The £10m Ron Dearing UTC has given a sneak peek behind the scenes to the sponsors who have helped fund its high-tech facilities and equipment, just a week before it opens its doors to its first students.
Ron Dearing UTC is the first school of its kind in Hull and East Yorkshire and is equipped with advanced digital technology matching the very best available to major companies.
It has been purpose-designed and built and is equipped with the advice of experts from some of the region’s leading employers, including KCOM, who are at the forefront of the digital revolution transforming the world of work.
KCOM is also providing 16 workplace mentors to help guide and advise the students as they progress towards the world of work.
Principal Sarah Pashley said: “No other school or college in the region can match the technology we are able to offer our students. In fact, this will be one of the most technologically advanced schools in the country.
“As a UTC, we are equipped with industry-standard technology to enable us to deliver our specialisms. However, at Ron Dearing UTC we have been able to enhance significantly the specification of our specialist technology because of the amazing financial support of our employer sponsors and other partners. We believe their level of commitment and support is unique.
“All the technology and learning experiences have been guided by our employer partners to give the students the skills industry needs today and into the future. Our students will use the latest technology to apply their theoretical learning, working on real-life projects set by the employers. Our students will be working alongside our sponsors to solve real problems facing their businesses.
“Ron Dearing UTC students will become familiar with the software used by our employer sponsors, easing their way to employment with those companies. It will mean that when students join those businesses, as we expect many will, they will be working with technology they have used for years.”
Ron Dearing UTC is backed by the University of Hull and its Founding Partner employers including KCOM, health and hygiene company RB, green energy giants Siemens, medical technology giant Smith & Nephew and Hull-based specialist engineering firm the Spencer Group.
It is also supported extensively by Hull City Council, which gifted the city centre site to enable the school to be built. The council also provided initial start-up funding.
The college is due to open next Monday, 11 September, with an initial intake of 230 students aged 14 and 16. It will grow to a capacity of 600 students, aged from 14 to 19, by September 2020.
The school has an opening staff of 30, which will increase to 50 when the UTC reaches capacity. All of the teaching staff are highly qualified with many also having extensive experience in industry.
The college will offer a unique curriculum, which combines academic excellence in the core subjects of English, maths and sciences with the opportunity to specialise in digital technology and/or mechatronics – a combination of computing and engineering.
Students will work on real projects designed and delivered by the employer partners, which require them to apply their theoretical learning to a real-life context. In addition, they will study towards a range of professional qualifications demanded by industry and specifically selected by the employer sponsors.
This innovative approach will create a new pipeline of much-needed engineering and technical talent, giving Ron Dearing UTC students the edge in the competitive jobs market.
Charlie Spencer OBE, executive chairman of Spencer Group and the UTC’s Chair of Trustees, said: “It’s very exciting to see the quality of the learning environment, facilities and technology our students will benefit from.
“All the Founding Partners and a number of other sponsors have contributed financially. The Founding Partners have also made a very significant investment in time and expertise into the design of the building, the curriculum, qualifications and technology.
“In addition, we will have ongoing involvement in supporting the teaching staff, mentoring students and setting and supporting the projects the young people will work on.
“We’re doing all of this because we see Ron Dearing UTC as a huge opportunity at the perfect time. We want to support the young people joining the school to have successful careers in digital technology and engineering, creating a pipeline of talent for the continuing growth of our businesses and the region as a whole.”
Ron Dearing UTC has a small number of places available in Year 12 (age 16) to start on Monday. Students or parents who wish to apply or find out more should call 07590 949951 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The school is also taking applications for places in Year 10 and Year 12 for September 2018. To apply, go to http://www.rondearingutc.com/ and complete an online application form. Prospective students and parents can also experience the state-of-the-art school and its facilities at an open evening on Thursday, 5 October. To register for a place, visit the website.