(L - R): Ribbon cutting by Tutor Trust co-founders Nick Bent, chief executive, and Abigail Shapiro, executive director.
Matthew Neville

Merrion Centre Leeds secures new tenant tackling inequality in education

A charity that tackles inequality in education has opened at the Merrion Centre, in the heart of Leeds’ Arena Quarter, to support its work with its Leeds-Bradford city region school partners.

Tutor Trust operates across three city regions, Leeds-Bradford, Greater Manchester and Merseyside, partnering with schools so that they can support young people who come from disadvantaged communities, to “achieve their potential”.

The charity’s new base on the upper balcony level inside the Merrion Centre has opened, enabling the growing Leeds-Bradford team to have a centrally-located home from which to meet the increasing demand for tuition from schools following the pandemic.

Research has highlighted the detrimental impact of Covid-related disruption on education outcomes for disadvantaged students, and there are some signs that the “real’’ disadvantage gaps in attainment may have increased materially.

An eight-strong school and tutor support team, led by Sharon Sadler, the Leeds-Bradford schools partnership manager, with support from Kerry McCormack, schools manager, and Lewis Howell, risk manager, will be based in the new offices.

In order to deliver “high quality tuition” in schools, Tutor Trust recruits and trains motivated individuals as tutors to support young people, in Years 5 to 11, in the core subjects of Maths, English and Science.

Those working as tutors with the Trust are predominantly students and graduates from local universities, but also include later-life professionals, qualified teachers and the newly retired who seek a flexible and rewarding role.

Tutor Trust co-founders Nick Bent, chief executive, and Abigail Shapiro, executive director, commented: “Our Leeds-Bradford team has expanded in the last year to meet the growing demand for tuition from schools since the pandemic, which has meant we have outgrown our current space.

“We are delighted to make our new home in the Merrion Centre, as it is close to our university partners, where we recruit many of our tutors, and gives us a convenient base from which to make new connections with schools in the city region.

“Being able to recruit more people to train as tutors with us means that we can, ultimately, work with more school partners in Leeds-Bradford and reach more young people to ensure they get the support of a great tutor.”

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