Evening talk

Monday 2 March 2015


Lord Adonis and Brett Wigdortz

Closing the education divide: How the UK can solve one of society’s most stubborn problems

Lord Andrew Adonis

Lord Andrew Adonis is a British Labour Party politician and member of the House of Lords since 2005. He is one of the UK’s most influential figures in education, having been one of the chief architects of the Academy programme and the radical university tuition fees and grants reform of 2004. He is also a valued Trustee of Teach First, and champions the understanding that the next level of educational improvements will come from raising the quality of teachers.

Before joining government, Adonis was a journalist and academic focusing on public policy and constitutional analysis. He was Public Policy Editor of the Financial Times and is a Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, where he gained a PhD in modern political history.  Adonis served 12 years in government as a Minister and special adviser and was Secretary of State for Transport, Minister for Schools, Head of the No.10 Policy Unit and senior No. 10 adviser on education, public services and constitutional reform.

Brett Wigdortz OBE

Brett has led Teach First – now the largest graduate recruiter – since its launch in July 2002. He wrote the original business plan for the charity while working as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and then took what was originally planned as a six month leave of absence to develop and build support for the idea.

He is originally from New Jersey and has an Honors Bachelors degree in Economics from the University of Richmond and a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Hawaii. Brett was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Warwick in January 2016. Brett is vice-chair of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation Education Advisory Group and a member of the Gems Varkey Teacher Alliance of worldwide educational experts. He was awarded an OBE in the 2013 Queens New Year’s Honours list for Services to Education.

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