UTC employer partners embrace termly news and networking event

Representatives from Ron Dearing UTC’s employer partners attended an event to find out how they can help shape the curriculum this year and celebrate the school’s recent successes.

The school’s second employer breakfast meeting saw staff from almost 20 businesses attend and enjoy breakfast and networking, including Founding Partners, Major Partners and Partners.

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, told attendees how they can help to influence the curriculum, including attending open evenings, leading student CV workshops and mock interview sessions, giving inspiring industry-led talks and offering opportunities to students seeking apprenticeships.

He also shared the school’s recent outstanding A-level, GCSE and technical qualification results, highlighting the record achievements and celebrating fantastic outcomes despite the challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Employer partners taking part in the breakfast meeting.

 

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley provided the employer partners with an update on the school’s expansion plans to meet increasing demand for places.

Following significant funding from the Department for Education (DfE), work to remodel the existing school building is now complete and work is underway to transform the former Central Fire Station next door to the school.

The former fire station will include an exhibition centre, three art and design studios, two digital studios, a sixth form centre and additional office space.

Glenn said: “We’re holding the employer breakfast meetings once every term and it was fantastic to see such a good turnout for our second event.

“It’s a really exciting time for Ron Dearing UTC and we’re going from strength to strength. We’re incredibly grateful to our employer partners for their continued support to inspire our students.”

Ron Dearing UTC’s employer partners listening to Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering.

 

Kristiana Klasena, Talent Acquisition Specialist at KCOM, one of Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partners, said: “The employer breakfast meetings keep us up to date with Ron Dearing UTC’s latest news and keep us connected.

“We’re looking forward to taking on more talented Ron Dearing UTC apprentices in the near future.”

Rachael Taylor, Junior Talent Acquisition and HR Advisor at rural internet specialist Quickline, one of Ron Dearing UTC’s Major Partners, said: “It’s our first year as a Major Partner and it’s good for us to network with other businesses to see how they approach taking on apprentices from the UTC.

“We want to develop the younger generation to help them understand what opportunities are available to them in the future.”

Dedicated culture programme launched to broaden students’ horizons

Ron Dearing UTC students experienced a week of engaging and exciting events at the launch of a dedicated programme to promote culture and creativity.

The aim of the programme is to give students access to art, literature, film, music, politics, science and more, opening their eyes to the wider world and broadening their horizons beyond the classroom.

The launch week saw jugglers, an opera singer, a pianist, acrobats, fire performers, circus workshops and artists fill the students’ breaks and lunchtimes with performances, art and culture to inspire them.

Year 10 students will have one dedicated Cultural Capital lesson per week throughout the academic year and any related content will be flagged to all students with a logo as they continue their studies and become more aware of their cultural learning.

Chris Berry, Assistant Principal Cultural capital at Ron Dearing UTC, who is leading the Cultural Capital programme, said: “Cultural Capital is the golden thread that runs through education. It’s about giving students access to the best that has been thought and said.

Ron Dearing UTC students enjoying the launch of Cultural Capital.

 

“Cultural Capital is clearly visible in all lessons, including Science, Maths and Engineering, and we want to draw attention to that to encourage our students to look beyond the curriculum. In Maths, for example, it’s important students know John Venn came from Hull and invented the Venn Diagram.

“These lessons will be informative and enjoyable and we can plan the programme around what’s going on in the world.

“School isn’t just about passing exams. It’s about who we are, who we want to become and enjoying the world around us. We do things differently at Ron Dearing UTC and students can expect the unexpected. If they become interested in just one element, that’s our mission accomplished.”

The Cultural Capital programme will include various elements including music and writing linked to Black History Month, LGBTQIA+ art over the years, lessons focused on the influence of war on art and culture, and a look at self-help books during Mental Health Awareness Week.

Students will not be tested or assessed on Cultural Capital and will be encouraged to embrace and enjoy it.

Cultural Capital will give Ron Dearing UTC students give access to art, literature, film, music, politics, science and more.

 

Various guest speakers and artists are booked for the coming months, including Grand Slam Poetry Champion Harry Baker, and a flood mitigation event is planned for students to attend at the Houses of Parliament with Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy later this year.

Cultural Capital is part of Ron Dearing UTC’s Horizons programme, which also focuses on professionalism, relationships and wellbeing.

Chris said: “Our students are not just leaving school with great qualifications, they’re also leaving with confidence and cultural awareness. Culture is out there for them to access and enjoy and we wholeheartedly support that.

“Everyone enjoyed the launch and the feedback was excellent. We’re grateful to all the performers and artists who joined us throughout the week.”

While Cultural Capital lessons will initially be focused on Year 10, the programme could be rolled out to include Year 11 students in the future.

Year 10 Ron Dearing UTC students will have one dedicated Cultural Capital lesson per week.

 

Year 10 student Jim Hagar, 14, said: “Cultural Capital will help us broaden our horizons and help us to be more appealing to employers in the future. It’s really interesting and all of the artists and performers were great.”

Fellow Year 10 student Heidi Bishoprick, 14, said: “The week introduced me to a lot of new things which I didn’t realise I’d find interesting. The fire performer was really good and the week broadened my idea of what culture is.”

Spencer Group grows workforce with 14 more apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC

Leading engineering business Spencer Group has continued to grow its workforce by taking on 14 more talented apprentices from Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC).

Spencer Group, which is one of Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partners, has employed 42 apprentices from Hull’s employer-led school in just three years.

The relationship between the school and one of Hull’s leading businesses has created a productive pipeline of fresh talent for the engineering industry as well as opening up exciting and rewarding opportunities for dozens of young people.

Former Ron Dearing UTC students now make up a significant proportion of the company’s workforce of more than 300 directly-employed staff.

Sarah Pashley, Principal of Ofsted “Outstanding”-rated Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It’s fantastic to see another 14 of our students embarking on such brilliant apprenticeships with Spencer Group.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the ongoing support of our Founding and Employer Partners who continue to offer these exciting career opportunities.”

Charlie Spencer OBE, Executive Chairman and founder of Spencer Group, with Yvonne Moir, HR Director at Spencer Group, left, and Sarah Pashley, Principal of Ron Dearing UTC, right, and the 14 new Spencer Group apprentices.

 

The latest entry-level roles include nine Engineering Apprentices, one Mechanical Apprentice, one Electrical Apprentice, two Marketing Apprentices and one Scheduling Apprentice.

Charlie Spencer OBE, Executive Chairman and founder of Spencer Group, said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to take on so many apprentices from Ron Dearing again this year.

“They’ve had an outstanding experience at Ron Dearing, which has prepared them for the world of work with its employer-led model of education, and now they’ll learn from excellent mentors at Spencer Group during the next stage of their development.”

Spencer Group employed 14 apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC three years ago, followed by a further five two years ago and nine last year, with many more planned for future intakes.

Yvonne Moir, HR Director at Spencer Group, said: “We became involved with the UTC at the beginning because we wanted access to a pipeline of talented young people who would develop their careers with us. Those hopes have come to fruition and our original apprentices are now excelling in permanent roles.

“There’s no doubt that the education and employability skills instilled in students from the moment they join Ron Dearing UTC help them to hit the ground running with us as work-ready employees.”

From left, new Spencer Group apprentices Ellen White, Ryan Harrison, Luke Blackwood and Declan Longley.

 

Existing apprentices and former Ron Dearing UTC students who have completed their apprenticeships with Spencer Group help mentor the new intake each year.

Harrison Ryan is looking forward to developing his skills and knowledge after joining Spencer Group as an Engineering Apprentice.

He said: “It’s amazing to be here. Spencer Group is a brilliant company to work for and I can’t wait to get going.”

Ellen White, who has joined as a Marketing Apprentice, said: “I’m so excited to start. They look after you at Spencer Group and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in.”

Luke Blackwood has also joined as an Engineering Apprentice.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic,” he said. “Ron Dearing was a brilliant experience. All the teachers push you to be the best you can and they treat you like an adult, which really helps the transition to the world of work.”

Fellow Engineering Apprentice Declan Longley added: “I’m really excited to be starting and to learn more about the business and the industry.”

Entrepreneurial workshop inspires Ron Dearing UTC students to aim for the top in business

Ron Dearing UTC students have completed a pioneering workshop to learn top tips which have helped some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs turn their ideas into thriving businesses.

Smarter Britain is a new business created by father and son entrepreneurs, adventurers and speakers Kevin and Matt Gaskell and ultimately aims to support entrepreneurs to build 1,000 new businesses in 1,000 days in Britain.

The two-day workshop, held at Ron Dearing UTC, was attended by Year 11, 12 and 13 students during the summer holidays and provided students with practical advice and tools to help them kick-start a successful business and build their own company.

Kevin was recognised as one of the UK’s top 40 leaders after driving the turnaround at industry giants Porsche, leading five years of growth at BMW and guiding the iconic Lamborghini brand.

He has built and transformed 15 companies since setting up his first internationally successful technology business and has now established Smarter Britain with Matt to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Students taking part in the workshop with Kevin and Matt Gaskell.

 

The workshop included learning more about the role of an entrepreneur, what a company is, how to build a marketing plan, business and financial planning, how to raise funding, understanding the market, team activities, business plan presentations and input from two leading entrepreneurs.

Graham Francis, owner of Cottingham-based Graham Francis Driving School, and Kate Goodman, owner of Reserve Wines in Manchester, told their success stories and shared how they became entrepreneurs, how they overcame challenges, what they would do differently if they started again and provided their best piece of advice for budding business founders.

Kevin, who has held Chief Executive Officer and Chairman positions for three decades, said: “We invited the Ron Dearing UTC students to build a plan for their own businesses and there were some really interesting ideas.

“They’re not thinking small – they’re thinking about serious businesses. Their ideas ranged from video games and sustainable clothing businesses to hydrogen-powered vehicle technology and solar-powered vehicles. I’m really impressed.

“These students have come along to this workshop during their summer holidays and that level of motivation and interest is immense.”

Smarter Britain follows a similar approach to an organisation Kevin is involved with in South Africa which has helped local entrepreneurs to create more than 3,000 new businesses.

Kevin and Matt also take a positive approach outside of their business interests. They have completed treks to both the North and South Poles and climbed some of the world’s highest mountains to raise money for cancer research. The father and son duo were also part of a five-person crew which set a new record for the fastest ever row across the Atlantic Ocean in 2020, raising funds to fight against plastics polluting the oceans.

Kevin Gaskell speaking to Ron Dearing UTC students.

 

Matt, who runs a leadership development business alongside Smarter Britain, said: “We can tailor the Smarter Britain workshop to different age groups. This was the first workshop we organised since we recently launched the business and the scale of the students’ ideas was amazing.”

Year 11 student Aoife Curran-Smirk, 15, who took part in the workshop, said: “We came up with the idea of a solar-powered vehicle business and built a plan around that. The workshop was eye-opening and I enjoyed learning how a proper business starts out and works.”

Fellow Year 11 student Mazin Amudi, 15, said: “We wanted to create a hydrogen-powered car company and we learnt how to start a business, promote it and persuade people to invest in it. I’d like to be an entrepreneur and the workshop was a great experience for me.”

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We have a great track record of preparing students for university and apprenticeships and this workshop specifically focuses on developing young entrepreneurs who want to start their own businesses.

“This is the start of developing and building on what we offer and we hope to see a number of start-up companies coming out of Ron Dearing UTC in the future.

“We’re looking forward to working with Kevin and Matt as we roll this out across the school as part of our sixth form employability programme and to other UTCs and schools in the future.”

To find out more about Smarter Britain, visit www.smarterbritain.co.uk

Ron Dearing UTC students celebrate excellent GCSEs

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) students are celebrating outstanding GCSE and Level 2 technical results.

The grades surpassed expectations and significantly exceeded targets despite the 150 Year 11 cohort spending a substantial part of the past two years studying online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Harvey Blackshaw, 16, achieved eight GCSEs including grade 9 in Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics and Computer Science, as well as a Level 2 Distinction in Systems Control in Engineering.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley celebrating with students.

 

He will now progress to Ron Dearing’s sixth form to study Physics, Maths, Further Maths and Engineering, following his ambitions of securing an engineering degree apprenticeship.

Harvey said: “I didn’t think I’d achieve these results because of so much online learning during the pandemic.

“But we have so many resources at Ron Dearing UTC and our great teachers have been so willing to help us every step of the way. I’m really looking forward to sixth form.”

Harvey Blackshaw.

 

Molly Warburton, 16, achieved six GCSEs including grade 6 in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English Literature and Art, as well as a Level 2 Merit in Engineering.

She will now go on to study Biology, Chemistry and English at Ron Dearing’s sixth form.

Molly said: “I was so nervous about my results, especially Maths, but I’m very happy. I worked so hard to complete the higher papers in my science exams and I’ve had great support from the teachers.

Molly Warburton.

 

“It’s brilliant that we have access to Employer Partners because it gives us an advantage and opens up a lot of opportunities. I really enjoy being a Ron Dearing UTC student and I’d like to go to university to study dentistry in the future.”

Lloyd Redshaw achieved seven GCSEs including grade 7 in Biology, Maths, English Language and Computer Science, as well as Level 2 Distinction in Systems Control in Engineering.

He will now go on to study Double A-level Biology and Systems Control in Engineering at Ron Dearing’s sixth form in September, as he aims to become a microbiologist in the future.

 

He said: “I want to work in developing vaccines and finding cures for illnesses in the future. Coming to Ron Dearing UTC is helping me with that because the focus on science is great.”

Francesca Wilkes-Oliver, 16, achieved eight GCSEs including Level 9 in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, as well as a Level 2 Distinction in Engineering Design.

She is staying at Ron Dearing UTC for her A-levels, and will study Physics, Maths, Biology and OCR Engineering.

Francesca Wilkes-Oliver.

 

Francesca said: “I was delighted and relieved when I opened my results. I’ve loved being at Ron Dearing so far and I’m really pleased to be staying on for A-levels.”

Record sixth form numbers at Ron Dearing UTC after outstanding GCSE results

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) is celebrating outstanding GCSE and Level 2 technical results as the school prepares to take on its highest ever number of sixth form students.

The grades surpassed expectations and significantly exceeded targets despite the 150 Year 11 cohort spending a substantial part of the past two years studying online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Almost 500 students applied for places at the school’s sixth form this year – the highest number of applications received since it opened its doors in 2017.

More than 350 students will now complete the sixth form across Years 12 and 13 from September, including 120 existing students who secured top marks progressing into Year 12, cementing the growing popularity of the school’s unique employer-led model of education.

Highlights of the GCSE and Level 2 technical results include:

  • 81% of students achieved grades 4-9 in both English and Maths
  • 62% of students achieved grades 5-9 in English and Maths
  • 86% of students achieved grades 4-9 in Sciences
  • 61% of students achieved grades 5-9 in Sciences
  • 95% of students achieved grades 5-9 in technical specialisms, including Art and Design, Creative iMedia, Digital Technology and Engineering
Ron Dearing UTC is celebrating excellent GCSE results.

 

The excellent results come one week after Ofsted ‘Outstanding’-rated Ron Dearing sixth form students achieved record A-level and Level 3 technical results for the fifth consecutive year, despite the disruption caused to their education by Covid-19. This followed the students’ first external exams, as their GCSEs in 2020 were based on teacher assessed grades.

The growth in the UTC’s sixth form numbers comes as work to expand and increase its capacity is underway.

The first phase of remodelling the existing building in Hull’s Kingston Square is due to be completed by the end of August.

This will include additional independent study space and new science laboratories, enabling the UTC to take on an additional 80 Year 12 students from September. The intake will increase to a further 120 students by September 2023, taking Ron Dearing’s overall capacity to 800.

The expansion plans also involve creating a new hi-tech learning centre in the former Central Fire Station next to the school, including a large sixth form centre.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “Just like with our Year 13 results last week, our Year 11 results are even better than the very strong teacher assessed grades our students achieved last year.

“The exam boards have stated they have adjusted the grade boundaries so that the number of top grades and passes awarded falls midway between the last set of external exams in 2019 and the teacher assessed grades. It means these results are even more impressive.

“It’s an amazing achievement considering all the challenges our students have had to overcome due to the pandemic and they have demonstrated incredible determination and resilience.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley.

 

“I’m absolutely thrilled they have achieved the fantastic results they deserve and delighted they can go on to follow the courses they want to study next year.

“The overwhelming majority of students have chosen to continue their learning in our sixth form. It’s a huge relief we secured funding to extend our building and create the extra space we need to fit them all in!”

Ron Dearing UTC caters for students aged 14 to 19 and has a specialist focus on digital technology, art and design, creative digital and engineering. While 120 students will progress into Year 12 next month, 27 have secured a mixture of apprenticeships or places at further education colleges and three will embark on careers in the Armed Forces.

Richard Martin, Chair of the Governing Board at Ron Dearing UTC and Non-Executive Director at Major Partner Arco, said: “These brilliant results are further proof that our unique, employer-engaged approach to learning really works.

“Having fantastic education leaders, teachers and support staff working in close partnership with the region’s leading businesses not only ensures our students develop exceptional employability skills, but also supports them to achieve top class exam results.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the vital role our parents and carers play in supporting their children and our school. They’ve worked with us every step of the way.

“The students have met every challenge the pandemic has thrown at them and come out on top. They are amazing and truly deserve this success.”

Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partners are the University of Hull and leading local employers KCOM, RB, Siemens Gamesa, Smith+Nephew and Spencer Group. The school is also supported by Hull City Council alongside many other Major Partners and Partners.

Former Ron Dearing UTC student scaling the heights of the offshore wind industry

A former Ron Dearing UTC student has told of her excitement after completing the first year of an apprenticeship to become an Offshore Wind Turbine Technician.

Ryah Russell, 19, from west Hull, is completing the three-year apprenticeship with RWE Renewables, the third largest renewable energy generator in the UK and one of the largest electricity generators in the worldwide offshore wind sector and solar industry.

Studying at Coleg Llandrillo, a college in Llandudno, North Wales, Ryah has recently completed two weeks work experience at the Triton Knoll wind farm off the Lincolnshire coast during her summer break from college.

She shadowed her mentor, Dec Clarke, working 12-hour shifts to carry out maintenance tasks on wind turbines including tightening bolts, carrying out various checks and changing components.

Ryah, who achieved a double Distinction* in Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC before leaving in summer 2021, said: “I absolutely love my apprenticeship and it’s such a good experience.

Ryah Russell at the Triton Knoll wind farm off the Lincolnshire coast.

 

“My two weeks on shift have made me want to carry on working and putting my skills into practice, even though I’ll be back at college and won’t be back on shift until next summer.

“During my shift, I lived on a Service Operational Vessel (SOV) in the North Sea and I had my own cabin. We call it a floating hotel, as it has a cinema and a gym.

“I was taken to the wind turbine by boat and the Authorised Technician carried out the safety checks before isolating the turbine and going through the list of jobs each day.

“How many people can say they’ve been to the top of a wind turbine? You definitely need a head for heights but it doesn’t feel so high when you’re inside – unless you look down the ladder!

“RWE Renewables is a great company to work for. I even had the opportunity to go the Houses of Parliament for a renewables event, meeting MPs and networking.”

Ryah is living in shared student accommodation in Chester with 11 other RWE Renewables Offshore Wind Turbine Technician apprentices from as far afield as Newcastle and Brighton and travels to college Monday to Friday.

Ryah has completed two weeks work experience at the Triton Knoll wind farm.

 

She spent the first assignment-based year of her apprenticeship learning about the mechanical and electrical elements of engineering, while the second year will see her focus more on wind turbines, including hydraulics, with exams to complete.

She will start work at Triton Knoll in her third year, working two weeks on and two weeks off and completing a logbook of tasks, and will complete the course with an NVQ Level 3 in Wind Turbine Operations and Maintenance, as well as a Level 3 Diploma in Wind Turbine Maintenance.

Ryah, who joined Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form in September 2019, said completing her studies at the Ofsted Outstanding-rated school set her up for success.

She said: “I knew I didn’t want a desk job. When Ron Dearing UTC’s Employer Partners came into school to speak to us, I found out more about apprenticeships and becoming an Offshore Wind Turbine Technician.

“Ron Dearing UTC helped us with mock interviews and interview skills and they really want you to succeed. They check how you’re getting on with applications and the staff are lovely and so supportive.”

Ryah is thankful for the opportunities given to her by Ron Dearing UTC.

 

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It’s fantastic to see Ryah progressing so well in her apprenticeship and giving it her all, as she did with her studies at Ron Dearing UTC.

“This is an excellent opportunity with a brilliant company in a rapidly-growing and important industry. We’re looking forward to seeing more of our students following similar paths towards exciting future careers.”

Students’ delight at securing outstanding A-level and technical results

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) students have spoken of their delight after achieving outstanding A-level and Level 3 technical results.

This year’s results are even higher than the ones students achieved last year, when exams were suspended due to the pandemic and replaced with teacher assessed grades.

Kelham Hillier.

 

The school’s many success stories include Kelham Hillier, who has become the first Ron Dearing student to secure a place at the University of Cambridge after securing the highest possible grades in his chosen subjects.

He achieved a Distinction* in Engineering, A* in Maths, A* in Further Maths and A* in Physics, which confirmed his place to study a degree in Engineering at the prestigious university.

Kelham, 18, said: “I’ve really enjoyed my four years at Ron Dearing UTC. It’s given me an advantage because I can speak about engineering with first-hand experience after working with the school’s Employer Partners.

“I’m really looking forward to going to Cambridge now. It’s very exciting.”

Evie Hadfield.

 

Evie Hadfield achieved Distinction* in Art, Distinction* in Engineering and A in Maths and will go on to study a Project Management degree apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce in Derby.

Evie, 18, said: “My interview for Rolls-Royce was a few hours long and had three stages, including a formal interview and a presentation.

“There wasn’t anything they put in front of me that made me uncomfortable and that’s thanks to Ron Dearing UTC. They were a massive help.”

Haitam Amudi.

 

Haitam Amudi, 18, achieved an A in Biology, B in Chemistry and B in Maths.

He will now progress on to the University of Strathclyde, where he will study Prosthetics and Orthotics, and said: “I’ve had a great time at Ron Dearing and I’m sad to see it end, but I’m excited to go to Strathclyde and explore Glasgow.”

Kate Hickingbottom.

 

Kate Hickingbottom, 18, has secured a five-year degree apprenticeship in Research and Development at world-leading consumer health and hygiene company Reckitt, one of the school’s Founding Partners.

She achieved a Distinction* in Engineering, A* in Chemistry and A* in Biology. Kate said: “The Ron Dearing staff have really motivated us, given us extra help, prepared us for exams and supported us with any worries we’ve had.

“The teachers have been there every step of the way and helped us believe we could do it.”

Alan Strauhs.

 

Alan Strauhs, 18, secured an A in Maths, A in AS Further Maths and double Distinction* in Digital Technology.

He is three weeks into an apprenticeship at Hull-based smart tech firm Sauce, a Major Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, and said: “I’m delighted. Sauce is a great company to work for and I’m involved in some really exciting projects.”

Peace Umudjoro.

 

Peace Umudjoro, 18, achieved a Distinction* in Art, Distinction in Engineering and C in Maths and will now go on to study a four-year degree in Architecture at Birmingham City University.

She said: “My whole family is moving to Birmingham and my mum has bought a house, so I had to get the grades!”

“The teachers helped us all the way through Covid and kept us focused on where we needed to be. I couldn’t have done this without them.”

Ron Dearing UTC students overcome Covid disruption to achieve record A-level results

Sixth form students at Ron Dearing UTC have achieved record A-level and Level 3 technical results for the fifth consecutive year, despite the disruption caused to their education by Covid-19.

This year’s results at the pioneering school are even higher than the outstanding grades students achieved last year, when exams were suspended due to the pandemic and replaced with teacher assessed grades.

Students and staff at Ron Dearing UTC celebrating the school’s outstanding A-level and technical qualification results

 

Half of the 128 Year 13 cohort have secured a place at university, including with the Russell Group of elite higher education institutions. The other half are destined for apprenticeships with leading businesses across the country, including with the UTC’s Founding and Employer Partners.

Highlights of the Ofsted ‘Outstanding’-rated school’s results include:

  • 100% pass rate for the fifth consecutive year
  • 55% of all grades are A or A*, an increase of 13% since 2021
  • 93% of grades are A* to C, an increase of 1% compared to last year
  • The average grade for A-levels is a B+, in line with 2021 teacher assessed grades
  • The average grade for technical qualifications, including Engineering, Computing, Art and Design, and Creative iMedia, is a Distinction*, the equivalent to grade A at A-level and up from a Distinction last year.

The results follow the students’ first external exams, as their GCSEs in 2020 were based on teacher assessed grades because of Covid-19.

Ron Dearing UTC has achieved a 100% pass rate for A-levels and Level 3 technical qualifications for the fifth successive year

 

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We always knew that the return to exams would be exceptionally challenging for our students and for every young person across the country. Our Year 13 cohort’s education has been significantly disrupted by the pandemic.

“We were determined that we wouldn’t allow Covid-19 to jeopardise our students’ futures and our staff, Employer Partners, parents and students have worked phenomenally hard to ensure they remained engaged with learning during lockdowns and upon returning to face-to-face learning.

“We closely monitored their progress, identified any gaps and implemented highly-effective catch-up programmes. We also monitored their mental health and wellbeing and provided support where needed.

“Most importantly, we developed our students’ self-confidence, resilience and determination to succeed, despite the barriers they had to cope with.

“It’s a huge credit to them that they’ve responded so impressively, performed brilliantly and achieved such outstanding results. A massive well done to them all.”

Kelham Hillier, 18, has become the first Ron Dearing student to secure a place at the University of Cambridge

 

The school’s many success stories include Kelham Hillier, 18, who has become the first Ron Dearing student to secure a place at the University of Cambridge.

Rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in its first official inspection in 2020, the school caters for students aged 14 to 19 and has a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering, offering a unique employer-led model of education.

This September will see the UTC’s largest ever intake of students, with work to expand and increase its capacity underway.

The UTC, which currently has 600 students and has been oversubscribed every year since it opened its doors in 2017, will welcome an additional 80 students for the next academic year. The intake will increase to a further 120 students by September 2023, taking Ron Dearing’s overall capacity to 800.

Work to remodel the existing building in Kingston Square, Hull city centre, is almost complete while a new hi-tech learning centre is also being created in the former Central Fire Station next to the school.

Richard Martin, Chair of the Governing Board at Ron Dearing UTC, has congratulated Year 13 students on their outstanding exam results

 

Richard Martin, Chair of the Governing Board at Ron Dearing UTC and Non-Executive Director at Major Partner Arco, said: “This year’s results are truly outstanding and I’d like to congratulate all Year 13 students for their unwavering hard work, determination and resilience.

“I’d also like to thank the entire fantastic Ron Dearing UTC team, our Founding and Employer Partners and parents and carers who’ve gone above and beyond to support each and every one of our students to be successful.

“Staff stepped in to cover colleague absences during the pandemic, which meant we didn’t use any supply teachers. We’re incredibly lucky to have such a driven and dedicated team.”

Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partners are the University of Hull and leading local employers KCOM, RB, Siemens Gamesa, Smith+Nephew and Spencer Group. The school is also supported by Hull City Council alongside many other Major Partners and Partners.

Ron Dearing UTC student flying high after securing pilot’s licence

A Ron Dearing UTC student has become one of the youngest people in the country to secure a pilot’s licence.

Liam Garrett, 18, has gained his Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) after working hundreds of hours in a supermarket to fund his dream.

Sixth form student Liam worked 900 hours as an assistant in the home shopping department at Asda in Hessle Road, west Hull, to pay for 49 hours of practical and theory-based training – four hours more than the 45 hours required to earn his licence.

Liam trained with Hull Aero Club at Beverley Airfield in Leven, East Yorkshire, every Sunday since April 2021. He used 90% of his wages to cover the £147 per hour lessons.

Liam said: “I’ve wanted to fly since my seventh birthday when I was allowed into the cockpit on a flight home from Lanzarote. The plane was on the stand and the captain let me push the throttle forward a little bit.

Ron Dearing UTC student Liam Garrett at the controls after passing his Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL).

 

“I sat back in my seat and the captain announced it was my birthday, so everyone sang to me.

“I spoke to a few pilots online during lockdown and I knew that if I worked hard, I could learn to fly, so I booked my first lesson and never looked back.

“It didn’t sink in that I’d passed until my licence landed on the doormat. I absolutely love flying because you’re away from everything, you’re completely focused on it and one hour feels like 10 minutes.

“It’s quite unusual for someone my age to gain this licence. I learnt to fly a plane before I passed my driving test!”

Liam learnt to fly in a two-seater Cessna 152 light aircraft and has now progressed to a four-seater as he continues his training.

Liam Garrett, a sixth form student at Ron Dearing UTC, trained to become a pilot with Hull Aero Club at Beverley Airfield in Leven, East Yorkshire.

 

His ultimate dream is to become a commercial airline pilot for a major flight company and he is already planning the next required 180 hours in the sky at Doncaster Sheffield Airport Flying School over the next two years to fulfil his ambitions.

Liam said: “I’m so excited and can’t wait to fly a twin engine commercial aircraft. In another two years I want to be in the cockpit of a commercial aircraft carrying passengers.

“Nottingham is the furthest I’ve flown so far. Determination definitely took over during Covid and I’m really proud of myself for pursuing it.

“My computing teachers at Ron Dearing UTC have been really supportive and interested in what I’ve been doing. It’s nice to have that support at school from both students and teachers.”

Anyone can fly a plane or helicopter as a passenger or student as long as there is a licenced pilot in the cockpit to take control if required. However, you must be 16-years-old before you can take a solo flight and 17-years-old before you can earn a Private Pilot’s Licence.

Liam’s training included more than 10 hours of solo flight. He passed his theory exams with an average mark of 98%, passed his skill test on May 12th this year and was awarded his licence soon after.

Liam Garrett, 18, proudly displaying his new pilot’s licence.

 

His examiner, Peter Spencer, Head of Training at Hull Aero Club, said: “It’s a tremendous achievement for anyone to gain a Private Pilot’s Licence but all the more so at just 18-years-old. Liam joins a select group who have accomplished this as a teenager.

“We’re glad he has chosen Hull Aero Club to take the first step towards becoming a professional pilot and wish him every success in that endeavour.”

Liam’s mum Debbie, who recently flew with him, said she is proud of her son and his drive to succeed.

She said: “Liam has worked so hard. I’m not a big fan of flying but he is really confident and he made me feel at ease. He is very determined and we’re so proud of him.”

Sarah Pashley, Principal at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “This is an amazing achievement for Liam and certainly something to be proud of.

“We actively encourage our students to take part in various enrichment activities outside of the classroom to broaden their horizons and soak up culture, music, sport, arts and more.

“Liam is a shining example of what can be achieved and we’re very proud he’s using his drive and ambition outside of school to follow his dream and reach his goals.”