Ron Dearing students crowned F1 in Schools regional champions for third consecutive year

Ron Dearing UTC students have been crowned regional champions in the world’s largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition for the third consecutive year.

Ron Racing went head-to-head with 19 other teams from schools and colleges to take pole position in the regional finals in the F1 in Schools challenge at the National STEM Learning Centre in York.

The team, comprising of Year 13 students Heidi Porter, Harry Tyler, Jasper Gourley, Elliot Johnson and Will Jones, also won the award for Best Pit Display.

They will now go on to compete in the national finals at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Sheffield on March 14 and 15.

The Ron Racing team with their pit display – L-R Will, Jasper, Heidi, Harry & Elliot.

 

Heidi, 17, who is studying Triple Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form and would like to pursue an engineering-based career, said: “We had a great day at the regional finals. We put in a lot of hard work but there were lots of other very good teams, so we didn’t expect to win.

“It’s been a really good experience and I’ve learnt lots from it. We met people from lots of different companies, my communication skills have improved and I’ve learnt a lot more about engineering.

“It will be a big step up from the regional finals but I’m looking forward to the nationals and we’re ready for it.”

Harry, 17, who is studying Double Engineering and Physics at the UTC, hopes to become a Formula 1 aerodynamicist in the future.

He said: “Winning was the most exciting part of the regional finals, closely followed by sending the car down the track.

“Being part of F1 in Schools has helped with my public speaking and confidence and also improved my Computer Aided Design (CAD) skills.

“It’s a great stepping stone to get into the F1 industry and it’s brilliant to have on your CV if you want to go down that route.”

This is the third consecutive year Ron Dearing UTC students have entered the development class of competition and secured the top spot.

Previous Ron Dearing teams included Mach Racing and Vortex Racing and various awards were secured, from Lightening Reaction Time and Star Quality: Verbal Presentation, to Team Identity and Sponsorship and Marketing.

The F1 in Schools challenge sees more than one million schoolchildren from 40 countries take part each year. Each team designs and manufactures a miniature car based on the official F1 model using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM).

The cars are powered using CO₂ cartridges and are attached to a 25m track by a nylon wire and raced. The teams also design their own branding and logos, plan social media and marketing strategies to promote themselves, deliver presentations and raise sponsorship for their teams.

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal – Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, and Cieran Dowling, the UTC’s F1 in Schools Coordinator, are supporting Ron Racing throughout their F1 in Schools journey.

Elliot, Will, Heidi, Harry and Jasper with the Porsche Taycan sports cars donated by Porsche Centre Hull.

 

Porsche Centre Hull, a Major Partner of the employer-led school, is the team’s official sustainable partner and donated two Porsche Taycan electric sports cars to transport the team to and from York, offsetting their carbon footprint.

The business also hosts regular fundraising events for the teams, enabling them to showcase their work and pitch their ideas to potential sponsors at the Porsche showroom in Hessle.

Heidi with the Porsche Taycan.

 

Glenn said: “We’re so proud of the Ron Racing team and these accolades are testament to all the hard work they have put in over the past 18 months as they worked towards the regional finals.

“They have really put themselves out there, presenting pitches to our governing board, potential sponsors and working with the team at Porsche Centre Hull to ensure they approached everything in the most sustainable way possible.

“Their pit stand was outstanding and really stood out from the crowd. The judges were highly impressed by their engineering portfolio and everything they’ve done to make their team a success.

“It’s fantastic to see how our students have put their mark on this global competition and we wish them every success for the nationals next month.”

Jasper, Heidi, Elliot, Harry and Will with their trophy

Ron Dearing UTC students secure paid roles alongside studies

Ron Dearing UTC students have secured jobs at school to earn money and develop new skills alongside their studies.

Fourteen Year 11, 12 and 13 students now receive bursaries as payment for being IT assistants, site assistants and attendance runners, and complete their jobs on a weekly basis.

The opportunity enables the students to manage their school diaries and timetables while earning £5 per hour in their jobs.

IT assistants check laptops and recycle components where necessary, carry out equipment checks, complete software updates and report any damages. Site assistants support with recycling throughout the school, refill stationery and printers and maintain the outdoor green planted areas.

Attendance runners support the Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 attendance team for three hours per week, helping with admin, delivering letters and checking teachers take registers on time. They also learn the importance of punctuality.

Charlie Pepper.

 

Year 13 student Charlie Pepper, 18, the site assistant responsible for recycling, said taking on a paid role for five hours per week has helped him to grow in confidence. The level of recycling at the UTC has doubled since he started.

Charlie, who is studying Double Engineering and A-level Maths in Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form, said: “I always get up early and arrive at 7.45am, ready to put my gloves on and empty the recycling bins of paper, plastic and cans.

“It’s a great starting point for a part-time job and it’s helping me to add to my CV and personal statement in my university application. I talk to a lot of people, I’ve made new friends and I really enjoy it.”

Fellow Year 13 student Skylar Dawson, 18, has been employed as a site assistant for more than a year and is responsible for everything from planting up the UTC’s bee and butterfly friendly herbaceous borders to refilling stationery for seven hours per week.

Skylar, who is studying Chemistry and Double Engineering in the UTC’s sixth form, also supports Year 11 engineering students who are studying courses she has previously completed, sitting in lessons to answer any peer-to-peer questions.

Skylar Dawson.

 

She said: “I’ve met a lot of students and staff through my work and it helps you to get used to working and earning some money.

“It’s fun and a great thing to do alongside studying because I’m helping to make a difference in the environment I’m also learning in. It’s a really good responsibility to have.

“I enjoy planting and looking after the beds outside school and in Kingston Square opposite our building.”

Students complete an interview process before they are offered the roles, enabling them to experience applying for a job and gain interview techniques.

Year 12 student Edward Tevenan, 16, works six hours per week as a site and IT assistant while studying Maths, Physics and Double Engineering in the UTC’s sixth form.

Edward Tevenan.

 

Edward said: “I always thought going to work would be boring but I’m really enjoying it. I arrive early and get on with it and it’s satisfying to know I’ve done a good job. That’s what motivates me.

“I empty the bins, top up the classroom supplies, refill printer paper and check the laptops are charged and working correctly. It’s good to play a part in keeping the school well maintained.

“These are all transferable skills for maintenance jobs in engineering, as I’m looking at an engineering apprenticeship in the future. It’s also nice to have money in my pocket and feel independent.”

Hugh Boughton, Operations Manager at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “The students are doing a fantastic job.

“We’ve offered these paid opportunities for a while and the roles have evolved over the years. The students learn really quickly, they’re very communicative, we train them to multi-task and it enables them to learn different skills.

“From a future employer perspective, these are great attributes to have and it shows the students have made great use of their time.”

International business employs former Ron Dearing UTC students for third consecutive year

A leading company which specialises in non-destructive testing (NDT), inspection and engineering has taken on another former Ron Dearing UTC student, adding to its workforce from the school for the third consecutive year.

IRISNDT has employed Jack Macmillan, 19, as a full time Trainee NDT Technician and he will complete the necessary qualifications at a training school in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, over the next 18 months.

The company 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.

It has 2,000 employees in Canada, Australia, the USA and the UK, including offices at Saltend Chemicals Park in Hull and in Immingham on the south bank of the Humber.

Jack Macmillan has become the latest Former Ron Dearing UTC student to join international business IRISNDT.

 

IRISNDT has taken on three former Ron Dearing UTC students as apprentices and two as trainee technicians over three years, including Jack.

Jack, who studied Triple Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “I’m based in radiography and I’m shadowing qualified radiographers and paired with a qualified technician, so I’m learning all the time.

“I saw this job advertised through Ron Dearing UTC and I was interested straight away. We use gamma or X-rays to see if there are any defects in pipes, so they’re safe to use on sites.

“It’s a great job and I love coming to work every day. I’ve also been able to travel, working on a tank farm in Bristol as part of a tank inspection team, as well as on sites locally.

“There are lots of opportunities here and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

Emma Newton, General Manager at IRISNDT, said: “NDT is a really broad career and we’re delighted to partner with Ron Dearing UTC. It’s a fantastic school and the knowledge the students gain there is outstanding with lots of fantastic success stories as a result.

“The students arrive with a really good insight into the world of work, ready to hit the ground running, and they embrace every opportunity which comes their way. Jack has settled in really well.”

Former Ron Dearing UTC student has sights set on job for life

A former Ron Dearing UTC student says he is looking forward to a job for life after securing an apprenticeship with the UK’s leading shower manufacturer.

Spencer Kirby, 18, is an apprentice Electrical Maintenance Engineer at Mira Showers and works from their shower tray manufacturing site in Melton, East Yorkshire. Spencer is the first apprentice the company has taken on from the employer-led school.

Mira Showers, a Major Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, has been at the forefront of the shower market for more than a century, thanks to pioneering developments in technology.

Spencer Kirby is the first apprentice Mira Showers has taken on from Ron Dearing UTC.

 

Spencer, who studied A-level Physics and the Cambridge Technical Diploma in Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, studies at North Lindsey College in Scunthorpe one day per week as part of his apprenticeship, with the rest of the week spent working at Mira.

He said: “If I wasn’t a Ron Dearing UTC student I don’t think I would have had this opportunity. We had multiple mock interviews and CV training which helped to grow my confidence.

“I’m constantly learning and every day is different. University didn’t really appeal to me and I see this as a job for life.

“I arrive at 8.30am, go into the workshop and get my safety gear on before a walkaround for the daily checks. We follow a computerised maintenance schedule and I deal with breakdowns and smaller projects. I’m really enjoying it.”

Spencer’s apprenticeship was due to be completed over three years but industry-critical skills he gained at Ron Dearing UTC mean it can be completed in two years.

Iain Gillyon, Engineering Manager at Mira Showers, which is part of the global Kohler group, said: “Spencer has fitted in really well and we will potentially take on further apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC in the future.

“Most of our executive team came through the apprenticeship route. Employers have shifted their thinking and you can always study for a degree later on.

“The maturity level of an 18-year-old leaving Ron Dearing UTC is ahead of most 21-year-olds leaving university and that’s down to the UTC teaching style and learning environment.

“The UTC team understand our business and the type of skills we’re looking for, so it works well.”

Siemens Gamesa takes on nine more Ron Dearing UTC apprentices

Nine former Ron Dearing UTC students have begun their careers with global wind power leader Siemens Gamesa.

The company, a Founding Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, has employed seven apprentices from the school over the previous two years and a further nine Wind Turbine Technician apprentices this year, taking the total number of former UTC students employed since 2019 to 16.

This year’s intake are learning how to install offshore wind turbines across the globe in a three-and-a-half year Maintenance and Operations Engineering Technician apprenticeship, with initial theory and practical training completed at the Humber Energy Skills Training Academy (HESTA) in west Hull.

The apprentices will then move on to various sites for further hands-on experience with the business’ service teams and have the opportunity to work in places as far flung such as Taiwan, Japan and the United States in the future.

Tabitha Argent, 18, is among the Ron Dearing UTC students who have joined global wind power leader Siemens Gamesa as an apprentice Wind Turbine Technician.

 

Tabitha Argent, 18, who studied Double Engineering and Chemistry at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “I’m so proud to have this opportunity because I knew I wanted to work offshore since Year 10. The chance to travel with this job really appeals to me and I’d like to work my way up within the business.

“Everyone has been really welcoming and the training the business offers is excellent. I also like the challenge of it being a traditionally male-dominated industry.

“Being the only female apprentice shows it can be done and women can succeed in this industry just as much as men. I’m excited for the future.”

Isaac Blain, 18, who studied Maths, Physics and Single Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “This apprenticeship is a really good mix of theory and practical learning and I’m gaining a good understanding of how the industry works.

“Travelling for work in the future will mean seeing the world, broadening my horizons and experiencing different cultures, which is a very attractive element of this apprenticeship.

“Working with the Ron Dearing UTC employer partners really helped to build relationships and think about career options.”

Lee Drury, Construction Operations Manager at Siemens Gamesa, said the students have settled in well and are enthusiastic and motivated.

He said: “They’re really keen to learn the electrical and mechanical skills they’ll need in the future.

“Eventually, they’ll be able to carry out all the completion works and operational checks when a wind turbine is installed at sea, ensuring all components work, the required software is in place for the turbine computers and carry out functional checks of electronic and hydraulic systems.

“We have a fantastic relationship with Ron Dearing UTC. Working for us is an excellent opportunity for the students because this is a growing industry and they can gain a qualification as an electrician while working within renewables.”

Apprenticeship expo opens sixth form students’ eyes to future opportunities

Students at Ron Dearing UTC met representatives from some of the region’s leading businesses at the school’s annual apprenticeship expo as they consider their next steps.

Sixteen founding and employer partners of the UTC set up information stands in the school’s conference centre before speaking to almost 300 students about careers, apprenticeships and opportunities available to them in industry.

Many of the UTC’s alumni, who are already succeeding in their chosen careers, returned to speak to current students, sharing their knowledge and expertise after following similar paths.

Current students were able to ask questions and meet the faces behind the businesses while gaining vital information ahead of apprenticeship and job applications.

Year 13 student Mason Creighton and Steve Abbott, HSE Business Partner at Smith+Nephew

 

Year 13 student Mason Creighton, 17, said: “The expo was really useful because I found out more about how apprenticeships work and lots of information about the different companies which attended.”

Year 12 students Madison Mason and Ruby Ellis

 

Year 12 student Ruby Ellis, 16, said: “The expo gave me a good insight into what opportunities are available to us. I really enjoyed it and it was great to meet so many different people.”

Mercy McFarlane, 18, a former RDUTC student now working as an Operations Engineering Apprentice at Founding Partner Smith+Nephew joined her colleagues to speak to current students at the expo.

She said: “Seeing where I started, understanding where the current students are now and helping to guide them on the right path is good feeling.

“I loved being a Ron Dearing student and it helped me to get to where I am today. I love my apprenticeship and I’m working on some really exciting projects.”

Corbin Wright, Business Development Manager at CDS Energy Services

 

Corbin Wright, Business Development Manager at CDS Energy Services, a Major Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, was among those who attended the expo.

He said: “I spoke to quite a few students and they were very enthusiastic. I’m really impressed by the expo.

“There is a massive labour shortage in our industry and it’s important that everyone gets on board to try and bridge that gap.”

Aaron Wade and Steve Davies, Fisher Security

 

Steve Davies, Technical Director at Fisher Security, also a Major Partner of the UTC, said: “I spoke to students about the technology which is available in the security industry and how it can help our customers. It was great to meet them and a brilliant opportunity for them to learn more about what opportunities are out there.”

Ron Dearing UTC ensures its students are as prepared as possible for the world or work, university and any other path they choose to take upon leaving school.

Students take part in mock interview sessions with employers, learn about their personal brand and are given top tips on CV preparation ahead of applications.

Sam Foster, Lewis Gamble and Isabella Acaster, Cranswick

 

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal – Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “The response from businesses has been outstanding and it’s fantastic to see such a diverse range of employers investing time to grow and nurture local talent. We’re really grateful to all of them.

“It was also brilliant to see so many of our alumni come back to talk about their experiences and help to inspire the next generation.”

Companies represented at the apprenticeship expo were:

  • Siemens Gamesa
  • Smith+Nephew
  • Spencer Group
  • Reckitt
  • CATCH
  • CDS Energy Services
  • Cranswick
  • Fisher Security
  • Ideal Heating
  • IRISNDT
  • Litmus
  • LSTC Group
  • Porsche Centre Hull
  • Quickline
  • Ridings Consulting Engineers
  • Wood

Leading businesses bolster their teams with work-ready Ron Dearing UTC students

All of Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form leavers have settled into fantastic apprenticeships, employment, university courses and the Armed Forces as they set their sights on bright futures.

A total of 68 of Ron Dearing UTC’s 149 Year 13 sixth form students secured apprenticeships, including 55 with the Hull school’s Employer Partners – the most ever taken on by the UTC’s sponsors since it opened its doors in 2017.

A further 47 students went to university, including 13 at one of the prestigious Russell Group universities, 29 went into employment, two moved on to further or higher education colleges and two joined the Armed Forces.

The apprenticeships cover a wide range of roles, including marketing, architectural technicians, wind turbine technicians, mechanical engineers and surveyors, welders, software developers and computer programmers.

Wind Turbine Technician apprentices employed by Siemens Gamesa from Ron Dearing UTC – the recent recruits are currently undergoing training at the Humber Energy Skills Training Academy.

 

Global wind power leader Siemens Gamesa, a Founding Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, has employed seven apprentices from the school over the previous two years and a further nine Wind Turbine Technician apprentices this year, taking the total number of former UTC students employed since 2019 to 16.

This year’s intake are learning how to install offshore wind turbines across the globe in a Maintenance and Operations Engineering Technician apprenticeship, undertaken over three and a half years, with initial theory and practical training completed at the Humber Energy Skills Training Academy (HESTA) in west Hull.

The apprentices will then move on to various sites for further hands on experience with the company’s service teams and have the opportunity to work in places as far flung as Taiwan, Japan and the United States in the future.

Lee Drury, Construction Operations Manager at Siemens Gamesa, said: “The apprentices are really keen to learn the electrical and mechanical skills they’ll need in the future.

“Eventually, they’ll be able to carry out all the completion works and operational checks when a wind turbine is installed at sea, ensuring all components work, the required software is in place for the turbine computers and carry out functional checks of electronic and hydraulic systems.

“We have a fantastic relationship with Ron Dearing UTC. Working for us is an excellent opportunity for the students because this is a growing industry and they can gain a qualification as an electrician while working within renewables.”

Iain Gillyon, Engineering Manager at Mira Showers, with former Ron Dearing UTC student Spencer Kirby, who has joined the company as an apprentice Electrical Maintenance Engineer.

 

The UK’s leading shower manufacturer Mira Showers, a Major Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, has been at the forefront of the shower market for more than a century thanks to pioneering developments in technology.

The company, part of the global Kohler group, has appointed Ron Dearing UTC student Spencer Kirby, 18, as an apprentice Electrical Maintenance Engineer and he is the first apprentice the company has taken on from the school.

Spencer’s apprenticeship was due to be completed over three years, but industry-critical skills he gained at Ron Dearing UTC mean it can be completed in two years.

Iain Gillyon, Engineering Manager at Mira Showers’ trays manufacturing facility in Melton, East Yorkshire, said: “Spencer has fitted in really well and we will potentially take on further apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC in the future.

“Most of our executive team came through the apprenticeship route. Employers have shifted their thinking and you can always study for a degree later on. The maturity level of an 18-year-old leaving Ron Dearing UTC is ahead of most 21 year olds leaving university and that’s down to the UTC teaching style and learning environment.

“The UTC team understand our business and the type of skills we’re looking for, so it works well.”

Former Ron Dearing UTC student Jack Macmillan has joined IRISNDT as a Trainee NDT (Non-Destructive Testing) Technician.

 

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 has 2,000 employees in Canada, Australia, the USA and the UK, including offices at Saltend Chemicals Park in Hull and in Immingham on the south bank of the Humber.

IRISNDT has employed former Ron Dearing UTC student Jack Macmillan, 19, as a full time Trainee NDT Technician and he will complete the necessary qualifications at a training school in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, over the next 18 months.

This is the third year IRISNDT has chosen Ron Dearing UTC students to bolster its workforce, having taken on three apprentices and two trainee technicians, including Jack.

Emma Newton, General Manager at IRISNDT, said: “NDT is a really broad career and we’re delighted to partner with Ron Dearing UTC. It’s a fantastic school and the knowledge the students gain there is outstanding with lots of fantastic success stories as a result.

“The students arrive with a really good insight into the world of work, ready to hit the ground running, and they embrace every opportunity which comes their way. Jack has settled in really well.”

Opened in 2017, Ron Dearing UTC caters for students aged between 14 and 19, offering a unique model of employer-led education with a specialist focus on creative arts, digital technology, computing and engineering.

It has recently increased student places from 600 to 800 to meet growing demand, redeveloping space in the existing school building and renovating and repurposing the former Central Fire Station next door to the school into STEAM Studios, the school’s new dedicated centre for creativity.

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal – Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It’s wonderful to see all of our former sixth form students progressing so well.

“We do everything we can to arm them with the skills they need to succeed and thrive in industry, listening to our Employer Partners about what they need and want in their future workforces.

“Our unique employer-led approach to learning truly works and it’s fantastic to see so many of our students going on to work for our existing Employer Partners, which are some of the region’s leading businesses. We wish them all well for the future.”

Ron Dearing UTC Principal calls for curriculum shake-up to bridge critical skills gaps

The Principal of Hull’s Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) is calling for changes to the curriculum so all schools can offer subjects that help bridge skills gaps to benefit the economy and the drive to net zero.

Sarah Pashley says the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), which includes GCSEs in English Language and Literature, Maths, Science, a language and Geography or History, should be scrapped to give schools across the country the freedom to put technology and creativity at the heart of learning, alongside more traditional academic subjects.

UTCs are exempt from the EBacc and can offer their own curriculum, which, at Ron Dearing UTC, includes technical and creative qualifications.

Shadow Schools Minister Catherine McKinnell visited Ron Dearing UTC with Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy to meet students involved in its Eco Club, which is part of an extensive enrichment programme to broaden students’ horizons outside the classroom.

The students are working with Hull City Council to plant an area of Kingston Square, opposite the UTC in the city centre, with butterfly, bee and bat-friendly plants to increase biodiversity and pollination, drawing on their creative and scientific knowledge.

In addition, the shadow minister met students involved in the F1 in Schools Challenge, the world’s largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition, which inspires engineers of the future. The Ron Dearing F1 in Schools students are working alongside Major Partner Porsche Centre Hull to look at sustainability within the automotive industry.

From left, Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley, Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy and Shadow Schools Minister Catherine McKinnell outside the employer-led school in Hull. Sarah Pashley has called for the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) to be scrapped to give schools the freedom to focus on technology and creativity.

 

She also heard from the team at Sewell Construction, another of the UTC’s Major Partners, as they told students about sustainable construction and how they retro-fitted the former Hull Central Fire Station to transform it into the recently-opened, low carbon STEAM Studios creative hub.

Sarah Pashley said: “The current emphasis on the EBacc is not meeting the needs of industry or society because it doesn’t include any arts subjects, with means these subjects are devalued. This is a great shame.

“Arts subjects are essential to developing creative thinking and cultural capital. They encourage self-expression while building confidence and a sense of individual identity.

“The EBacc also doesn’t include any technical or digital qualifications, which makes no sense. The Government has recognised there’s a big skills gap in STEM and they’ve tried to address this with their White Paper, which introduces more tech qualifications for 16 to 18-year-olds.

“However, their aspiration that 90% of Key Stage 4 students study the EBacc is killing the technical curriculum in Years 10 and 11.

“The great thing about being a UTC is we’re exempt from the EBacc curriculum and we’re free to choose qualifications that industry needs and which best meet the needs of our students.

“It’s becoming increasingly urgent that more students study technical and digital qualifications as we strive to achieve net zero targets and renewable industries desperately need people with skills to develop and install technology.

“At Ron Dearing UTC, we’re able to put sustainability, creativity, engineering and sciences at the heart of our curriculum and focus on teaching our students industry-critical skills.

“We were delighted to welcome Catherine to Ron Dearing UTC and our students were very interested to talk to her, while showcasing some fantastic sustainability projects they’ve been working on.”

From left, local MP Emma Hardy, Shadow Schools Minister Catherine McKinnell and Principal Sarah Pashley talk to students at Ron Dearing UTC in Hull.

 

Sarah Pashley said the school’s outstanding exam results, very high attendance and the exciting university courses and apprenticeships that students have gone onto after leaving the UTC all show that a non-EBacc curriculum works for young people, universities and employers. She said it raises standards of attainment and attendance – a major problem nationally since the Covid-19 pandemic.

She added: “A lot of young people become disengaged in their GCSE years because schools are being forced to drive significant numbers of pupils down the EBacc route. Many young people want to study humanities and languages in Key Stage 4 and should be able to do so. However, many others do not.

“Forcing them to do so demotivates them, impacts their exam results and attendance negatively and fails to address the STEM and creative skills gaps.

“The Government needs to give creative, digital and technical qualifications equality with traditional academic qualifications and ditch its obsession with the EBacc.”

Ron Dearing UTC caters for students aged between 14 and 19, offering a unique model of employer-led education with a specialist focus on creative arts, digital technology, computing and engineering.

The school has recently expanded its capacity from 600 to 800 students following funding from the Department for Education’s (DfE) Post-16 Capacity Fund. Hull’s former Hull Central Fire Station has been transformed into STEAM Studios, the school’s new dedicated centre for creativity.

Catherine McKinnell said: “It was fantastic to meet pupils and leaders at Ron Dearing UTC and to see the broad and rich curriculum that is being delivered. Unfortunately, too many young people leave education without the qualifications and pathways they need.

“Labour’s Curriculum and Assessment Review will focus on delivering high and rising standards in the basics of reading, writing and Maths, alongside enriching subjects like Art, Music, Sport and Drama.

“We need to ensure young people leave school with both knowledge and confidence with skills such as communication, critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork to set them up to succeed.”

Emma Hardy MP, second left, briefs Shadow Schools Minister Catherine McKinnell, third left, on a project to plant an area near Ron Dearing UTC with butterfly, bee and bat-friendly plants to increase biodiversity and pollination as part of the school’s Eco Club.

 

Emma Hardy is behind a project to make Hull the country’s first Butterfly City by planting thousands of Alder Buckthorn trees to attract Brimstone butterflies and bees, as the decline in insects is having a major impact on pollination.

Working in partnership with Hull City Council, Ron Dearing UTC students planted lavender, buddleia, foxgloves, honeysuckles and spurges which will help to brighten the area while increasing biodiversity and enabling them to learn more about pollination and improving the environment.

Emma Hardy said: “I’m really impressed with the facilities Ron Dearing UTC have and their commitment to including the environment and biodiversity as part of their curriculum. This enables students to have pride and take ownership of their community and surroundings, which are important values to instil.

“I’m on a mission to increase biodiversity in Hull and to support people with taking care of their local environment. It’s therefore great to see schools encouraging children to do this from a young age.

“Ron Dearing UTC is a fantastic blueprint for other schools and organisations hoping to incorporate biodiversity and environment in their work and I will continue to support this in any way I can.”

First arts and crafts market brings festive spirit to STEAM Studios

The first Christmas arts and crafts market at STEAM Studios has been hailed a success.

Ron Dearing UTC’s Arts Council and staff welcomed members of the public to the new centre for creativity in Hull’s former Central Fire Station.

Local traders and makers sold everything from illustrations and Christmas decorations to jewellery and scarves, while Hull historian and author Dr Alec Gill MBE and poet and author Audrey Dunne signed and sold copies of their books.

Audrey said: “We had a lovely day and had some wonderful chats with people. We had a crowd around our table and we loved signing our books.

“Everyone enjoyed doing their Christmas shopping, including me, and it’s wonderful to see what has been done to the old fire station. I’m looking forward to more events like this in the future.”

The Christmas arts and crafts market at Ron Dearing UTC’s STEAM Studios.

 

Elodie Canon, nine, from South Cave, sold terrariums with plants in glass pots as unique Christmas gifts and was accompanied by her mum, Hannah Hoggart.

Elodie said: “I used different stones and alpine plants from my garden to make them. I enjoyed selling them and would like to do it again.”

Ron Dearing UTC Arts Council members Juliet Wilkes-Oliver and Kal Mears sold sweet treats and hot drinks as they welcomed visitors to STEAM Studios while other members made cards and decorations to sell, raising £250. They also raised £300 for the Hospice UK charity by selling bric-a-brac.

Year 12 student Kal, 16, said: “It was lovely to see so many people across the day supporting local craftspeople and some people took the opportunity to have a look around the building.”

Year 11 student Juliet, 15, said: “We’d like to organise more events like this and establish STEAM Studios as an events space too. We hope more students will also be able to sell their crafts in the future.”

Isobelle Cochrane and Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley.

 

Hull residents Tanyar and Simon Guzdek were among members of the public who attended the event.

Tanyar, who bought a print at the market, said: “We love fairs like this and it’s brilliant. We like to buy bespoke, one-off gifts as Christmas presents and this was the perfect opportunity to do that.”

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We’re so proud of the Arts Council students who have put so much into making this event a great success. They’ve also spent several evenings making items to sell.

“It was fantastic to welcome lots of visitors, including local residents, and the day went really well.”

Host of leading employers back Hull’s outstanding UTC to inspire next generation

Nine more leading businesses have become employer partners of Hull’s Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC), inspiring students and equipping them with industry-critical skills to form their future workforces.

Cranswick, Fisher Security, Fresh Design International, Giacom, MRT and Triton Power have become Major Partners of the school, while Alan Wood and Partners, Influence Media and KLAAFE Limited have become Partners.

This brings the UTC’s total number of employer partners to almost 50, uniting dozens of outstanding businesses from across the region to offer students exciting future career opportunities.

The school’s sponsors help develop and deliver employer-led projects, offer work experience, paid employment and apprenticeship opportunities and lead the UTC’s careers, advice and guidance programme in Founding Partner, Major Partner and Partner roles.

Major Partners also play a key role in helping to develop the Ofsted “Outstanding”-rated school’s unique employer-led curriculum.

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal – Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, centre, middle row, with representatives from Cranswick, Fisher Security, Fresh Design International, Giacom, MRT, Triton Power, Alan Wood and Partners, Influence Media and KLAAFE.

 

Cranswick is one of the UK’s leading food business, with revenues over £2.3bn. The company produces a wide range of fresh food, from pork and chicken to charcuterie meats, olives and houmous in 22 production facilities. Cranswick has a growing farming operation and has recently acquired a pet food business.

Sam Foster, Group Talent Acquisition Officer at Cranswick, said: “As one of Hull’s largest employers, we’re passionate about engaging with young talent and showcasing the variety of career opportunities available within our industry-leading sustainable food business.

“We’ve taken on three Ron Dearing UTC students in engineering, tech and new product development apprenticeship and degree apprenticeship roles, which has been a great success, and we’re looking forward to contributing to the school’s curriculum as a Major Partner.”

Giacom is one of the UK’s foremost distributors of comms, cloud, hardware and billing services, supporting a nationwide partner network of over 5,000 local, expert technology providers.

Announced as the Comms National Awards’ Best Wholesale Service Provider in September 2023, Giacom provides a portfolio of IT products and services to its partners, who in turn support thousands of small and medium-sized businesses across the UK.

Ron Dearing UTC has welcomed nine more businesses as employer partners.

 

Richard Wieczorek, Senior Technology Talent Acquisition Partner at Giacom, said: “Ron Dearing UTC is an amazing place which provides a really good mix of academic and hands-on learning.

“The energy and buzz from the students is really impressive and we’re devising an apprenticeship programme to employ some students in traditional IT or software engineering roles in the future.

“A significant portion of Giacom’s cloud services division has long been based in the Hull area, and partnering with Ron Dearing UTC takes our investment in the local area and the future of our business to the next level.”

Beverley-based MRT designs, develops and manufactures a wide range of revolutionary electronic distress signals, man overboard safety solutions and safety equipment for offshore industries. Its mission is to protect and save lives in the renewables, oil, gas and offshore sectors.

MRT is the Hull-based electronics division of Wescom Group, a world-renowned manufacturer of specialist pyrotechnic products for the global marine industries, producing more than 2.5 million units annually.

Students learning in Ron Dearing UTC’s new STEAM Studios expansion.

 

Ryan Pettit, Managing Director of MRT, said: “We want to create a pipeline of future talent within our business who can learn from our experienced team and arm the students with the skills we want to see in our future workforce.

“We’re growing our business and we’re excited for work-ready young people to join us and build their careers here. We’ve recently taken on three production engineering apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC and they’re settling in very well.

“The UTC is an incredible place with an outstanding working and learning environment and we’re very proud to become a Major Partner.”

Ron Dearing UTC caters for students aged between 14 and 19, offering a unique model of employer-led education with a specialist focus on creative arts, digital technology, computing and engineering.

The school has recently expanded its capacity from 600 to 800 students following funding from the Department for Education’s (DfE) Post-16 Capacity Fund. Hull’s former Hull Central Fire Station has been transformed into STEAM Studios, the school’s new dedicated centre for creativity.

Hull’s employer-led school is rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted.

 

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal – Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “We’re delighted to welcome nine fantastic new businesses as employer partners of Ron Dearing UTC, adding to the dozens of other leading companies who continue to support our school and students.

“We’re expanding our employer engagement programme, so we cross an even more diverse breadth of sectors within engineering, creative, computing, science and healthcare industries, opening up further opportunities for our students.

“Our employer partners provide world-class careers advice, guidance and destinations, and we’re thrilled to be associated with them all.”