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Teach First makes an impact in Leeds to inspire the next generation of teachers


Teach First’s biggest ever Impact Conference, which saw over 4,300 attendees visit Leeds over two days to engage with high-profile keynote speakers and attend over 270 CPD sessions, was hailed as the ‘best yet’ by organisers.

The event was organised in conjunction with Leeds Beckett University’s conference office, Well Met, and hosted by project-lead Leeds Beckett University along with the University of Leeds and the first direct arena. Teach First organisers brought together a cohort of speakers including Lucy Powell MP, Former Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Nick Gibb, Minister of State for Schools, Alan Milburn, Chair of the Social Mobility Commission and Professor Phil Scraton, Director of the Hillsborough Project.

Along with utilising the city’s world-class arena venue, first direct arena, to accommodate keynote speakers including Dr Sakena Yacoobi, founder & Executive Director of the Afghan Institute for Learning, the Teach First delegates adopted Leeds Beckett’s City Campus for their seminars, workshops and panel debates to discuss issues around education and educational inequality. The versatile venue can accommodate up to 3,500 people during the summer; providing delegates with the flexibility to move between seminar rooms and breakout areas.

Well Met Conferencing provided the catering for the delegates throughout the conference, with seasonal menus devised by Executive Chef David Parker and Food and Beverage Manager Sharon Swales. Feedback from previous events had highlighted delegates’ desire for comfort carbs as a reaction to the intensive training period. Therefore, menus were specially crafted to cater for this need and to facilitate fast moving queues, including a breakfast buffet, packed lunches and a selection of evening meals. The team prepared over 7,800 meals throughout the two day event, which saw the main atrium of the Rose Bowl transformed into a dining hall for 1,500 teachers.

Kate Davis, Head of Business Development for Campus and Residential Services at Leeds Beckett University comments:

“Organising the Teach First Summer Institute is a real test of our facility as we push it to maximum capacity during the Impact Conference. Working alongside Teach First for the past three years has taught us that detailed pre-planning is paramount to a smooth operational delivery and enables all teachers and speakers to get to their destination with as little fuss as possible. We had an excellent team of ‘Way Finders’ and ‘Leeds Bid Ambassadors’ in their smart bowler hats who provided invaluable support to the delegates throughout the event and added that bit of Olympic sparkle.”

Director of Leadership at Teach First, Reuben Moore says:

"It was fantastic to be back in Leeds for this year's Impact Conference. As our biggest event of the year it's vital we give the teachers, leading politicians, businesses and charities attending the best possible experience so they can work together to tackle inequality in education. We would like to thank everyone from the first direct arena, University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University and Well Met Conferencing who made the event such a huge success." 

In 2017, to celebrate 15 years of Teach First, the charity will host the largest event in its history. It will form part of an entire year of activities to raise awareness of educational inequality and mobilise its community, the wider sector and politicians to take urgent action.

Well Met Conferencing manages a wide range of venues and spaces as well as providing experienced delegate and event management services. Well Met’s portfolio ranges from urban and parkland venues including the Rose Bowl, James Graham and Carnegie Village which collectively provide the perfect destination for residential conferences, training, meetings and exhibitions to group travel, association events, dinners, filming, corporate away days and team building events.

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