucy said of leaving the FT.  As part of the programme, Lucy herself is retraining to become a teacher, and Tuesday was her second day in the classroom.

Lucy invited Mr Balls to join her on the programme, but he could not be drawn on an answer just yet: “I’m not going to give you an answer now. But never say never.”

Applications for the programme are open now for a September 2018 start.

Now Teach featured in Financial Times

Photo: Images © Julian Germain, originally commissioned by FT

I’m worried about my own transformation from pampered columnist to maths teacher — how will I remember 200 names when I can’t remember my own children’s? — but also worried about the other 45 trainees. As this whole mad caper was my idea, I feel responsible for everyone else. Most of all, I am anxious that this experiment works so that more people like us will do it too.” – Lucy Kellaway

Find out about the Now Teach cohort’s first days in school, their backgrounds and how they’re preparing for life as teachers in Lucy’s latest article for the FT: Why we went back to school