Lecturer, Broadcaster and Writer
I owe a lot to the college and the amazing tutors who taught me. The first thing I learnt there was that people are the most important thing if we are to continue producing caring and compassionate teachers.
Gervase Phinn was one of the first cohort of students when Leeds Trinity opened in Horsforth in 1966. Founded as two separate teacher training colleges - Trinity College for women and All Saints College for men. After a career as a teacher Gervase became a schools inspector and, latterly, Visiting Professor of Education at the University of Teesside. He graduated from Leeds Trinity University in 1970 with a degree in Education. He is a bestselling author, radio and TV personality, and Leeds Trinity Honorary Fellow.
He has published several volumes of memoirs, collections of poetry and a number of books about education. He is well known for his autobiographical novels including 'Up and Down in the Dales'. His books and entertaining talks draw on his wealth of experience within schools in and around Yorkshire.
In 2009, 39 years after graduating, Gervase collected a second honour from Leeds Trinity. He was awarded Honorary Life Fellowship, to mark our inauguration as a University College. You can watch footage of this in the video above.
During his acceptance speech Gervase produced from his pocket a brass badge declaring “I am a free reader” and recalled his pride on earning that accolade as a young child in primary school. He said, “When I went home to my mum with that badge, I was walking on clouds and I’m walking on another cloud today. It is a great honour to receive this award. I owe a lot to the college and the amazing tutors who taught me. The first thing I learnt there was that people are the most important thing if we are to continue producing caring and compassionate teachers.”
Gervase returned to campus again in February 2017 during our 50th Anniversary celebrations to deliver a Trinity Talk. Such was his popularity, the talk quickly sold out. He gave an incredibly funny and well received talk about his experiences as a teacher and OFSTED inspector in the Yorkshire Dales, the wide range of academic books, children's poetry and fiction he has written, and warm-hearted tales of teachers, children and schools.