New industry-leading partners open up exciting opportunities for Ron Dearing UTC students

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) has brought on board four new, industry-leading partners to open up even more opportunities for its students.

The UK’s leading shower manufacturer Kohler Mira, laser specialist Luxinar and smart tech company Sauce have become the employer-led school’s latest Major Partners, while Heald, which designs and manufactures world-class hostile vehicle mitigation systems, has become a Partner.

As employer partners, the companies contribute financially to the school, play a key role in developing the curriculum and set industry-standard projects for students to work on. They also support students by providing careers information, advice and guidance as well as offering work experience opportunities and potentially apprenticeships.

The employers are committed to equipping Ron Dearing UTC students with the skills they want to see in their future employees and to ensuring they are work-ready when they leave school.

Ron Dearing UTC’s new, industry leading partners Heald, top left, Kohler Mira, top right, Luxinar, bottom left, and Sauce, bottom right, will open up even more opportunities for students.


This year marks a century of Kohler Mira being at the forefront of the shower market thanks to pioneering developments in technology.

Derek Atkinson, Operations Manager at Kohler Mira (Hull), based in Melton, East Yorkshire, said: “We come into our centenary year no less committed to nurturing talent and pride ourselves on our continued work with the STEM community to support this.

“Having recently seen a decline in STEM activities from local secondary schools, we turned to Ron Dearing UTC for help. We were encouraged by how this employer-led school supports its students with pursuing careers in STEM.

“Already our partnership has meant we have been able to assist with the inclusion of a robotics unit into the curriculum. This allows us to support the development of much-needed specialist skills, such as robotics and process controls.”

Luxinar, which has its headquarters in Hessle, East Yorkshire, has been at the forefront of laser technology for more than 20 years and has installed more than 18,000 lasers worldwide for use in a vast range of industries and applications.

Operations Director Russell Jeynes said: “We’re keen to work with Ron Dearing UTC students to develop their understanding of engineering, which will help shape our local future talent pipeline.

“We want to inspire and encourage them to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related careers, showing that their hard work and our support will open up the worlds of science and engineering.

“We’re developing our apprenticeship programme for students who are passionate about pursuing a career in laser technology and we hope the experience Ron Dearing UTC students gain from us will help them stand out from the crowd.”

Sauce is based at Hull’s Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) tech hub, and specialises in working with large, traditional companies as their digital partners, creating solutions to key business challenges to keep them ahead of the technology curve.

Chief Executive Matt Weldon said: “Our projects for Ron Dearing UTC students will include planning, designing and building a mobile app, followed by quality control, and they’ll work closely with our project management team.

Students at Ron Dearing UTC will be given a greater insight into electronics, robotics, programming and digital applications as a result of four new industry partnerships.


“We’ll look at taking on Ron Dearing UTC students as apprentices and they’ll come to us work ready, because the school’s hours match a full working week and they are used to being treated as young adults.

“We want the students to come into the workplace and hit the ground running, finding innovative ways to fix real world problems with tech.”

Hornsea-based Heald designs and manufactures innovative security bollards, road blockers and barriers. The business has secured some of the world’s most high-profile locations with advanced protection against hostile vehicle attacks and is a world-class innovator in perimeter security technology.

Co-owner and Managing Director Debbie Heald MBE said: “Supporting young people has been important to Heald for many years and our partnership with Ron Dearing UTC will give us direct involvement in shaping our future workforce.

“We want to share some of our knowledge and expertise and get involved with work experience programmes. We also know any apprentices we take on from Ron Dearing UTC will already have the base skills we’re looking for.”

Ron Dearing UTC caters for students aged between 14 and 19 and has a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering.

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal for Employer Engagement and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It’s a great credit to these employers that, during such difficult times, they continue to see the importance of investing in their future employees.

“These new partners will give us greater industry insight into electronics, robotics, programming and digital applications, to strengthen further our employer-led curriculum and ensure the best possible outcomes for our students.

“It’s invaluable for us to have realistic client briefs when working on projects linked to industry and these play a key role in expanding our students’ skillsets. Having these partners on board helps us to continue to bridge skills gaps in the engineering and digital sectors.”

Engineering student strives for the top in sustainability as school shortlisted for renewables award

A Year 13 engineering student has played a key role in Ron Dearing UTC being shortlisted for a prestigious renewables award.

Natalie Bamforth, 17, is among the students who completed an industry-standard project set by Ørsted, a renewable energy company which constructs and operates offshore wind farms across Europe and one of the school’s Major Partners.

Many of the school’s employer partners help to shape the curriculum, setting projects specific to their sector and equipping students with the knowledge and skills they will look for in their future employees.

The Ørsted project focused on engineering and the environment, aiming to give students a greater understanding of the challenges linked to climate change. They had to research infinite materials, different types of renewable energy and low carbon production while evaluating the UK’s energy outputs and suggesting what changes they would make to achieve net zero carbon targets.

Year 13 student Natalie Bamforth


Now, Natalie’s work has contributed towards the employer-led school being shortlisted for a Humber Renewables Awards accolade.

The awards recognise and celebrate success in the renewables industry across both banks of the Humber and Ron Dearing UTC is one of three shortlisted entries in the Renewables Education category, alongside Marketing Humber and the Smart Energy Greater Lincolnshire programme.

Natalie said: “I loved working on this project and it’s nice to know my work has played a part in our school being shortlisted for an award.

“Projects set by the employer partners help us to understand more about their businesses and how they work, and we can learn with them as they continue to develop. They prepare us really well for our next steps in life.

“I think I’m part of the last generation that can make a real difference to the environment and I want to inspire people to be as motivated as I am in the fight against climate change. I’ve found out ways I can make a difference as an individual and we can all work together to play our part.

“I would like to go onto an apprenticeship in engineering when I leave Ron Dearing UTC and bring my passion for sustainability into that role.”

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal for Employer Engagement and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said employer-led projects are a vital part of the school curriculum as they prepare students for the future.

He said: “All of our sixth form engineering students undertake this project as Ron Dearing UTC and Ørsted believe having a sustainable mindset is the key to future engineers.

“The way Natalie approached the subject has driven her to take that passion for sustainability forward, potentially into an apprenticeship with one of our Major Partners when she leaves sixth form later this year.

“Her work has helped towards the school being shortlisted for the Renewable Education award and she is a great ambassador for this sector.

“We’re delighted to be shortlisted. Having Employer Partners set industry-led projects like this helps to change the mindset of engineers of the future and encourage them be more sustainable while promoting sustainable practices.

“Engineers with a sustainable mindset should mean the future will become greener and educating them on the mistakes of the past helps them to look at the potential in the future.”

The Humber Renewables Awards, which include nine categories, were due to take place last year but were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The event will now take place virtually on March 4.

Ørsted teams and individuals have also been shortlisted in four categories, while the University of Hull, Ron Dearing UTC’s leading education partner, is shortlisted in two categories.

For more information about the awards, visit

Exams: A message from our Principal

Following the Government’s announcement regarding exams for 2021, and having received formal confirmation from the exam boards, I can confirm all January exams have now been cancelled.

The exams boards have stated there may be an opportunity to take the exams at a future date.

If this is not possible due to arrangements still to be announced for this summer, they will work with the Department for Education (DfE) and exam regulator the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) to make sure students are treated fairly in any approach to awarding qualifications this year.

Ofqual and the DfE will work together to find a way to grade students. As soon as we have more information about this, we will share it with you.

It is vital that, while we are in this period of lockdown, students continue to engage fully in the online learning programme to ensure they acquire the knowledge and skills they need and are best prepared for assessments in whatever form they take.

We appreciate how difficult this uncertainty is for students. We will continue to regularly update you with information as we receive it and continue to support students.

Over the next few weeks, we will contact Year 11 students to further discuss destinations and courses for next year.  The sixth form team will continue to support Year 13 students with UCAS and apprenticeship applications.

Sarah Pashley, Principal