Founder of Teach First to chair National Citizen Service Trust

Brett Wigdortz has been appointed a year after the government first advertised the role

Brett Wigdortz
Brett Wigdortz

Brett Wigdortz, founder and former chief executive of the education charity Teach First, is to become chair of the body that oversees the National Citizen Service.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced yesterday that Wigdortz had been named chair-designate of the National Citizen Service Trust, which is due to be converted from a community interest company to a royal charter body by the end of the year.

Stephen Greene, who has been chair of the NCS body since 2012, will continue during a transition period until the new body is fully formed.

The appointment of Wigdortz comes a year after the government first advertised to the fill the role. The DCMS was forced to re-advertise for the position in February after failing to appoint a suitable candidate first time round.

Wigdortz founded Teach First, which recruits and trains graduates as teachers, in 2002 and was its chief executive until 2017.

Since stepping down from his executive role at Teach First, Wigdortz, who was appointed OBE in 2013 for services to education, has been working with the chef Jamie Oliver to develop a national alliance to halve youth obesity by 2030. He has also worked on a new digital platform designed to improve the quality of childminders and small nurseries in the UK.

Wigdortz, who has dual US and UK citizenship, will be paid £400 a day up to a maximum of £40,000 a year for the role. He has been appointed for a three-year term.

The NCS offers 16 and 17-year-olds the chance to take part in projects including community work, physical challenges and residential placements.

The government passed legislation last year to enable the NCS Trust to become a royal charter body, allow the government to provide grant-in-aid funding to the trust and require it to publish a business plan at the start of the year.

A report from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee said last year that the high cost of the scheme could not be justified and its participation targets remained challenging despite being significantly reduced.

The government has committed £1.5bn to the scheme between 2011/12 and 2019/20.

Wigdortz said in a statement that he was privileged to take up the role.

"Since its inception the NCS has played a pivotal role in helping to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people, by helping to open their eyes to new opportunities and experiences," he said.

"I look forward to the challenge of helping lead the organisation as it continues to empower thousands of young people across the country."

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