Applications fly in for sought-after places at Ron Dearing UTC

Almost 300 prospective students have applied for a place at Ron Dearing UTC in September 2021, underlining support for the pioneering, employer-led school, described by Ofsted earlier this year as a “guiding light in the educational sector”.

120 applications were received before the first Open Event of the academic year on October 8, followed by a further 160 over the next three days.

In addition, four applications have already been received to join Year 10 in September 2022.

Stringent Covid-19 rules were in place for the Open Event and each student was allowed to attend with one parent or guardian at an allocated time to experience the state-of-the-art school first-hand.


As well as finding out about the unique curriculum, visitors talked to staff and watched students participating in specialist activities in Science, Engineering, Art, Computing and virtual reality. In addition to hearing from Principal Sarah Pashley, they met many of the school’s Founding and Employer Partners, including a number of the region’s leading businesses.

Ron Dearing UTC has been significantly oversubscribed every year since it opened its doors in September 2017 and this year reached its capacity of 600 students, aged from 14 to 19.

There are 150 places available for Year 10 and a further 150 for Year 12 in September 2020.

The Open Event saw almost 200 prospective students attend with their parents or guardians across the evening.

Michael Ugbede with son Dafe Mike-Ugbede, 13, tour the school


Dafe Mike-Ugbede, 13, from east Hull, was accompanied by his father, Michael Ugbede, and hopes for a place in Year 10 in September 2021.

Dafe said: “There are so many experiences and opportunities here and  it will help to prepare me for the future. I really liked the virtual reality suite and I’m excited by the possibility of learning here.”

His father added: “Dafe has always been a very bright boy and always strived for the best. I believe this is a school for excellence and there is everything here for him to choose what he wants to become.”

Ethan Bird, 13, with mum Lisa Bird


Ethan Bird, 13, from east Hull, hopes to join Year 10 in September next year and attended the Open Event with his mother, Lisa.

He said: “I want to come to Ron Dearing UTC because there are more opportunities here and I’m really interested in Creative Digital. The technology they have is great.”

Potential Year 10 student Kitty Every, 14, from North Ferriby, who was joined by her father, said: “I really like the school and I’m interested in the digital element of art and design.

“I like the fact that you can do your core subjects, but also have a choice of others. It’s an amazing school and I hope I get a place here.”

Jack Williams, 15, from Kingswood, Hull, who hopes to join the school’s sixth form in September 2021, said: “I’d really like an engineering apprenticeship. The equipment is really good and I’ve got a great first impression. Everyone is really friendly, they treat you like an adult and it feels like a very professional environment, including being on first name terms with everyone.”

KCOM staff speak to prospective students


Visitors were able to speak to former Ron Dearing UTC students who have taken up apprenticeships with some of the region’s leading businesses, including those from Founding Partner Spencer Group. The business currently employs 19 former Ron Dearing UTC students, many of whom had work experience at the company before joining.

Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We’re really pleased that we were able to hold our Open Event in our amazing building rather than having to run a virtual event due to Covid-19.

“It was great to meet so many enthusiastic and interested young people and their parents and to create the opportunity for them to talk to our staff and students in person about the opportunities available here.

“I’m very grateful to our employer partners for attending so that visitors could hear from them how and why they are involved with Ron Dearing UTC and see first-hand what a brilliant contribution they make.

“It was also lovely to see so many of our ex-students who are now employed by them and to hear how well their careers are going.

“A great deal of planning and preparation went into ensuring that this was a Covid-safe event and I’m delighted so many people turned up.

“It’s a shame we had to cap the numbers of visitors but anyone who wasn’t able to come to this event can register for tickets for our next event in November. They’ll need to hurry up, though, as it’s filling up fast!”

Yvonne Moir, Spencer Group, with former students Jack Waslin and Harry Barwell.


Students interested in joining Ron Dearing UTC in Year 10 or Year 12 from September 2021 can register to attend the next Open Events on November 12 or January 15. To book a place, click here

To apply for a place at the school, click here.