Awards shine a light on outstanding student success

Six Year 12 Ron Dearing UTC students who have excelled this year have had their achievements recognised at a special awards ceremony.

The Ron Dearing UTC Partner Awards took place at the school on July 20th and were supported by Founding Partners KCOM, Reckitt, Siemens Gamesa, Smith+Nephew and Spencer Group, as well as the University of Hull, the school’s leading education partner.

Awards were presented for a range of successes, from Outstanding Academic Achievement and Best Communicator to Inspirational Leadership, Outstanding Contribution to the Community, and more.

Nominations and decisions for each award were made by staff and Employer Partners, and representatives from the sponsoring companies attended the ceremony alongside the students’ parents and members of the UTC’s Senior Leadership Team to celebrate their success.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We’re so proud of the students and all they have achieved.

“Whilst we weren’t able to run our annual awards in their full capacity this year, due to Covid-19, it was fantastic to bring our Founding Partners, students and parents together for this special occasion.

“It has been a challenging time and our students have truly excelled on so many levels under difficult circumstances. They are all fully deserving of these awards and have incredibly bright futures ahead of them.”

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley with the six winning students.


Catherine Crees, 17, was presented with the Spencer Group Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community by Yvonne Moir, Ron Dearing UTC governor and the company’s Head of HR.

Catherine’s achievements include becoming the Junior Chairman of Skirlaugh Young Farmers, which requires leadership and organisational skills, and achieving a Level 2 NVQ Medicines Counter Assistant course to expand her knowledge and take on more responsibility in her work at a local pharmacy.

The judges said: “Catherine has proved herself an extremely valuable member of the Ron Dearing UTC community this year. She has seized every opportunity available to her to get involved in collaborative projects both in and out of school.

“Above all, Catherine is a people person who makes a fantastic contribution to the school and the local and global community.”

Catherine, who is studying Engineering, Maths and Physics, said: “I’m really pleased, proud and shocked to win this award. Ron Dearing UTC gives us some of the best opportunities people our age can have and it’s lovely to have a celebration like this.”

Kelham Hillier, 17, won the Siemens Gamesa Quality Excellence Award, recognising his “exceptional passion and enthusiasm for learning”.

The judges said: “Kelham consistently demonstrates dedication, resilience and an attention to detail in every task he undertakes. His ideas are always clearly presented and his responses to questions are mature, structured and logical. His drive for perfection makes him the perfect recipient of this award.”

Kelham, who is studying Physics, Maths, Further Maths and Engineering, was presented with his award by Laura Botham, HR Partner at Siemens Gamesa.

Kelham said: “I’ve worked hard this year and it’s really nice to receive this award. Events like this encourage you to try even harder.”

The full list of winners are:

  • The University of Hull Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement: Jasveer Jabbal
  • KCOM Award for Best Communicator: Linas Domarkas
  • Reckitt Award for Inspirational Leadership: Oliver Peers
  • Siemens Gamesa Quality Excellence Award: Kelham Hillier
  • Smith+Nephew Award for Innovation: Sam Osborne
  • Spencer Group Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community: Catherine Crees

Executives of Major Partner Fujitsu praise ‘second to none’ Ron Dearing UTC

Representatives from global IT systems and solutions company Fujitsu were left hugely impressed after a recent visit to Ron Dearing UTC.

As a Major Partner, Fujitsu supports the pioneering school by helping shape the curriculum and providing technology to assist students’ learning.

Ash Merchant, Education and Healthcare Director for the UK and Ireland; Rebecca Sinnatt, Head of UK and Ireland Product Business; and Andy Halpin, Education Specialist for the UK and Ireland, visited the school to see for themselves how the company’s support for Ron Dearing UTC is benefiting students.

They had a tour of the facilities, received an update from the senior team, and spoke with Year 12 Engineering Design students using some of the technology provided by Fujitsu.

Mr Merchant said they were all very impressed by what they saw and heard.

Fujitsu executives Ash Merchant, Education and Healthcare Director for the UK and Ireland; Rebecca Sinnatt, Head of UK and Ireland Product Business; and Andy Halpin, Education Specialist for the UK and Ireland, at Ron Dearing UTC.


“The school is outstanding,” he said. “We’ve been engaged with Ron Dearing UTC for four years now and it gets better and better every year.

“When you talk to the students it’s obvious how much they enjoy it and how much they are learning and developing.

“Their knowledge and passion for their subjects, along with the exceptional teaching and support they receive from the staff, is second to none.

“Students at Ron Dearing UTC benefit from a rich curriculum, as well as access to the latest technology, putting them in such a strong position to launch exciting and rewarding careers in their chosen field.

“The whole model works really well and we’ve been so impressed by what we’ve seen.”

Steve Willacy, Vice Principal, Curriculum and Employer Engagement, at Ron Dearing UTC, said he and the team were delighted to have been able to show the representatives from Fujitsu how its support for the Ofsted Outstanding-rated school was making a real difference.

He said: “It’s great to be able to show our employer partners around, introduce them to some of our students and let them see for themselves the difference their support makes.

“Fujitsu and our other partners provide us with rounded support for our students, helping to give them the platform they need to succeed.”

Principal pays tribute to ‘inspirational driving force’ behind Ron Dearing UTC

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley has paid tribute to outgoing Chair of Governors Charlie Spencer OBE, describing him as the “driving force” behind the creation of the pioneering employer-led school.

Charlie, Executive Chairman of Founding Partner Spencer Group, has stepped down as Chair after holding the position since the Ofsted Outstanding-rated school’s inception.

He has been succeeded as Chair by Richard Martin, Digital Director at Major Partner Arco, who has been a governor for three years.

Charlie was a hugely instrumental figure in the formation of Ron Dearing UTC, which opened its doors to students for the first time in September 2017, and Sarah said everyone at the school owes him a debt of gratitude for his vision, commitment and inspirational leadership.

“We are extremely grateful to Charlie Spencer for the amazing job he has done as our Chair of Governors – he has been truly fantastic,” she said.

“Charlie was the main driving force in ensuring that Ron Dearing UTC came into existence.

“He worked tirelessly with the Project Steering Group to put together the funding bid to raise the £10m needed to build the school and played a huge part in developing our curriculum, as well as promoting Ron Dearing UTC and helping to recruit staff and students.

“Charlie is an extremely well-respected member of the local business community and has been absolutely instrumental in inspiring so many of the region’s leading businesses to partner with us.

“His revolutionary vision for employer-engaged education was the main reason why I applied for the post of Principal and it has been an honour to work closely with him to realise it.”

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley with Charlie Spencer OBE.


Although Charlie has stepped down as Chair, he will remain a member of the Governing Board and Spencer Group will continue as a Founding Partner.

Sarah said: “I would also like to take the opportunity to welcome Richard Martin as our new Chair.

“Like Charlie, Richard is a ‘local boy’ and a well-respected member of the local business community.

“He has been involved with the UTC since we opened and his family firm, Arco, is one of our most proactive Major Partners.

“I can think of no-one better to pick up the reins from Charlie and help lead Ron Dearing UTC to achieve even greater heights.”

Charlie said: “It’s been a great honour and a fantastic experience to serve as Chair of Governors, working alongside a great team of people.

“I am very proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time, the highlight being achieving the Outstanding Ofsted rating.

“I am very pleased that Richard Martin has agreed to be appointed as the new Chair of Governors. Richard brings a wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm and fresh eyes to the post.

“I will continue to be involved with the school as a Governor and Spencer Group will remain a key Founding Partner.

“I look forward to working with the rest of the Governors on our expansion plans and ensuring we maintain the exceptional level of education the school currently offers to all its students.”

Burst of colour as students embrace spray painting workshops

Year 10 students at Ron Dearing UTC have been getting creative with colour as they experimented with spray paints as part of a major art project.

The workshops with Hull visual artist Maniuko saw 40 students learn spray painting tips, tricks and techniques as part of the wider 18-month Shorelines Project, which is raising awareness of climate change and flooding, and the impact it could have on Hull and its young people in the future.

The students are preparing to work with world renowned digital street artist Erin Ko to create a mural highlighting the issue and will share their designs with her to help form part of the final piece at a location to be confirmed in Hull city centre.

The project will combine New York-based Erin’s specialisms of art and technology to breathe life into the piece and the spray painting workshops are helping to inspire the students’ creativity and ideas as they work on their own designs.

Ron Dearing UTC students getting creative.


Maniuko said: “Spray painting is another medium in the art world and I’m showing the students how to use it. If you’re eager to learn, like they are, you can achieve a lot.

“I’ve explained the basics and what is required for health and safety, and they’ve really enjoyed it so far. There are no mistakes, it’s a learning curve, and they’ve got some great ideas.”

Year 10 students also took part in a workshop with artist John Keen, who taught them how to use  Adobe Photoshop to develop their painting style as part of the Shorelines Project.

Lynn Garland-Collins, Creative Director at Ron Dearing UTC, said the workshops are a great way to expand the students’ artistic knowledge as they progress with the project.

She said: “They’ve had a few workshops with artist Andy Pea and now Maniuko, who specialises in spray painting, and they’ve really enjoyed it.

Students at Ron Dearing UTC have been getting spray painting tips.


“They’ve designed their own ideas of what they would like to include in the mural and will pitch them to Erin, who will hopefully use some of those elements in her piece.

“The intention of the project is to raise awareness of rising sea levels in Hull and how it will affect us in the future, which is an incredibly important issue and something we all need to be aware of. This is a great opportunity for our students to get involved in a fantastic project.”

Year 10 student Bo Butler said: “The Shorelines project is great because it spreads awareness and makes people listen. This is the first time I’ve used spray paint and I really like it. It’s much easier than I thought it would be.”

Students find out about exciting futures at careers expo

Year 10 and 12 students at Ron Dearing UTC found out more about exciting career opportunities at a recent Careers Expo backed by some of the region’s leading businesses.

The school’s Employer Partners and other local businesses offered advice and information about apprenticeships and future career prospects, while students were able to ask questions and meet the faces behind the businesses.

Representatives from Founding Partners KCOM, Reckitt, Siemens Gamesa and Spencer Group attended, including some former students who have secured apprenticeships.

They were joined by Major Partners Arco, Sonoco Trident and Luxinar, alongside other businesses including GW Power-Safe and Wren Kitchens.

Year 10 student Scarlet Wedgner, 15, said: “Events like this are a really good idea because it allows us to look at where we could go in the future, whether it’s university, an apprenticeship or another route.

“I’d like to combine art and engineering and go into architecture, and I found out Spencer Group have opportunities which may be of interest to me.”

Fellow Year 10 student Sienna Williams, 15, who hopes to become a GP in the future, said: “The expo is a great opportunity to speak to people involved in major businesses. Each business has its own community and I’ve learnt that how you conduct yourself and behave around other people are really important qualities.

“Opportunities like this push people who don’t usually speak up out of their comfort zone and encourage them to ask questions.”

Ron Dearing UTC students finding out more about career opportunities with Arco.


Year 12 student Ruben Hepworth, 17, met Callan Cartledge, Comms Intern at Siemens Gamesa, at the expo and found out more about the renewable energy industry leader.

Ruben said: “I’d like an electrical or manufacturing apprenticeship and the expo has been a good way to find out more and meet lots of different businesses.”

Ron Dearing UTC Governor Yvonne Moir, HR Director at Spencer Group, was joined by three former Ron Dearing students, who are now apprentices with the company, and the business’s HR Advisor Lindsay King.

Yvonne said: “It was great to meet students whom we haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet due to Covid restrictions.

“We also met some of the Year 12 students who may be joining us for work experience over the summer with a view to potentially becoming apprentices with us the following year.

“Having literature about Spencer Group is great, but there’s nothing like hearing real-life experiences from our apprentices and the students being able to ask questions they won’t necessarily pick up in a leaflet. We can get to know them as people too.”

Mark Ollerenshaw, Vice Principal for Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “The Careers Expo was a huge success and we thank all of the businesses involved for taking part.

“We’re incredibly proud of the close, strong links we have with local employers and it was great to be able to organise something like this again after the challenges of the past year.

“The Expo enables our students to link what they’re learning in the classroom to jobs and careers which are out there. It gives them chance to think about opportunities they may not have thought about before and broaden their horizons.  We look forward to returning to ‘normal’ and being able to run many more successful Expos next year”