Leeds universities unite to win annual residential training event for city


The University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University have successfully bid to bring one of Teach First's residential training events worth £5.5m to the city in 2014 and 2015.

Teach First is an initiative to recruit talented graduates into teaching and Leeds' two largest universities worked together to secure the University-based element of Teach First's Summer Institute, a huge event which in previous years has taken place at the University of Warwick. 

Teams from MEETINLEEDS at the University of Leeds and Well Met Conferencing at Leeds Metropolitan University spent months in talks with Teach First's congress consultants, vfi 360, who explored over 45 different cities, with Leeds coming out on top in terms of scope for development and ease of access.

It is the first time the universities have collaborated so closely on an event, and it is hoped that this will provide a model for attracting further large-scale events in the future.

From 19 July to 2 August 2014, more than 3,000 graduates will attend the final two weeks of Teach First's Summer Institute, where they will be provided with seminars, tutorials and social activities to prepare them for teaching in schools in England and Wales from September.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, Sir Alan Langlands, said: "This closely-knit collaboration between ourselves and Leeds Metropolitan University has been absolutely crucial to the success of this bid. We have learnt that together we can achieve great things for Leeds, as neither partner would have been able to secure this event without the help of the other. The Teach First Summer Institute will be a vibrant addition to the city's conference calendar." 

Vice-Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University, Professor Susan Price said: "We are incredibly proud to be part of this collaborative project and to have secured an event of such high profile and stature. It is not only great for Leeds - which now can prove that it has the capability and the muscle to host congress business of this kind - it also demonstrates that when we combine forces, Leeds Metropolitan University and the University of Leeds are a formidable partnership." 

Reuben Moore, Teach First's Director of Leadership added: "There is no doubt that the Summer Institute is a demanding time for Teach First's participants, but it is just as enjoyable and an excellent opportunity to meet others and build on the UK's movement to address educational disadvantage. 

"As a result, the two weeks that participants will spend at both the University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University as part of our annual Summer Institute are some of the most significant in their development as teachers and leaders. 

"As we continue to recruit more participants and ensure that all of them are able to make a difference to young people, Leeds Universities provide the perfect setting both in terms of the capacity that the universities have, and for their location in the heart of the city - a fact that allows us to work closely with those in the community, including local businesses and schools."

Lurene Joseph, Chief Executive at Leeds and Partners, said: "Teach First's decision to come to Leeds is great news for the universities and the wider Leeds economy. More than 3,000 people visiting the city will be a tremendous boost to our retail, cultural and food and drink sectors.

"We are delighted to be working with Leeds Metropolitan University and the University of Leeds to drive added value in the tourism marketplace. This will be supported by forging further links with VisitEngland and VisitBritain to bring forward key campaigns to position Leeds as one of the top UK conference destinations."

Partners First Direct Arena, and accommodation providers Unite, Downing and Grey Star, will provide additional venue space and bedrooms for the delegates.