Creative in association withGear Seven
Havas' Films for The Department for Education Are Touching Tales of Teacher Recruitment
Advertising Agency
London, UK
Heartwarming 'Every Lesson Shapes a Life' campaign follows one girl’s journey through the school system and stars supporting cast of real teachers

Creative agency Havas London has unveiled its first work for The Department for Education (DfE) since winning its teacher recruitment business in May.

The campaign highlights that teaching isn’t about what young people become, but who they become – and underscores the unparalleled role teachers play in shaping young people’s lives.

Every Lesson Shapes a Life is scheduled to break on TV during Coronation Street at 20:45hrs tonight (Monday 1 October) with a 60’ edit, which will also appear in cinema during October. A 30’ edit will also air on TV and video on demand through to 6 November.

The campaign will also appear across social – with additional films featuring real people telling their stories of teachers who have shaped their lives – radio, digital, email DM, physical collateral and event branding and an upcoming press and out-of-home campaign. The entire campaign has been turned around in just four months to coincide with the start of a new recruitment year and applications for teacher training opening on 9 October.

It also introduces a new brand identity, devised by Havas, comprising new colours, logos, fonts, imagery and the strapline Every Lesson Shapes a Life. This will be implemented across all of the DfE’s teacher recruitment touchpoints including the Get Into Teaching website, Train to Teach events, graduate fairs and locally-adaptable assets for schools.

The emotive film, shot by Pulse Films’ thirtytwo, follows the journey of a young girl named Abi, from her very first day of school as a nervous, wide-eyed four-year-old, through to her last, leaving at 18 with the confidence to discover her place in the world.

An authentic portrayal of the ups and downs of school life and growing up, it highlights the fundamental role teachers play in shaping their students’ lives. As well as Abi, who is played over the years from girl to young adult by four actors, the film features a cast of real teachers.

Chloe Saklow, Deputy Director, Teacher Recruitment and Conversion at the DfE, says: “By focusing on one girl’s story, we wanted to vividly demonstrate the unrivalled and positive human impact teachers have on the many children whose lives they touch. Teaching, like many other careers, isn’t without its challenges, but I can’t think of many others that are as important, or rewarding.”

Jen Black, Managing Partner at Havas London, adds: “For this campaign, authenticity was key. We wanted to capture the years of care, patience, encouragement and support that teachers invest into the children whose lives they shape. That’s something we could only accurately portray through using real teachers, whose buy-in was so important. They’re unsung heroes, and we’re so proud to be working on a campaign that has the chance to help change lives for the better.”

Havas London was appointed on a three-year basis by the DfE in May, following a competitive process, to ensure that teaching as a career remains attractive and at the forefront of minds, at a time when competition for graduates has intensified.


Project name: Every Lesson Shapes a Life

Client: Department for Education

Chloe Saklow – Deputy Director, Teacher Recruitment and Conversion, DfE

Mike Olson - Head of Marketing and Communications, DfE

Nicola Keane – Senior Manager, Teacher Recruitment Marketing, DfE

Michael Paul – Senior Campaign Manager, DfE

Joe Hill – Senior Campaign Manager, DfE

Tom Clements – Assistant Campaign Manager, DfE

Christine Hitchins – Assistant Campaign Manager, DfE

Sophie Gray – Campaign Executive, DfE

Creative agency: Havas London

CEO: Xavier Rees

Managing Partner: Jennifer Black

Senior Account Director: Tom Trevelyan

Account Director: Matthew Paris

Senior Account Manager: Sophie Fletcher

Account Manager: Claire Petzal

Account Manager: Emily Allen
CSO: Clare Hutchinson

Strategic Director: Ravi Matharu

Strategist: Emma Stafford

Head of Design: Lorenzo Fruzza 

Brand Guardian: Nik House

Design: Miles Niblett

Content team: Anya Williams, Sarah Barclay, Sarah Shepherd



ECD: Ben Mooge

Creative Director: Lynsey Atkin

Copywriter: Lynsey Atkin

Creatives: Wil Maxey, Elliott White

Joint Head of Integrated Production: Patrick Cahill

Agency Producer: Adam Henderson

Assistant Agency Producer: Natasha King

Production company: Pulse Films

Executive Producer: Lucy Kelly

Producer: George Saunders

Director: thirtytwo

DoP: Ben Fordesman

Editor: Ellie Johnson, Billy Mead @ TenThree

Post-production: Time Based Arts

Colourist: Simone Grattarola

Flame artist: Jamie Crofts

Post Producers: Josh Robinson, Jo Gutteridge

Sound: Anthony Moore @ Factory and Jack Hallet

Composer: Zebedee Budworth

VO: Mark Stobbart

Audio post-production: Factory 

Audio Producers: Alana McLernon, Lucy Spong


Press, OOH, radio

ECD: Ben Mooge

Art Director: Wi Maxey
Copywriter: Elliott White

Photographer: Zed Nelson

Art Buying Director: Claire Lillis
Programme Director: Sarah Barclay

Assistant Producer: Anya Williams

Radio Sound Engineer: Dan Beckwith @ Factory


Digital content

ECD: Ben Mooge

Writer/director: Anna Rose Kerr

Programme Director: Sarah Barclay

Senior Agency Producer: Kat Polley

Agency Producer: Sarah Wells

Assistant Producer: Anya Williams

Production Company: HKX Productions



Media agency: Carat 

Media planner: Wavemaker 

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