First look at £10m technical college opening in the centre of Hull
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 5 Sep 2017
A new £10 million technical college in the centre of Hull has opened its doors before new students arrive next week.
Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC), in Worship Street, has been developed with funding from some of Hull’s biggest businesses to teach students in specifically scientific, technical and digital subjects.
Students aged 14 up to 19 will study at the school, which contains five 3D printers as part of its £1.6m of cutting-edge technology, when term starts next Monday.
The school was the brainchild of Hull businessman Charlie Spencer, whose company, Spencer Group, are one of the key financiers behind the project, alongside KCOM, RB, Siemens Gamesa, Smith & Nephew, the University of Hull and Hull City Council.
Year 10 students and Year 12 students will make up the first intake of more than 200, with plans for more than 600 students by 2020.
The school has an opening staff of 30, which will increase to 50 when the University Technical College reaches capacity.
Principal Sarah Pashley, who had been headteacher for eight years at Bridlington School, said students will have a 40 hours a week schedule to prepare for work.
She said: “The companies involved have been useful in terms of construction of the building, knowing what we need here, in a relatively small space, to give every student the necessary skills.
“They have helped us when it came to working out what skills students need to know for the industry, while working within the curriculum. We’ve already been approved by Ofsted so that has clearly worked.
“Students will have a 40 hour week, and they will do it with teachers with some of the learning on site, and some off site with the companies we are working with.
“We’ve linked with them with projects and teaching, because they wanted to fill that skills gap. Our objective is therefore obviously to have students who are in good positions to be employed in the future by one of our sponsors.”
The school includes digital facilities and engineering workshops, built in coordination with advice from sponsors, such as KCOM and Siemens. In the Siemens sponsored suite there are five 3D printers, with five more printers set to be built by students themselves for a project.
Those behind the new college say it is built to make students prepared for work.
Jack Heard, 16, from Bridlington, will start the school in Year 12 next week to study a Level two engineering diploma and computer science.
He said: “It looks incredible. The technology they have looks great and exactly what we would need to help us study.
“I’m really looking forward to using the 3D printers. I think that’s the sort of technology I really want to use, and it’s the sort of thing they work with at these businesses which is what’s needed.
“The businesses they are working with I think will help us career-wise, and hopefully put us in the best position to get jobs over others. If there are staff and technology linked to the businesses that should prepare us to work there.”
George Mellonby, 16, from Driffield, will be studying A-levels in chemistry, physics and maths from next week.
“I think it’s shaping up really well. It’s the first time we’ve seen it and I’m looking forward to getting in here and using some of the equipment,” he said.
“There is some expensive, impressive software here. It’s clear a lot of money is going into it, so it should prepare us all well here.
“With things like the 3D printers, getting used to using them and learning those skills will be massive. The aim is obviously making sure you are qualified to work at businesses like this in the future, so this can only be a good thing.”