Teach First appoints new Chief Executive

Teach First appoints new Chief Executive

Teach First’s trustee board has chosen a leading figure in UK education, Russell Hobby, to take over as Chief Executive of the social mobility and education charity later this year.

Hobby, currently General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), will start at Teach First in September. He has more than 15 years of experience of developing and promoting leadership in schools. Before taking up his current national role representing head teachers in 2010, Hobby founded and led Hay Group’s Education practice, working directly with leadership teams in hundreds of schools as well as government agencies.

Teach First aims to tackle inequality in education through building leadership and has now recruited more than 10,000 teachers in schools serving low income communities across England and Wales. Having grown to become the UK’s largest graduate recruiter, the charity now works with more than a thousand schools in low income areas, and through its teachers and leaders has benefitted more than one million pupils.

Russell Hobby said:

“I’m hugely excited to be joining Teach First at a time when it can make a massive difference to some of the biggest challenges facing the education system and the country. Over the last fifteen years I have watched the Teach First movement grow from a handful of raw recruits to the national scale and influence it has today. Yet it has never lost its focus on young people, their enormous potential and the power of teachers and leaders to change lives. I’m looking forward to building on all that has been achieved, and working with Teach First’s amazing movement of participants, ambassadors, schools, mentors, university partners and supporters as we move closer to ending inequality in education.”

Chair of Teach First Paul Drechsler CBE, who led the recruitment process with the board of trustees, said:

“We are delighted that Russell will become Teach First’s next Chief Executive. He has shown a clear commitment to continuing the success of Teach First and demonstrated he is dedicated to ensuring every child, no matter their background, gets access to a world class education. The recruitment panel – which included trustees, Teach First alumni and head teachers – were impressed by his passion for ending educational inequality, his track record in educational leadership and wealth of experience and expertise.”

The appointment follows Teach First Founder and Chief Executive Brett Wigdortz OBE announcing in January that he would be standing down. Brett will remain with Teach First until October, after which point he will continue to support the charity in an honorary role as Honorary President and Founder.

Brett Wigdortz OBE said:

“I have been so very privileged to lead this amazing organisation for the past 15 years. The teachers, ambassadors, schools, supporters and staff that make up the Teach First community have achieved incredible things. Russell is one the UK’s most experienced and expert figures in education. I am absolutely delighted he will now lead this movement on to further success.”


For further information, contact the Teach First media team via email or phone 0203 841 8483 (including outside office hours).

Biography - Russell Hobby

Russell has been general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers since September 2010, following a career in the software industry and as a management consultant with Hay Group. NAHT is a professional association representing and protecting over 29,000 school leaders in every phase and context. Russell was born in Abingdon, Oxfordshire and attended St Nicholas Primary School, John Mason Comprehensive and Oxford University. He lives in Brighton. 

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