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Brett Wigdortz to chair National Citizen Service

Teach First founder joins group that provides opportunities for teenagers but has been criticised over costs and transparency

Brett Wigdortz, Teach First, National Citizen Service, NCS, chair, job

Teach First founder joins group that provides opportunities for teenagers but has been criticised over costs and transparency

The founder of Teach First has been named as the new chair of the National Citizen Service (NCS) Trust.

Brett Wigdortz wrote the original business plan for Teach First, a teacher recruitment charity which parachutes bright graduates into tough schools, in 2002, and led it until he stepped down in October 2017.

The NCS, a key plank of David Cameron’s plans to create a Big Society, received a £180.5 million grant from central government in 2016-17.

It traces its history to a pilot in 2009, and offers a three-to-four week experience to 15 to 17-year-olds which is designed to help them build their self-belief and confidence.

Last year, the Commons Public Accounts Committee raised concerns about the “seemingly high” cost of the NCS, which it said was £1,863 per participant in 2016, compared to the estimated £550 cost of providing a place in the Scouts that lasts for at least four years.

It also raised concerns about the transparency and governance of the NCS Trust.

According to its 2016-17 accounts, more than 300,000 young people have taken part in NCS.

Since handing the leadership of Teach First to former NAHT general secretary Russell Hobby, Mr Wigdortz has been working with TV chef Jamie Oliver on plans to halve youth obesity by 2030, and he is the co-founder and CEO of a Tiney.co, a digital platform that aims to grow, support and improve the quality of childminders and small nurseries in the UK.

Mr Wigdortz’s role at the National Citizen Service will be paid £400 a day, up to a maximum of £40,000 a year.

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