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The largest event in the history of Teach First is made possible by Leeds’ Universities

3,000 delegates,  28,000 bed nights and one huge success

The UK’s largest teacher training event, Teach First’s Summer Institute, which took place in Leeds for the first time this year, is hailed ‘a major success’ by organisers. The event was project managed by Leeds Metropolitan University, in partnership with the University of Leeds, first direct Arena and accommodation providers Unite, Downing and CLV.

3,000 new teachers, tutors and staff members from 11 areas of England and Wales engaged with an innovative initial teacher training curriculum delivered in partnership by 10 University training providers, guest speakers, facilitators and Teach First ambassadors (alumni).

The event included the two-day Teach First Impact Conference (30th and 31st July), which marked the largest single event in the history of Teach First. This event included the Teach First Exhibition featuring 75 partner organisations, 120 teacher training and professional development workshops and a 120 piece youth orchestra (National Orchestra For All) concert performance in the first direct Arena. There was also a panel debate by four senior leaders of UKs largest teacher unions and keynote speech was from Tal Ben Shahar, author of international best sellers Happier and Being Happy.

Pete Borley, Teach First’s Summer Institute Manager comments: “As we continue to recruit more participants and ensure that all of them are able to make a difference to young people, Leeds’ Universities and first direct Arena provide the perfect settings.

We were unsure whether we could continue with an event of this scale, growing at the rate we are growing, but Leeds’ Universities and the first direct Arena have made that possible.

This is true for both the capacity that they have in providing our teachers with the quality training they need to start teaching in September, 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.”

The training curriculum was also complemented by a diverse social programme including sports events and evening activities, which were organised in association with Leeds & Partners – 250 of the delegates competed in the Leeds City 10k road race on Sunday 20th July. 

The catering included hot and cold breakfast, packed lunch and evening meals for 1,500 delegates provided by Leeds Metropolitan University, and University of Leeds provided catering for 1,200 delegates.

The two universities also worked together on IT provision, facilitating a single wifi log in across both Universities’ sites – providing superfast broadband for thousands of users.

The event will return to Leeds next year, increasing in size to 4,000 delegates.

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