Teach First deliver a lesson in educational inequality

It’s been fantastic to see the buzz around Every Child Can this week – a campaign we’ve been closely involved with.

Over the past few months, we’ve been working with Teach First to create communications that reach wider audiences and make the case more strongly that their work needs support. Centred on their biggest annual event, Every Child Can represents a real change of emphasis.

When branding a major event or campaign, the temptation can be to lead with the name of the organisation making it happen. You’re drawing on the brand recognition you already have, and sometimes that’s the best way to attract attention.

But there are limitations, particularly the risk that the campaign becomes focused on the organisation, rather than the issue.

Since launching in 2004, the annual Teach First Week has been successful in attracting high-profile individuals from the worlds of business, politics, sport and the media to teach a ‘guest lesson’ in a classroom of real pupils. The alumni from these lessons include Jeremy Paxman, Ed Balls and Michael Gove.

The guest lessons generate impressive coverage in the media and through word of mouth online, and with figures such as Boris Johnson, Dan Snow and Polly Toynbee involved that success seems set to be repeated this year. But the framing of the event for 2013 is different – no longer Teach First Week, but Every Child Can.

Why the shift? Because Teach First does not exist to put celebrities in classrooms for the sake of a photo opportunity – it’s there to highlight and tackle educational inequality, the underlying reason that thousands of the UK’s children fail to reach their potential in the classroom.

By shifting the focus from the organisation to the purpose, Teach First are working to convert more of the attention generated by their flagship week into awareness of the bigger issue, and the actions that can be taken to change the status quo.

To find out more about Every Child Can, or to buy a lesson for £3, visit Every Child Can.