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Teach First appoints new Chair of the Board

The trustees of Teach First have appointed Vivian Hunt DBE to succeed Paul Drechsler CBE as the charity’s next Chair.

The trustees of Teach First have appointed Vivian Hunt DBE to succeed Paul Drechsler CBE as the charity’s next Chair. Dame Vivian is the Managing Partner for McKinsey & Company in the UK and Ireland; a company which has supported Teach First since its beginning. 

Dame Vivian is a leading campaigner for equality, diversity and excellence in education and brings a wealth of experience to the role as she serves on the boards of leading organisations including Business in the Community and has been a member of Teach First’s Business Leaders’ Council since 2012. Her appointment follows a competitive process led by the charity’s trustees and will be effective at the end of 2019.

Dame Vivian has been named as one of the top ten most influential black people in Britain by the Powerlist Foundation; the Financial Times recently identified her as one of the 30 most influential people in the City of London. 

Dame Vivian will take over at the end of 2019 from Paul Drechsler CBE, Chairman of Bibby Line Group who has served in the role since January 2014. During his tenure Paul Drechsler – former President of the CBI and now Chair of business group London First - has overseen the growth of Teach First into the largest teacher educator in the country and one of its most prestigious graduate recruiters, training more than 10,000 teachers to work in schools serving the country’s most disadvantaged communities.  

Teach First is a charity which works in England and Wales to recruit high-potential leaders to train as inspirational teachers in schools in challenging areas. It supports school leaders to create places where staff and students thrive and it connects schools to powerful networks of support in business, government and social enterprise. Teach First teachers have helped more than a million school children so far and its aim is to benefit two million more young people over the next five years.

Dame Vivian joins Teach First during a time of renewal, as the charity has recently launched a five-year strategy to find more great teachers and leaders for schools serving disadvantaged communities. She will play a crucial role in Teach First’s continued mission to help build a fair education for all.  

Russell Hobby CEO of Teach First said: 

“I would like to thank Paul for the incredible difference he’s made as our Chair during nearly six years at the helm. His passion and determination to ensure every child has a fair education has been fundamental to the growth and success of Teach First.

“As we focus on our new strategy, I’m delighted to welcome Vivian on board. The whole Teach First community –the teachers we work with and the pupils we support - will benefit from her experience and expertise. I am confident that under her guidance we will achieve our vision of attracting more inspirational people from diverse backgrounds into the profession to help unlock the potential in all of our children.” 

Dame Vivian Hunt DBE said:  

“As the proud daughter of a teacher, I’ve seen how an outstanding education can help all children fulfil their potential. I know that at the heart of greater equality are great teachers, brilliant leaders and thriving schools connected to their communities.

“I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Teach First through their Business Leaders Council and I’m thrilled to join as their Chair at such an exciting time in their journey. The charity has a bold vision for the future – to reach two million children in disadvantaged communities over the next five years - by training more teachers and leaders than ever before. This will be no easy task, but I’m excited to work with the team at Teach First to drive this vision forward, and to help build a better future together.”   

Paul Drechsler CBE said: 

“At every school I have visited with Teach First, I have truly been inspired by the passion and persistence of those working there to build a fair education for all. It has been a real privilege to work with our outstanding community over the last six years – a community that is making the single biggest difference to tackling inequality in education today. 

“I’ve been thrilled to see more than 10,000 individuals train through Teach First, with over 50 of them becoming headteachers and 400 more becoming senior leaders. Many more are also tackling inequality through their roles in education, charities, government and business. Together we’re creating the change we need to see. 

“I have known Vivian for many years and I know she will be an excellent Chair, champion and challenger to Teach First, and I’m hugely excited to see how it progresses under her leadership.” 


For interview request, media enquiries or case study requests, contact the Teach First media team on or call 0203 841 8483.

About Teach First

Teach First is a charity with the vision that no child’s educational success is limited by their socio-economic background. It believes that the scale of change needed is so great it requires a movement of leaders to make a difference at a pupil, school and system level.     
Working with universities, schools and businesses, Teach First is working towards achieving its vision by enabling its participants and ambassadors in the classroom to raise the achievement, aspiration, and access to opportunity of children from low socio-economic backgrounds, whilst developing a network of leaders with a life-long commitment to ending inequality in education from both inside and outside the classroom.    
Teach First currently operates in Wales and in all regions across England: London, West Midlands, East Midlands, Yorkshire the Humber, North West, North East, South East, South Coast, South West and the East of England.     
Trainees commit to a minimum of two years at their partner school, where they teach a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) timetable; and around half stay on for a third year. 56% of all the teachers we’ve trained since 2003 are currently teaching - with a further 12% working directly in education.     
Their two-year Initial Teacher Training starts with the unique five-week Summer Institute which provides trainees with intensive preparation for teaching in their school. Trainees then complete both their PGCE training year and their first year as an NQT in their school. 

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