These kids are the first to start at Hull's newest school

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 12 Sep 2017

The new university technical college in Hull city centre opened its doors to its first cohort of students today.

The first students were welcomed by staff to the Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) in Worship Street, which contains more than £1.6m in high-tech equipment including five 3D printers.

The UTC is Hull and East Yorkshire’s first employer-led school, with five of the area’s largest businesses sponsoring the college to advance pupils’ digital and engineering skills.

The £10m building, facilities, technology and curriculum have all been developed in partnership with these employers, including Spencer Group, Siemens Gamesa, Smith and Nephew, RB and KCOM.

The school’s headteacher, Sarah Pashley welcomed the first intake of 230 students, aged 14 and 16, who will complete projects devised by their employer partners.

Mrs Pashley said: “Today is a hugely exciting day for everyone involved in our new school, especially our first students.

“This is a fabulous opportunity for every one of them to realise their potential and fulfil their ambitions, supported by our excellent teaching staff and experts from the very best businesses in the area.

“So much has been achieved to get us to this day. Now we can focus on working with our students to equip them with the academic, technical and employability skills to have great careers and play their part in an exciting era of growth and opportunity for the region’s economy.”

Pupils and staff on the first day of Ron Dearing UTC

Mrs Pashley paid tribute to the school’s employer sponsors who she said have made a huge contribution to the creation of the technical college.

She added: “We’re really fortunate to have the support of so many great local employers and we simply couldn’t have got to this point without them.

“Their support has been amazing and they will continue to be deeply involved in creating a truly unique place to develop skills for fulfilling and rewarding careers in an ever-evolving digital world.

“Our vision is to unlock our students’ infinite potential to excel and enable them to get the edge in the competition for jobs and university places. By delivering on that vision we will also pay back our employer sponsors by supplying them with the talent they need to continue to innovate and grow.”

A technology learning room in the new Ron Dearing UTC

James Court, 14, said: “I’m nervous, but excited about coming here. I think I’ll get great experience that will help me get a good job. I feel honoured to have joined this school, with all the big companies working with it.”

His father Paul said: “I’m absolutely made up for James. Engineering is what he’s always wanted to do. He’s always been into taking things to bits, finding out how they work and putting them back together.

“This school fits into his plans perfectly. It’s going to be really good for him.”

Vice Principal Steve Willacy welcomes students Felicity Robson, right, and Scarlett Vans-Raamsdonk

Felicity Robson, also 14, said: “I’m so excited. I wanted to come here because I think it will really help my future. If you want to work for a company like Siemens you have an advantage at this school because you’re already connected to them.”

The UTC’s chairman of governors, Charlie Spencer OBE, who is also the executive chairman of Spencer Group, said: “Our future business success depends on having young employees with relevant technical and digital skills and the attitude to succeed. I’m confident Ron Dearing UTC and its staff can deliver on their part of that challenge. As employers, we have a vested interest in ensuring that they do.”

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