Russell Hobby appointed Teach First chief executive

Russell Hobby has been appointed as chief executive of the teacher training charity Teach First.

Hobby, currently general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, will take on the new role in September.

He replaces Brett Wigdortz, who helped found Teach First – now the country’s largest graduate recruiter – 15 years ago, and will remain in a newly-created honorary president role at the charity.

Hobby said he’s excited to join the charity “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.”

Hobby has been general secretary with NAHT for seven years and steered the union through a period of significant policy change nationally. It was announced in January that Hobby was to stand down.

NAHT confirmed on Wednesday that Paul Whiteman would succeed Hobby at the head of the union after his nomination was accepted by the membership.

Before NAHT, Hobby founded and led the Hay’s Group Education practice, where he worked directly with leadership teams in hundreds of schools.

Paul Drechsler, Teach First chair, said the recruitment panel was impressed with Hobby’s “passion for ending educational inequality, his track record in educational leadership and wealth of experience and expertise”.


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  1. Mark Watson

    In 2015 Russell Hobby’s salary from the NAHT was £128,686, plus benefits of £22,216.
    I see that from their latest set of accounts Teach First’s top earning employee (is it too much of a stretch to say this was probably their Chief Executive?) was paid between £160,000 and £170,000 excluding benefits.
    Thank God Russell Hobby’s not doing something like becoming the CEO of a MAT because then he’d probably be accused of doing it for the money …