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Brent teacher needs your vote to win Virgin’s Pitch to Rich competition

PUBLISHED: 16:47 08 June 2015

Dan Keeble, Colin Hegarty and Brian Arnold with their Semi Finalist award from Virgin in the Pitch to Rich Competition where they need public votes to win

Dan Keeble, Colin Hegarty and Brian Arnold with their Semi Finalist award from Virgin in the Pitch to Rich Competition where they need public votes to win

Archant

A teacher from a school in Wembley who has a free tutorial website for children needs your votes to scoop Richard Branson’s top £150,000 prize in a Pitch to Rich Competition final.

Colin Hegarty, an advanced skills maths teacher at Preston Manor School, in Carlton Avenue East, has beaten thousands of entrants to the top 10 in the “startup” category of the Virgin’s “Pitch to Rich” competition thanks to his maths website which will give generations of school children free tuition.

The 32-year-old has been working on a new project with a fellow maths teacher Brian Arnold, and former pupil Dan Keeble, building the site.

Mr Hegarty, who was born and bred in Kilburn, said: “My website tries to replace tuition so children from council estates don’t have to pay huge sums for it.

“I was raised with a lot of support from my parents. I work in a school where children don’t have that home support, in particular for maths, which is such a life differentiator.

“I’m building a new, better website in time for the new maths curriculum which starts this September. There’s real concern among teachers that the new curriculum’s coming in and no-ones ready for it, it’s really hard and the material’s got much harder. I feel a calling to make a website in time for that so children have everything they need to cope with the new curriculum.”

Mr Hegarty won a £20,000 award last year from national charity Shine Trust, for his website, Hegartymaths, that to date has four million views and is used in more than 200 territories in the world. There are more than 3,000 students on it everyday revising for maths.

The charity has funded them to take time out of school to get the revised website launched in time.

He added: “We’ve done 70 per cent of what a child needs to know from the age of eight to 16. We want a child to know they can go to our site for anything. There are assessments and 20,000 questions, so they are not only learning off videos, they can learn and self check. Do everything a tutor can teach them and not have to pay £45 an hour for one, which I don’t think is fair. To win this competition would be a dream come true.”

To see his pitch and vote go to virginmediabusiness.co.uk/pitch-to-rich/start-up/hegartymaths/.

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