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Steve Leech

Head of Academic Transitions


AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Head of Academic Transitions in the Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD)  
Research Student in the School of Education  
Head of Foundation Programme in the Foundation Centre  


Steve is Head of Transitional Education for Durham University, which includes Durham's Foundation Programmes and Graduate Teaching Assistant Training Fellowship programme (Foundation Fellows). He is an Anthropologist and educator and has been teaching in HE since 2002. Steve entered higher education as an adult via the Durham University Foundation Programme. 

Since 2005 Steve has worked for Durham University with a remit to widen participation and to support Fair Access. His main role has been to develop and deliver pathways into Higher Education for under-represented groups including mature, non-traditional and International learners. He is responsible for the design and implementation of a wide range of academic programmes and modules that prepare students for successful transition to undergraduate study at Durham. He has previously led a team of staff in the unique and complex process of UK, EU and International marketing, recruitment and admissions for Foundation level study. He is Chair of the Foundation Year Network, the UK's national practitioner network for Foundation Level provision and an Executive Borad member and Trustee of Advance Learning Partnership, a North-East Multi-Academy Trust providing outstanding primary and secondary education to some of the country's most disadvantaged children. Steve provides expertise in the fields of Fair Access and Social Mobility and developing strategy for the engagement of under-represented groups within Higher Education. 

Esteem Indicators

  • 2022: Chair the Foundation Year Network: The ;Foundation Year Network ;is ;the UK's national practitioner network for Foundation Level provision with over 500 members from across the UK HE sector.
  • 2019: Advance Learning Partnership (ALP): Director of the Advance Learning Parnership (ALP) multi-academy trust
  • 2019: External Examiner: External Examiner Kings College London, UK
  • 2019: External Moderator: External moderator for University of Warwick Business School
  • 2019: FYN Executive Committee: Executive Committee Member for the Foundation Year Network (FYN) ;

    Secretary 2014-2017

    Conference Organising Committee (Chair) 2013-2017

    Consitution Working Group 2017-


Chapter in book

Conference Paper

  • Leech, S & Dunn, R (2019), Foundation Skills: An Innovative Approach to Multi-Disciplinary Foundation Year Teaching, UALL Annual Conference. UEA, England.
  • Leech, S (2017), Gateway to Medicine: Lessons for Widening Participation, Learning and Teaching Network. Durham University, England.
  • Leech, S (2017), Working toward an Admissions Toolkit to support non-traditional entry to HE, Learning and Teaching Network. Durham University, England.
  • Leech, S (2016), Modelling Foundation Year Provision in the UK, Foundation Year Network Annual Conference (FYNAC). University of Southampton, England.
  • Nolan, S, Bruce, M & Leech, S (2013), Foundation Centre: Enhancing Learning from Day One, Foundation Year Network Annual Conference (FYNAC). Durham University, England.
  • Leech, S (2005), Three in the bed and the little one said “please don’t roll over” Sleep position and synchrony in triadic infant bed sharing, University of Notre Dame, USA.
  • Leech, S (2005), Toward an understanding of triadic bed sharing. Foundation for Sudden Infant Death, Foundation for Sudden Infant Death (FSID). London, UK.

Journal Article


  • Leech, S (2019), Augar and Foundation Years: Love or Hate, FYN and OfS Training Workshop. University of Chester, England.