Student team helps to shape expansion of Ron Dearing UTC

Students at Ron Dearing UTC are playing a key role in shaping the school’s exciting expansion.

Ron Dearing UTC has received substantial grant funding from the Department for Education’s Post-16 Capacity Fund to increase its capacity from 600 to 800 students.

The funding will be used to expand the employer-led school’s existing building in Kingston Square, Hull, with the addition of two new science labs and a Sixth Form Independent Study Centre.

A new hi-tech learning centre will also be created in the former Central Fire Station, next to Ron Dearing UTC, which will contain an exhibition centre, two digital suites, three art and design studios and a large Sixth Form Centre.

Year 11 students Emma Giblin, left, and Sienna Williams, both 16, took part in the tour of the former fire station.


In line with the UTC’s commitment to decarbonisation, the expansion project will prioritise sustainable design and build solutions and embrace the latest green technologies in terms of heating, lighting and cooling systems.

Plans for the project have been submitted to Hull City Council. If they are given the green light, work is expected to begin in June and be fully completed by September 2023.

The Ron Dearing UTC Student Design and Build Team, consisting of ten students in Years 10, 11 and 12,  has been appointed to work with staff, the UTC’s employer partners, architects, sustainability consultants and the construction team to ensure the new facilities reflect the needs of students, local businesses, the green economy and the environment.

The exciting expansion has created a perfect opportunity for Ron Dearing UTC students to work alongside professionals to apply theory learned in lessons to a real project. As well as having input into the design element, students will be involved in developing the sustainability strategy and budget management.

Sewell Construction has been appointed to deliver the project, following a competitive tendering process, dependent upon planning approval for the scheme.

Steve Dam, Pre-Construction Manager at Sewell Construction, and colleagues from the wider Sewell Group gave the student team a tour of the former fire station.

The students were shown images of how it looked when it was operational as a fire station, site plans, architectural drawings and artists’ impressions to give them an initial overview of the size and scale of the project and the challenges it presents.

Steve said: “It was great to meet the students and hear their ideas. They’re all incredibly enthusiastic and the tour was an important introduction to some of the design challenges we face to ensure the building is as sustainable as possible.

“By involving the students in each step of the project, they will gain valuable skills and knowledge to build on what they learn in the classroom and we’re delighted to play our part in that.”

Year 10 students Oliver Fox and Sandis Logins, both 15, looking at the history of the former fire station and plans for the building during the tour.


Year 10 student Sandis Logins, 15, who is part of the Student Design and Build Team, said: “It’s great to be involved and I love working as part of a team. I’d like to be an engineer in the future and this is a perfect opportunity to work on a real-life project at such an exciting time for Ron Dearing UTC.”

Year 11 student Sienna Williams, 16, said: “The tour was eye-opening and it was interesting to see the space. I think the new facilities will be really good and open up more opportunities for students.

“It’s really important for the building to be sustainable and we’ll look at various ways to reduce carbon emissions. It’s great to be part of the team.”

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to have hands-on input into a major project which will build on our outstanding employer-led education model at Ron Dearing UTC.

“The students are playing a key role in how our new learning centre will look and operate. It will be a fascinating experience for them to work alongside our architects, construction team and sustainability consultants to deliver the project on budget and within a fixed timescale, whilst ensuring we achieve a beautiful building that retains its original character and has the lowest possible carbon footprint.”

The Ron Dearing UTC Student Design and Build Team with Principal Sarah Pashley and representatives from Sewell Group outside the former fire station.


As well as ensuring the new learning centre and facilities support decarbonisation and promote renewable energy solutions, Ron Dearing UTC is working with its employer partners, including Reckitt, Siemens Gamesa, Ørsted, Ideal Heating and Equinor, to put sustainability at the heart of its curriculum.

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering said:  “We’re extremely committed to supporting the Humber region and the UK to achieve their net zero targets.

“In order to do so, it’s essential we produce young people with the knowledge, skills and experience to support the Humber’s growth as a leading region for green energy technologies.

“Our employer partners are working with us to ensure our curriculum does exactly this. Our state-of-the art low carbon learning centre will be the perfect learning environment for our green curriculum.”

The expansion will enable an additional 200 students to study Level 3 qualifications in engineering, creative and digital and provide local industry with an additional 100 highly skilled and qualified potential employees every year.

Ron Dearing UTC has been over-subscribed every year since it opened in September 2017 and caters for students aged from 14 to 19. The school offers a unique model of employer-led education with a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering.

The Department for Education’s Post-16 Capacity Fund ensures schools and colleges can accommodate an expected increase in sixth form students. Ron Dearing UTC is one of 39 providers across England that have been awarded a total of £83m from the fund.

Businesses back Ron Dearing UTC students in F1-inspired competition

Ron Dearing UTC students driven to succeed in a Formula 1-inspired global competition have raised thousands of pounds at a fundraising event to support their racing ambitions.

Seventeen Year 10 and Year 12 students are competing in the F1 in Schools challenge, the world’s largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition spanning 40 countries across the globe.

Based on the official F1 model, the teams have designed and manufactured their miniature cars using specialist Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software, as well as developing their brand, time management and budgeting skills, building their social media presence and linking up with businesses to back their teams.

They recently held a fundraising event at Porsche Centre Hull at the Bridgehead business park in Hessle, which raised more than £10,000 towards offsetting the costs of each team and their potential participation at each level of the competition.

The event saw more than 100 invited guests meet the teams, listen to their pitches, race F1 in Schools-style cars and take part in a silent auction and raffle.

Guests and F1 in Schools teams at the fundraising event.


The teams pitched to potential sponsors, including representatives from the UTC’s employer partners, other leading businesses across the region and the students’ families and friends, about how their logos would be displayed and promoted on an international stage in the competition.

Sponsors included former professional boxer and Lightweight Commonwealth Champion Tommy Coyle, who is sponsoring the Mach Racing team, and Jupiter IT Solutions, a Major Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, which is backing the Vortex Racing team.

Some incredible prizes were up for grabs on the evening including a Silverstone experience day, F1 artwork, signed memorabilia, trips abroad and high-end hospitality experiences.

It comes as two of the four Ron Dearing UTC teams – Mach Racing and Vortex Racing – will now go on to compete at the regional finals, which will be held online via YouTube on April 22nd.

The two teams were selected based on their success against specific competition criteria such as their car’s performance and quality and effectiveness of their social media, marketing, presentation skills, teamwork and sponsorship strategies.

The Mach Racing team.


Simon Edwards, Teacher of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “I’m so proud of all our students involved in the F1 in Schools challenge. The work they’ve produced so far is fantastic.

“We’d like to thank Porsche Centre Hull for their support and enabling our students to host such a great event in a fantastic space.  We’d also like to thank our employer partners and everyone who attended to help them achieve their fundraising goals.”

The competition cars are powered by CO2 cartridges and are attached to a 25-metre track by a nylon wire and raced. They are timed by a computer from the moment they are launched to when they pass the finish line and Ron Dearing UTC plans to plant trees to offset the carbon.

If the Ron Dearing UTC teams are successful at the regional finals, they will go on to compete at national and potentially international levels, with dates and locations yet to be decided.

Sarah and Adam Hodgson, parents of Year 12 Ron Dearing UTC student Mercy McFarlane, 16, attended the event to show their support. Mercy is the Design and Manufacturing Engineer in the Mach Racing team.

F1 in Schools challenge racing cars.


Sarah said: “Mercy has become devoted to the F1 in Schools challenge and it has helped her to grow in confidence. She is thriving at Ron Dearing UTC and everyone has done so well to organise such a great event.”

Year 10 student Henry Morris, 14, Social Media and Marketing Manager for team Overflow, said: “I’m very proud to be part of this event and F1 in Schools. It was interesting to speak to everyone who attended the fundraising evening and tell them what we’ve been doing.”

Sarah Hiles, Showroom Manager at Porsche Centre Hull, said: “I sat in on one of the presentations Mach Racing gave to our Brand Director and it would stand up in one of our board meetings. The students spoke so articulately and professionally.

“All of the students represent Ron Dearing UTC incredibly well and they’re so passionate and enthusiastic about the competition. They’re also learning many wider skills such as fundraising and presenting, which will stand them in great stead for later life.”

Ron Dearing UTC increases bike shed capacity as students and staff embrace cycling

Students and staff at Ron Dearing UTC are continuing to cut their carbon footprints after an increase in cycling to school paved the way for a bike shed expansion.

Year 12 students Catherine Crees and Jaden Taylor were crowned winners of The Waterline Student Sustainability Challenge 2021 for their ideas to help tackle the climate crisis.

Their project included researching and calculating how students and staff could reduce their carbon footprints by cycling to school rather than driving or using public transport.

Many of their peers and staff embraced the idea and were inspired to change their travel habits, resulting in the need to double the school’s bike shed facilities and create additional secure space to accommodate dozens more bikes.

Catherine, 17, said: “I’m really proud that we have been able to help people realise how they can become carbon neutral. Being able to provide more space for students and staff to safely secure their bikes is a really positive step and it’s brilliant to see our ideas are being taken on board.”

Jaden Taylor and Catherine Crees with Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC.


Jaden, 17, said: “It’s great to come up with an idea, work on it and see it come together. It gives me a brilliant feeling that we’re helping to make a difference.”

Organised by Marketing Humber, The Waterline Student Sustainability Challenge, encourages young people aged nine to 18 to plan and deliver their own eco project and find sustainable climate change solutions as part of The Waterline campaign.

Catherine and Jaden’s winning efforts earned them a trip to the global United Nations climate change conference COP26, held in Glasgow last November, and saw them speak about their project at a fringe event during the event.

They also hope to spend their £2,500 prize money on a project that will involve planting a tree in Hull city centre for every Ron Dearing UTC student past, present and future.

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, is among staff who often cycle to school.

Ron Dearing UTC has created additional secure space to accommodate dozens more bikes.


Glenn said: “We’re starting to see how much of a difference making small, personal changes can make in terms of reducing our carbon footprint.

“I enjoy cycling my 24-mile round trip as often as possible and it’s fantastic to see so many students and staff adopting the same approach.

“As a school, we’re wholeheartedly committed to reducing our carbon footprint and playing our part in helping the region to achieve its net zero targets.”

Ron Dearing UTC is also a partner in the recently launched Oh Yes! Net Zero campaign, which is backed by dozens of businesses and will see Hull and the Humber lead the way to becoming carbon neutral.

Entries are now open for The Waterline Student Sustainability Challenge 2022 and Ron Dearing UTC students will once again enter the competition. For further details visit

Ron Dearing UTC says Oh Yes! to net zero campaign

Ron Dearing UTC is backing a major campaign that will see Hull and the Humber lead the way to the UK becoming carbon neutral.

We have joined more than 45 businesses and organisations supporting the Oh Yes! Net Zero initiative, which is developing an innovative economic “living lab” model to reduce carbon emissions and support a net zero future.

Launched by the world’s leading consumer health and hygiene company, Reckitt, one of our Founding Partners, together with fellow campaign partners, the initiative brings the private, public and education sectors together and supports the Government’s Levelling Up agenda.

Individuals, communities and organisations are being urged to sign up to the campaign and play their part in reducing their own carbon footprint, while encouraging other UK cities to strive for the same net zero ambition.

The Humber is the most carbon intensive industrial cluster in the UK, meaning Hull and the wider region are crucial to the UK’s net zero drive.

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It’s fantastic that one of our Founding Partners, Reckitt, is leading this drive for sustainable practices across the city.

“The Oh Yes! Net Zero campaign aligns directly with our curriculum and the timing couldn’t be better as it links with our expansion plans which have a strong focus on supporting the growth of the region’s low carbon sector by providing the future workforce for these industries.”

Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of Ron Dearing UTC Founding Partner Reckitt, speaking at the launch of Oh Yes! Net Zero. Ron Dearing UTC is among the organisations that have signed up to the campaign.


Ron Dearing UTC has received approval and substantial investment to increase its capacity by reconfiguring space in the school’s existing building in Kingston Square, Hull, as well as creating a state-of-the-art new Centre for Sustainability in the former Central Fire Station next door.

The expansion cements the Ofsted Outstanding-rated school’s commitment to the skills needed to support the decarbonisation drive and the growth of renewable energy industries.

The Oh Yes! Net Zero launch took place at Reckitt’s Science and Innovation Centre in Hull, with COP26 President Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, Reckitt CEO Laxman Narasimhan and leaders of major businesses and organisations addressing attendees. It was also watched online by more than 400 people.

Olympic gold medallist sailor Hannah Mills MBE also spoke at the launch, highlighting the work of the 1851 Trust, a charity which aims to inspire young people through sustainability, sport and education programmes. The event was hosted by writer and former BBC Science Editor David Shukman.

COP26 President Alok Sharma was the guest of honour for the launch of the Oh Yes! Net Zero campaign.


Mr Sharma said: “This is a unique campaign illustrating the action we need to see as the UK becomes carbon neutral by 2050.”

Mr Narasimhan said: “I’m delighted that Reckitt, along with our coalition of partners, is bringing together the people of Hull and the Humber to shape the region’s net zero future.

“The Oh Yes! Net Zero initiative, focused on one of Britain’s biggest industrial clusters, aims to unite and galvanise the region behind the central aim of reducing carbon emissions and supporting the UK’s target to become net zero by 2050.”

The founding partners of Oh Yes! Net Zero are Hull City Council, Marketing Humber, Reckitt and the University of Hull, Ron Dearing UTC’s lead education partner.

Individuals, households and organisations can say Oh Yes! to making their own changes to drive down carbon emissions by signing up for tips and advice at

Ofsted inspectors visit Ron Dearing UTC to learn more about employer-led education

Ron Dearing UTC hosted a careers education event for more than 50 of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) from Ofsted from across the North East, Yorkshire and Humber region.

The UTC was selected as the venue for the event because of its hugely successful model of employer-led education and its highly effective Careers Information, Advice and Guidance (CIAG), which secures positive destinations for all students.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley and Chair of Governors Richard Martin, Customer Experience Director at Arco, delivered a presentation on how the school’s unique partnership with some of the region’s leading businesses is meeting the local needs of both young people and the economy.

They explained the school’s educational philosophy of teaching its students theory and then creating opportunities for them to apply this to real projects, working alongside the employer partners.

They also took inspectors through the UTC’s comprehensive careers programme, which is led by the Human Resource Directors from the employer partners and the University of Hull.

Ron Dearing UTC students took the inspectors on group tours to see first-hand a number of exciting employer projects students are working on with companies including Founding Partner Siemens Gamesa and Major Partners Designs and Jupiter IT Solutions.

In addition, inspectors visited the F1 in Schools challenge workshop, where teams of students were designing and manufacturing miniature CO2-powered cars based on the official F1 model using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM).

Ofsted inspectors visited Ron Dearing UTC to find out more about employer-led education.


Inspectors also met some former students who are now working as apprentices, including six apprentices from engineering company Spencer Group, which is a Founder Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, and two from safety experts Arco, which is a Major Partner.

During the afternoon session, inspectors shared good practice for inspecting careers education, which forms part of the evidence collected about personal development in the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) in England.

Sarah said: “It’s always great to be able to showcase the outstanding links we have with employers, which are fundamental to our model of education.

“It was a valuable experience for our students to talk about the different projects they are working on and to show the inspectors what they are doing.

“It was also lovely to see some of our former students who have gone on to successfully launch their own careers.  They were able to tell the inspectors how Ron Dearing UTC gave them the edge to take their first steps on the career ladder and progress really successfully.”

Richard said: “We’re really proud of our employer-engaged model of learning.  The UTC’s impressive student destinations statistics show how beneficial this way of working is to the students.

“It was great for me to be able to talk about the mutual benefits to employers as well. It’s a two-way relationship. The model wouldn’t work if the employer partners didn’t get as much out of it as the UTC does.”

Inspectors spoke to Ron Dearing UTC students taking part in the F1 Schools Challenge.


Lee Elliott, Her Majesty’s Inspector, said: “The Education Inspection Framework highlights the importance of schools developing an effective, well-considered curriculum. However, it also places an emphasis on ensuring pupils are prepared for their next steps in education, employment and training.

“We wanted to highlight to inspectors the affect on pupils when schools get this right. Staff and pupils at Ron Dearing UTC should be congratulated for their efforts in this respect. They have developed extremely strong partner links with employers from Hull and beyond. This is helping to bring learning to life and ensure pupils see where their learning can take them in the future.”

Ron Dearing UTC was ranked number one out of more than 4,500 schools and colleges in England in the Department for Education’s latest destinations data for Year 13 leavers.

Of the 74 Year 13 sixth form students who took Level 3 A-level or technical qualifications in 2019, more than half (54%) went onto apprenticeships and sustained their destination – the highest percentage of any English school or college.

In addition, almost every student went onto positive destinations, including 32% progressing to further or higher education and 9% securing employed roles which were not apprenticeships.

The data for Ron Dearing UTC covers students who studied level 3 qualifications, including A-levels in Maths, Further Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and Level 3 technical qualifications in Engineering, iMedia, Art and Design and Computing.

Six more leading businesses join forces with Hull’s employer-led school

Leading businesses aiming to shape their future workforces have partnered with Hull’s Ron Dearing UTC to equip students with highly sought-after industry skills.

The Ofsted Outstanding-rated school has a host of Founding Partners, Major Partners and Partners comprising of many of the region’s foremost companies.

Now, six more businesses have committed to opening up further exciting opportunities for students and helping them gain key industry-standard knowledge and skills as they prepare for their future careers.

Global energy company Equinor, Asset Integrity Engineering company IRISNDT, managed IT service provider and cyber security specialists Jupiter IT Solutions and specialist rural internet provider Quickline have become Major Partners. In addition, BACB Renewables and Pneumatic Engineering Ltd have become the employer-led school’s latest Partners.

Six businesses aiming to shape their future workforces have partnered with Hull’s Ron Dearing UTC to equip students with highly sought-after industry skills. Pictured from left: Glenn Jensen (Ron Dearing UTC) Claire Hickey (Quickline) Hege Ebeltoft (Equinor) Ciaran Sharpe (BACB Renewables) Martyn Hill (Pneumatic Engineering Ltd) Dan Gladstone (Jupiter IT Solutions) Lee Richardson IRISNDT)


Norwegian-based Equinor is the largest individual supplier of oil and gas to the UK and is investing heavily in low carbon and renewables solutions, particularly hydrogen and carbon capture, in the Humber.

It is responsible for Dogger Bank, which will be the world’s largest offshore windfarm, situated in the North Sea off the East Yorkshire coast and capable of powering 5% of the UK’s electricity demand. Hydrogen to Humber (H2H) Saltend, to the east of Hull, is its flagship project which aims to decarbonise Saltend Chemicals Park and kick-start a Zero Carbon Humber, by producing hydrogen from natural gas in combination with carbon capture and storage.

Tanguy Cosmao, Equinor’s Project Director at H2H Saltend, said: “This could be the first project of its kind in the UK and, if it gets the go-ahead, we’ll need people to work on it, and we want young people to be familiar with the technologies involved.

“We’re keen to explore the potential to take on apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC and offer work placements as our workforce of the future in the energy sector. We’re really impressed by how Employer Partners can help to shape the curriculum and have active involvement and we’re proud to be a Major Partner.”

IRISNDT is an international blend of Asset Integrity Engineering and Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) companies providing a range of engineering, inspection, testing, heat treatment and software services to the renewable, petro/chemical, oil/gas, utility and transportation industries across the globe.

The business employs 1,500 employees in Canada, Australia, the USA and the UK, including offices at Saltend Chemicals Park in Hull and in Immingham.

IRISNDT, which took on one apprentice from Ron Dearing UTC last year, plans to take on a further two this year. It will also provide equipment, live demonstrations and technicians to guide students on industry knowledge and skills, and offer work placements.

Director Lee Richardson said: “We need to invest in youngsters coming through and give them an insight on how our business and the inspection industry works. If you can give someone a head start coming out of school, they’ve already got the fundamentals in place.  We’re really looking forward to seeing how the partnership develops.”

Hull-based Jupiter IT Solutions provides managed IT support services and complete IT infrastructure expertise to businesses across Hull and the Humber.

Infrastructure Director Dan Gladstone said the business is helping to enhance IT modules studied by the UTC students and further equip them with the latest skills to give them the edge in the industry.

He said: “We’d like to take on trainees from the UTC and we’re looking at what skills we’d like them to have. If we pass on these skills and knowledge to them, it will help the IT industry as a whole to provide a better service to their customers.

“Ron Dearing UTC’s approach is unique and also about culture, hard work, mindset and attitude. It’s fantastic to work with the school.”

Hessle-based Quickline connects rural communities with superfast broadband in East Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire, as well as North and West Yorkshire. It has grown from just five staff to more than 100 since 2008, with further plans to continue considerable growth this year.

Claire Hickey, HR Director at Quickline, said: “Ron Dearing UTC looks at education differently and does everything it can to prepare students for work. Fortunately for us, this includes focusing on the engineering and technical skills we’ll need as a business in the future.

“We’re growing quickly and feel the partnership will benefit Quickline, the UTC and the local area. We’re excited to be able to input into the curriculum and projects, supporting Ron Dearing to develop stars of the future.”

BACB, based at Ergo in Hessle, are renewables consultants and holistic decarbonisation experts, providing services including solar, battery, heat pumps and biomethane and hydrogen fuels.

The company, which aims to reduce carbon and costs and drive the green economy, has extensive background in the energy and renewables sector and Business Development Director Ciaran Sharpe said he plans to offer work placements and potentially apprenticeships to Ron Dearing UTC students.

He said: “Ron Dearing UTC is very forward thinking and we’re honoured to be a Partner. The students have state-of-the-art technology at their fingertips and the school has links with so many fantastic businesses, which is the future of teaching.

“We’re looking forward to bringing further realism to renewables through the curriculum.”

The Ofsted Outstanding-rated school has a host of Founding Partners, Major Partners and Partners comprising of many of the region’s foremost companies.


Pneumatic Engineering Ltd, based in Brandesburton, East Yorkshire, has specialised in the sales, installation, maintenance and repairs of small, medium and large compressed air systems since 1992, supplying installations for the water industry and automotive and renewable energy sectors.

Managing Director Martyn Hill, who began his career as a mechanical and pneumatic apprentice, said he hopes to offer work experience to Ron Dearing UTC students as well as opening up potential apprenticeship or paid employment opportunities.

Martyn said: “I had a very good engineering education and I want to give young people similar opportunities I had. Ron Dearing UTC is preparing its students for what it will be like when they enter the workplace and they treat them like adults, so they know what to expect.”

Ron Dearing UTC’s Major Partners and Partners develop and deliver employer-led projects, provide work experience placements and lead the UTC’s careers information, advice and guidance programme. Major Partners also play a key role in the development of the school’s unique, employer-engaged curriculum, while both Partners and Major Partners contribute financially to the school.

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome so many new Major Partners and Partners to share their skills and expertise with our students.

“These industries are constantly growing and evolving and the more we can provide our students with the latest technology and knowledge, the more chance they have of securing the careers and paths they aspire to pursue in the future.”

Ron Dearing UTC has recently been named as the country’s top performing school or college for the percentage of students moving on to apprenticeships following sixth form. It is ranked number one out of more than 4,500 schools and colleges in England in the Department for Education’s latest destinations data for Year 13 leavers.

Pictures: Neil Holmes Photography