For many of us joining the Teach First movement in 2017 we have been inspired and motivated by the words, and actions, of Brett Wigdortz. Brett not only has an astute business mind, but is motivated by the inequality that we are fighting to eradicate.
Brett created the Teach First movement, but it is up to the participants and ambassadors to continue to deliver the promise to end educational inequality.
Below is a blog written by Brett.
Originally posted on the Teach First Community Website
“This New Year, 2017, marks Teach First’s 15th anniversary and the halfway mark for achieving the nation’s Fair Education Impact Goals.
We have spent each of those years working with inspiring colleagues and partners to challenge what was once thought impossible. I could not be prouder of what we have all achieved, helping to change the lives of over 1 million children and building a movement of leaders that is over 10,000 strong.
For some years I have been discussing with Trustees when would be the best time for Teach First and for me as Founder to move on to my next challenge and transition the charity to new leadership. After much careful consideration, I decided some time ago that our 15th year would be the ideal time and I can therefore announce that this will be my last year as Chief Executive of Teach First, leaving around the end of 2017.
While we still have much more to do, many of my personal ambitions for the organisation have been realised. From a tiny start up with 186 brave pioneering participants, we are now the country’s largest graduate recruiter and have an externally recognised world class training model. Thousands of Ambassadors are working in leadership roles creating real change towards our vision and through the Fair Education Alliance and through other partnerships, we have a diverse range of organisations and individuals working together to deliver on the Fair Education Impact Goals.
Trustees and I wanted to ensure that there was plenty of time for our Board, chaired by Paul Drechsler CBE, to complete a thorough search to find the best possible new Chief Executive to ensure a smooth transition, enabling them to lead Teach First into its next stage of success.
With new leadership, this will be exciting opportunity for the charity to build on its incredible strengths and achieve even more on the next stage of its journey. I will, of course, not be saying goodbye completely as I will continue to be part of the 10,000 strong and growing Teach First movement for the rest of my life, working with you all to overcome educational inequality. I am humbled to have been asked by our trustees to take an unpaid, honorary role which will enable me to continue to support the vital work of Teach First and our growing community of leaders.
When I started Teach First, some thought it was impossible to attract thousands of top graduates to work in low-income schools; that schools in low income areas would never be world class or that those young people would never progress to top universities or great jobs. For 15 years we have together challenged and indeed, changed, what was believed to be impossible. And we will not stop.
We have come so far, but still only one in three children from disadvantaged backgrounds achieve basic school grades. Belonging to the Teach First community means that we refuse to accept that disadvantage must equal destiny.
I have been so privileged to see the change that you have made possible over the past 15 years. I have visited dozens of schools, thousands of classrooms, and many charity and policy organisations under your leadership where I have seen first-hand how tirelessly you are working to ensure that children in this country are receiving a fairer education and the access to opportunities they deserve. I often think back to the first school I ever visited in the UK – Burlington Danes back in 2001 and the incredible improvements that have occurred there to change the lives of so many young people for the better. In 2001, many would have thought these changes impossible, but as everyone who has been through Teach First knows, to paraphrase Muhammed Ali, “Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” This is a truism that you are living every day.
So in March we will Challenge the Impossible. Our biggest ever campaign to mobilise our community and wider society to ensure all young people, no matter their background, have a fair chance to succeed. Sign up now below!”
You can find out more about how to sign up to this new challenge by following this link. https://www.teachfirst.org.uk/challenge-impossible