Teach First, McKinsey & Goldman Sachs

Continuing our investigations into Teach First, it is good to know that this charitable organisation has powerful backing.

Brett Wigdortz

The founder and CEO at Teach First is Brett Wigdortz. Our Brett has no training in education: he’s not a teacher, policy expert or researcher. He is a businessman, and after gaining an MA in Economics and working “as a a journalist in Asia and at the East-West Center in Honolulu, focusing on energy and economic development issues,” he was at management consultants McKinsey & Co working in Indonesia, Singapore and Manila – focusing on retail banking, organisational effectiveness and Asian microfinance.

It will be bad enough for some that Teach First is run by a guy from McKinsey, but Wigdortz’s baby is also backed by some particuarly unpopular companies. Without doubt the most unpopular of these has to be Goldman Sachs. Not only has GS shelled out huge fines for its unusual approach to the financial markets, its performance bonuses have come under much criticism in recent times and so too the company’s cosy relationship with governments.

In a nutshell, Teach First is run by a guy steeped in the beliefs and tactics of a company (McKinsey) heavily linked to the collapse of energy giant Enron and the deaths in Sept 2006 of 14 UK service personnel; and Me First is a grantee of the most villified of financial groups, Goldman Sachs.

Why we have a former management consultant without a specialty in education and linked to two of the more controversial entities in world business and finance in ultimate charge of the future of some of our most vulnerable kids is beyond us. Anyone?!

You wouldn’t place a secondary school teacher in charge of the training of bankers or management consultants so we don’t see why the vice versa is okay.

Perhaps the Tories like with their utterly miserable idea of increased tuition fees have been spending too much time with blue-sky thinkers and not enough time with the coal-face workers who could tell them what is really going to be effective, and more importantly tell them for free.

They’ve only got to ask…it costs nothing.


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