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Leeds Universities to welcome over 2600 teachers to the city as part of the UK’s largest teacher training event

From Saturday 19 July to Friday 1 August, Leeds Metropolitan University and the University of Leeds will welcome the UK’s largest and most unique teacher training event to the city. As country’s biggest graduate recruiter, Education Charity Teach First will welcome 2,600 new teachers to its annual residential training event, in an event worth £5.5m for Leeds in 2014 and 2015.

Teams from Well Met Conferencing at Leeds Metropolitan University and MEETINLEEDS at the University of Leeds worked together to secure the University-based element of Teach First’s Summer Institute, which, in previous years, has taken place at the University of Warwick. Partners first direct arena, and accommodation providers Unite, Downing and Grey Star provide additional venue space and bedrooms for the delegates’ 28,000 bed nights.

Delegates include 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.

Speaking at the event will be 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.

This event forms a crucial part of Teach First’s annual Summer Institute and 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.  

Speaking ahead of the event, Leeds based Director of Leadership for Teach First, Reuben Moore: “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.”

Professor Susan Price, Vice Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University said: "It gives me great pleasure to welcome Teach First’s Summer Institute to Leeds. At Leeds Metropolitan University, 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."

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 Direct and yourselves – to address educational disadvantage and inequality. Like them, we have worked hard and made substantial investments to achieve progress in this area.”

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