Leeds welcomes the UK's largest teacher training event


The University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University will be joining forces to host the UK's largest teacher training event for two weeks from Saturday 19 July.

Part of the Teach First Summer Institute, the event brings together universities and schools to ensure that the expertise of those working across education is shared with those set to go into classrooms serving disadvantaged communities up and down the country. 

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds said: “The Teach First Summer Institute represents a real coup for the city of Leeds. At the University of Leeds, we have been inspiring students to be the best that they can be since 1904 – not only in terms of academic excellence, but in life too. 

“We have a common objective with Teach First and Leeds Metropolitan University – to address educational disadvantage and inequality. Like them, we have worked hard and made substantial investments to achieve progress in this area.”

As the country’s biggest graduate recruiter, Teach First will welcome just under 3,000 new teachers to its annual residential training event, including Teach First recruits at the end of their first year of teaching and over 1400 new teachers set to begin teaching in schools and early years settings from September. 

The event also marks the start of the subsequent in-school training that trainees undergo during the two-year Leadership Development Programme whilst working in low-income communities across the UK.

This includes areas across the Yorkshire and the Humber region where the charity has placed over 450 teachers since 2009. This year, Teach First will be placing an additional 162 teachers in the poorest areas of the region including 23 new teachers in the most disadvantaged areas of Leeds.

Professor Susan Price, Vice Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University added: "We share Teach First’s vision and ambition, with a long and proud history of raising educational aspiration and supporting the success of students from very diverse backgrounds. We are proud to be part of this collaborative project and to be hosting such a high profile and significant event."

Teach First teachers will also hear from other influential voices in the education sector, including Teach First’s Founder and CEO, Brett Wigdortz OBE, International Author and Teacher, Tal Ben Shahar, the President for the NUT, the country’s largest teaching union, Max Hyde and General Secretary for the ATL, Dr Mary Bousted.

Speaking ahead of the event, Leeds-based Director of Leadership for Teach First, Reuben Moore, said: “Education in England continues to be a postcode lottery for children from poorer families, particularly in areas of Leeds.

“Through our own work in challenging schools, we know that bringing high quality graduates and career changers into the teaching profession is key to addressing this problem. As a result, we are incredibly proud of the way that Teach First has played a crucial role in ensuring that teaching in challenging circumstances is now seen as the most prestigious and popular destination for the country's best graduates; a fact that is reflected in the massive scale of Teach First’s largest and most ambitious teacher training event in partnership with Leeds Universities.” 

“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. This allows us to work closely with those in the community, including local businesses and schools to help tackle the national crisis of educational inequality, a crisis that is especially prevalent in the heart of Yorkshire and the Humber.” 

Further information

Media enquiries and case study requests can be directed to Teach First’s Press Officer, William Staynes via WStaynes@teachfirst.org.uk or 0203 117 2439; or Ornella Nsio via ONsio@teachfirst.org.uk or 0203 117 1159.

University of Leeds press office: 0113 343 4031 or pressoffice@leeds.ac.uk

About MEETINLEEDS, the conference office for University of Leeds

The University of Leeds, under its conference brand MEETINLEEDS, has a long history of hosting conferences in high quality facilities close to the heart of Leeds, and backed by a string of awards and accreditations including: Customer First for service, a VisitEngland, and the highest possible level of accreditation under the National Accessible Scheme.