Man with a beard wearinf a brown suit presenting in front of a large screen


Teach First returns to Well Met with record number of trainee teachers

• Well Met hosts 6th annual Teach First Summer Institute
• Charity grows the number of teachers recruited by 38% in a year
• Most diverse group ever, increasing the proportion of BAME trainees to make up a fifth of this year’s cohort, whilst STEM[1] trainees have increased by 78% in a year

Well Met, the conferencing office of Leeds Beckett University, welcomes back the Teach First Summer Institute for a sixth year, as the education charity celebrates a record year of 1,735 trainee teachers start training in schools serving disadvantaged communities across England and Wales. These teachers will work in over 750 schools supporting an estimated 300,000 children over the next two years.

The Summer Institute is a residential training programme that prepares Teach First trainee teachers with rigorous training to develop effective teaching skills, to support them to become quality teachers from day one. It marks the start of the two-year Teach First Training programme, forming a foundation for ongoing school and university-based training, culminating in a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).

After 4 weeks of training in their respective local areas, the final week of the Summer Institute welcomes the whole of the 2019 cohort to Leeds – hosted by Leeds Beckett University in collaboration with the University of Leeds and First Direct Arena.

The week concludes with the Teacher Development Conference at the First Direct Arena, which includes over 50 sessions in two days. It brings together some of the best educators, business leaders, and innovative thinkers from a diverse mix of sectors, this year including 2018 Global Teacher Prize winner, Andria Zafirakou.

Clare Vidler Conference Manager at Well Met, said: “We are delighted to welcome back Teach First in a record-breaking year for new trainee teachers. This will mark the sixth anniversary year for us to host this prestigious teaching event. It is a city-wide collaboration, not only with our partner organisations such as First Direct Arena and MEETinLEEDs, but also wider stakeholders such as LeedsBID, Conference Leeds, Leeds City Council, and many university accommodation providers

“It is precisely this city-wide collaboration that has contributed towards Leeds climbing up the rankings yet again, to become the fourth most popular conferencing city in the UK, according to the recently issued British Meetings and Events Industry Survey (BMES). Hospitality is at the heart of all we do, combining great venues with high-spec facilities, budget accommodation and great customer service, in a city that offers visitors a wide range of bars, restaurants, and fantastic retail and leisure activities, during their stay.”

Teach First is pleased to announce a record number of trainee teachers particularly at a time when the schools have faced tough teacher recruitment challenges, whilst the number of pupils and the size of classes continues to grow. This year marks the most diverse group of teachers in the charity’s history, as they make strides to make sure their programme is at the forefront of developing a teaching workforce as diverse as the pupils in today’s classrooms.

Russell Hobby, CEO of Teach First said:

“With schools finding it tough to recruit new teachers, especially in disadvantaged communities, it’s the pupils who suffer. So we’re delighted to have bucked recent trends with our record-breaking year of quality trainees. It will be fantastic to bring them all together when we return for our 6th year of celebration and learning at Well Met.

“All teachers, whatever their route into teaching, are on the frontline of changing lives; unlocking the potential in our young people.

“But with pupil numbers rapidly rising, this isn’t ‘job done.’ We’re striving to make sure our teachers of the future truly reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. We know there are more people out there from all walks of life who could build a rewarding career in teaching and we’re determined to find them.”

The 1,735 trainees are currently completing summer training residential in universities and schools, before starting at one of Teach First’s partner schools in September. They will teach a reduced timetable in year one while they work towards becoming a fully qualified teacher and gaining a postgraduate qualification in year two. They are supported throughout their two years by Teach First, a school mentor and a university tutor.