Ron Dearing UTC students celebrate GCSE success as demand for places soars

Students at Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) have once again achieved exemplary GCSE and Level 2 technical qualification results, excelling in their studies despite unprecedented challenging times.

Highlights of the GCSE results achieved by the employer-led school’s 155 Year 11 students include:

  • 87% of students achieved grades 4-9 in both English and Maths
  • 60% of students secured grades 5-9 in English and Maths

Students studying the school’s specialisms have also performed incredibly well, with a significant number achieving the highest grades:

  • 57% of students achieved Distinction* or Distinction in Digital Technology
  • 53% achieved Distinction* or Distinction in Engineering Design
  • 30% were awarded Distinction* or Distinction in Engineering Systems and Control
  • 30% of students achieved Distinction* or Distinction in Creative iMedia
Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley celebrating with GCSE students


Due to Ron Dearing’s growing excellent reputation, competition for places in the school’s Sixth Form has been even more intense than previous years, with almost 400 students applying for the 150 places in Year 12 for this coming September.

Peter Sword, 16, achieved six GCSEs all at grade 9, including Biology, Chemistry and Physics, as well as a Distinction* in Engineering Systems and Control and a Distinction* in Digital Tech.

He is returning to Ron Dearing to study A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and English at Sixth Form as he works towards a career in genetics.

Peter said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic with my results. I thought I might get a few 8 grades – I didn’t expect them to all be grade 9!

“I’m coming back to the Sixth Form because this is just a brilliant school. It’s very professional and I feel that this is the best place for me to help me achieve my ambitions.”

Peter Sword celebrating his outstanding GCSE results.


Twins Freya and Yaqub Ilyas, 16, were also delighted with their results.

Freya achieved seven GCSEs, including grade 8 in Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics and English Language, and a Distinction in Engineering.

She is now looking forward to studying Chemistry, Biology and Maths at Ron Dearing UTC’s Sixth Form and hopes to become a paediatric doctor in the future.

Freya said: “Ron Dearing UTC has helped me to progress and enjoy my subjects more. I’m looking forward to the challenge of Sixth Form because I need A grades to go to medical school.”

Yaqub achieved seven GCSEs, including grade 9 in Physics and Maths and grade 8 in Biology and Chemistry, as well as Distinctions in Creative iMedia and Digital Tech.

He is also returning to Ron Dearing’s Sixth Form and will study Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry.

He said: “I’m delighted. Ron Dearing is just such a good place to be and I love it here.”

Double delight for twins Freya and Yaqub Ilyas.


Serghei Glinca, 16, achieved six GCSEs, including grade 9 in Chemistry, Maths and Physics, as well as a Distinction * in Digital Tech and a Distinction in Engineering Manufacturing.

He was also thrilled with his grade 7 in English Language, which is his third language after Romanian and Russian.

Serghei, who wants to work as an Aerospace Engineer in the future, is returning to Ron Dearing to study Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computer Science at Sixth Form.

He said: “I’m really pleased. I’ve worked hard for this and the staff here have helped me along the way.”

Serghei Glinca proudly showing off his results.


Isabella Acaster has her sights set on a career in medicine after achieving Distinctions in Engineering Manufacture and Engineering Systems and Control, as well as four grade 9 and two grade 8 GCSEs.

She will now study Biology, Chemistry, Maths and English at Ron Dearing’s Sixth Form.

Isabella, 16, said: “I’ve been looking forward to getting my results and I’m really happy with them.

“I have a great relationship with the Ron Dearing UTC teachers and they’re really supportive.”

Isabella Acaster achieved excellent GCSEs.


Cohen Morfitt was determined to collect his results in person despite needing crutches after injuring his ankle playing sport.

His effort was rewarded as he achieved six GCSEs, including four at grade 9, a Distinction in Engineering Design and a Distinction* in Digital Tech.

Cohen, 16, who will now study Maths, Further Maths and Double Computer Science at Ron Dearing Sixth Form, said: “I’m really happy because my grades are better than I expected.

“I’d like a job in computer programming in the future and I know I’m in the best place to achieve that.

“My grades have shot up since I moved to Ron Dearing UTC and the teachers are great. They’ve given me so much support to get to this point.”

Cohen Morfitt picking up his GCSE results.


Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “Yet again our students have demonstrated incredible determination and resilience in extremely difficult circumstances.

“I am so pleased that they have achieved such brilliant results, which have ensured that all of them are able to go on to exciting post-16 education opportunities.

“I’m also delighted that over 130 students have achieved the required grades and chosen to continue their education in our outstanding Sixth Form.”

Rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted in its first official inspection last year, Ron Dearing UTC caters for students aged between 14 and 19, offers a unique model of education with a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering.

Richard Martin, Chair of the Governing Board at Ron Dearing UTC and Digital Director at Major Partner Arco, said: “It’s fantastic to see how many existing Ron Dearing UTC students have chosen to stay on in our Sixth Form and continue their education with us.

“Employer-led learning works for them and they want more of it, as they can see its potential and how it is helping to pave the way for incredibly bright futures with amazing opportunities.”

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 and many other industry partners, including Arco, C4DI, Fujitsu, Green Port Hull, Ideal Boilers, INEOS Acetyls, Kohler Mira, Luxinar, NEC Software Solutions, Ørsted, Sauce, Sewell Group and Sonoco Trident.

Students who wish to join Ron Dearing UTC in September 2022 can apply online via from September 1st.

Ron Dearing UTC students’ delight at outstanding A-level and technical results

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) students have spoken of their delight after hitting new heights in A-level and Level 3 technical results, paving the way for bright futures in their chosen paths.

The majority of the 116 students are the first cohort to complete four years of study at the employer-led Hull school, as they joined as Year 10 students when it opened its doors in 2017.

Highlights of Ron Dearing UTC’s excellent A-level results include:

  • 100% pass rate – in line with 2019 and 2020.
  • 43% of all grades are A or A* – an increase of 3% on 2020.
  • 92% of grades are A* to C – an increase of 6% compared to last year.
  • Eighteen students have straight A* or A grades.

Ron Dearing UTC’s average grade for technical qualifications, including Engineering, Computing, Art and Design, and Creative Digital, is a Distinction, the equivalent to grade B at A-level.

Just under half of the year group are now destined for apprenticeships or employment with the school’s Employer Partners or other leading businesses, and just over half are taking up university places, including seven with the Russell Group of elite higher education institutions. The overwhelming majority have achieved the grades required for their first choice university.

Ron Dearing UTC students celebrating their success.


Identical twins Tom and Olly O’Loughlin recorded an amazing double success, achieving exactly the same grades in the same subjects. They will now move on to the same Civil Engineering apprenticeship at one of Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partners, Spencer Group.

The 18-year-old brothers were delighted to each achieve a double Distinction* in Engineering and a C in A-level Maths.

Tom said: “I feel really proud and I can’t wait to get started at Spencer Group. I’m interested in marine engineering in the future and this is the best start I could have.”

Olly said: “I’ve had so much one-to-one support at Ron Dearing UTC and it was a great decision to come here.

“I’m really looking forward to going into the world of work properly. I want to build bridges and Spencer Group is a leader in that field.”

Identical twins Tom and Olly O’Loughlin, who both achieved a double Distinction* in Engineering and a C in A-level Maths, with Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley.


Rana Maglad, 18, cried tears of joy as she opened her results envelope to reveal she had achieved a double Distinction* in Digital Tech and a Distinction* in Creative Digital. She will now study Graphic Design at the University of Hull.

Rana said: “I’m so happy, as my results are much better than I expected. The teachers at Ron Dearing UTC give 100% support to the students and they know how to help.

“It hasn’t been easy during the pandemic, but we all did the best we could and I’m really pleased with the outcome.”

Owen Millard, 18, achieved an A* in Maths, B in Further Maths, A in Physics and a Distinction* in Engineering. He has secured a Wind Turbine Technician apprenticeship at Founding Partner Siemens Gamesa.

“I’m really pleased with my results and am now looking forward to my apprenticeship, as I’ve always wanted to go straight to work,” said Owen. “I’ve done loads of research on Siemens Gamesa and it’s an amazing company to work for.

“Hull is the wind turbine capital of the world and I can stay at home to complete my apprenticeship, which is great.”

Rana Maglad achieved a double Distinction* in Digital Tech and a Distinction* in Creative Digital.


Ryah Russell, 18, achieved a double Distinction in Engineering and has secured a three-year Wind Turbine Technician apprenticeship with RWE Renewables. She will spend her first two years in Wales, before working offshore on the Triton Knoll wind farm, off the Lincolnshire coast, in her third year.

She said: “I’ve worked really hard for this and the staff at Ron Dearing have been there to support me all the way. They’ve really helped build my confidence, on top of the academic side of things.

“I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I first came here but it’s blown me away. It’s been amazing.”

Brandon Gurnell, 17, was delighted to achieve an A* in Maths, A in Physics and a Distinction* in Engineering. He is now looking forward to starting a three-year Operations Technician apprenticeship with Centrica.

“I came here to do Engineering and it has been fantastic,” said Brandon. “I’ve learned so much and gained a lot of confidence along the way.”

Ryah Russell achieved a double Distinction in Engineering and has secured a three-year wind turbine technician apprenticeship with RWE.


Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “This has been a very challenging year for our students, their parents and our staff, and I’m delighted the Year 13 students have achieved such amazing results.

“They’ve worked exceptionally hard and dealt with all the challenges that Covid-19 has thrown at them admirably. It’s a huge relief and a massive credit to them that they have maintained their engagement with learning throughout the past two years, both online and face-to-face in school.

“They’ve shown impressive maturity, resilience and dedication, and I’m extremely proud of each and every one of them. I’m also delighted they have secured such brilliant destinations. Results are extremely important but, ultimately, it’s about where the students go to and what they do once they’ve left school.

“They have exceptionally bright futures ahead of them and I can’t wait to see what they go on to achieve next.”

Rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted in its first official inspection last year, Ron Dearing UTC caters for students aged between 14 and 19 and has a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering, offering a unique model of education.

Richard Martin, Chair of the Governing Board at Ron Dearing UTC and Digital Director at Major Partner Arco, said: “This is the first cohort of students to spend four years at Ron Dearing UTC and they have achieved outstanding results despite continuing to study during exceptionally challenging times.

“I’m incredibly proud of all of the students and these results are further confirmation that employer-led learning and education works.”

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 and many other industry partners, including Arco, C4DI, Fujitsu, Green Port Hull, Ideal Boilers, INEOS Acetyls, Kohler Mira, Luxinar, NEC Software Solutions, Ørsted, Sauce, Sewell Group and Sonoco Trident.

Students learn about tackling climate change and develop new skills at summer school

Students at Ron Dearing UTC have been learning about how to tackle climate change at a special summer school.

Around 40 students either joining the school or moving from Year 10 to Year 11 in September took part in a week-long series of activities to raise their awareness of the climate emergency and develop valuable new skills.

The summer school had the theme “Five Days to Save the World” and began with a keynote address from author Robert Bell. It then saw the students take part in biology, physics and futurology workshops, all with an environmental focus. They also enjoyed a trip to The Deep to discover more about the planet.

In the second half of the week the students were tasked with designing their own sustainability-themed computer platform games, based on what they had learned in the first part of the week.

From left, Francesca Wilkes-Oliver, Grace Massam, Katie Hatfield and Adam Salter.


Working in teams, they adapted a basic template to create their own bespoke games. Each team then delivered a presentation on their game to the whole cohort.

Chris Berry, Lead Practitioner for English, led the week with Assistant Principal Joanne Campbell.

He said: “The students have all been brilliant and we saw them really flourish throughout the week.

“They developed a much broader understanding of environmental issues and the difference they can all make, worked in teams, delivered presentations and learned about computer coding, so it was a really valuable experience for them.”

Ron Dearing UTC students at The Deep.


Students Francesca Wilkes-Oliver and Adam Salter, along with their teammates Katie Hatfield and Grace Massam, created a game about saving animals from forest fires in Australia.

Francesca, 15, said: “The week really opened my eyes to what we can all do to help save the planet.

“It raised my awareness about the issues and the part we can play to tackle the problems. We can all make small changes which, together, can make a big difference.”

Adam, also 15, said: “It’s been a really interesting week and I’ve learned a lot. We’ve worked in teams and developed new skills, so it’s been great.”

Awards shine a light on outstanding student success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The full list of winners are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley with Charlie Spencer OBE.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Burst of colour as students embrace spray painting workshops

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

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

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

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

Ron Dearing UTC students getting creative.


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Students find out about exciting futures at careers expo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reckitt CEO and CBI Director General visit Hull’s Ron Dearing UTC

The CEO of Reckitt, the world’s leading consumer health, hygiene and nutrition business, has visited Hull’s Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC), reinforcing the company’s commitment to the region and its partnership with the pioneering school.

Laxman Narasimhan and Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Director General Tony Danker, together with other Reckitt senior executives, met Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley and students at the employer-led school following a visit to Reckitt’s factory and R&D facilities in Hull.

Reckitt CEO Laxman Narasimhan, right, with Dr Bruce Charlesworth, Reckitt Chief Medical Officer, Health, and Hull R&D Site Lead, Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley and students in the school’s Reckitt Innovation Centre.


They were joined on the visit by CBI leaders, including Chief UK Policy Director Matthew Fell and Regional Director, Yorkshire and the Humber, Beckie Hart.

Reckitt’s rich history and heritage in Hull stretches back to 1840 when Isaac Reckitt founded a starch mill on the site in Dansom Lane where the business operates to this day.

From those humble beginnings Reckitt has grown to become the company behind many iconic household products, such as Dettol, Airwick, Lemsip, Gaviscon, Nurofen, Veet and Durex. The company employs more than 40,000 people in over 60 countries, including over 1,500 in Hull.

Visitors from Reckitt and the CBI are quizzed by Ron Dearing UTC students during their visit to Hull’s employer-led school.


In recent years Reckitt has invested £200m in the city, including the opening in December 2019 of a state-of-the-art Science and Innovation Centre and significant upgrades to manufacturing facilities.

Reckitt has also shown its commitment to developing a new pipeline of scientific and technical talent in the region through a number of education initiatives, including being an active Founding Partner of Ron Dearing UTC.

As a Founding Partner, Reckitt helps to shape the curriculum, sets real life industry projects for students to work on, offers guidance, advice and mentorship to learners as they prepare for the world of work or university, and provides work experience and apprenticeship opportunities.

CEO Laxman Narasimhan speaks to students as he visited Ron Dearing UTC to reinforce the company’s commitment to the region and partnership with the pioneering school.


Reckitt is prominent among a host of leading local employers that are partners of Ron Dearing UTC and have played a critical role in the school’s success, including being judged “outstanding” in all areas by Ofsted.

Mr Narasimhan, who described Hull as the birthplace of Reckitt and Dettol, was joined during the visit to the school in Kingston Square, Hull city centre, by senior global leaders and Hull-based executives, including Jeremy Wood, who heads up the flagship manufacturing facility, and Dr Bruce Charlesworth, Reckitt Chief Medical Officer, Health, and Hull R&D Site Lead, who is also a Governor of Ron Dearing UTC.

The Reckitt and CBI visitors met students in Ron Dearing UTC’s Reckitt Innovation Centre and took part in a wide-ranging question and answer session exploring the school’s education model, how it works with leading local employers, and how it develops a pipeline of young people with high demand digital, scientific, engineering and creative skills and qualifications.

Ron Dearing UTC students posed questions to the Reckitt visitors on a wide range of issues, including how the company has responded to the pandemic.


The students also quizzed the Reckitt team on a wide range of issues, including how the company has responded to the pandemic, by keeping its staff safe while ramping up supply of vital hygiene products such as Dettol.

Dr Charlesworth said: “The Hull site is of critical importance to the Reckitt business – not only from the perspective of what we do today in developing and manufacturing an array of household products, but also in terms of our heritage and local legacy.

“The visit by our CEO and members of the Executive Committee to our factory, R&D facilities and Ron Dearing UTC demonstrates the value we place on people, talent and building skills.

“As a proud Founding Partner, we are committed to improving education and a strong advocate of employer involvement that results in improved employability skills.

“Our relationship with the UTC is a win-win, as evidenced by the calibre of talent the school develops and the fact that we benefit from UTC-educated apprentices in our workforce today. It’s a best practice education model.”

Reckitt Hull R&D Site Lead Dr Bruce Charlesworth, left, responds to a student’s question, watched by Chief HR Officer Ranjay Radhakrishnan and CEO Laxman Narasimhan.


Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “It was a pleasure to host this visit by Mr Narasimhan and his colleagues. We’re very proud of our partnership with a world-class business that was founded in Hull and continues to invest so strongly in the city.

“The support and commitment of Reckitt and our other employer partners is critical to our successful educational model. They are actively involved in the school at all levels, from leadership and governance to curriculum design and delivery.

“We’re particularly delighted that our very close relationship with Reckitt has enabled a number of Ron Dearing UTC students to join a global business at the cutting edge of scientific research, development and innovation.”

Pictures: Karl Andre Photography

Students and staff embrace extra professional qualifications

Dozens of Ron Dearing UTC sixth form students and staff are embracing additional learning opportunities as they complete a range of industry-standard qualifications.

They have completed or are working towards accredited qualifications in an array of technology and software-based programmes and skills, chosen and funded by the school’s Employer Partners.

Students are aiming towards being officially recognised for their software skills, while staff are using the process to build on their existing knowledge and ensure teaching is exactly aligned with current industry standards.  The opportunity will be also opened up to Employer Partners in the coming months.

Building on the school’s already outstanding employer-led curriculum, the additional courses are run through Prodigy Learning, a multi-award winning global educational technology business, which provides digital skills certifications and learning solutions for Microsoft and other technologies.

The courses are completed online followed by a final exam.

From left, student Lewis Taylor, Deputy Head of Maths Becky Needler, student Luke McAllister, Senior Assistant Principal for Employer Engagement and Head of Engineering Glenn Jensen, student Felicity Robson, and Lisa Regan, Lead Practitioner for Professional Qualifications at Ron Dearing UTC.


Thirty-three students and staff are currently studying Microsoft Office Specialist certifications, including Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Outlook.

Of those, 10 have taken exams, including Year 12 student Luke McAllister, three maths teachers, two IT team members and Steve Willacy, Head of School at Ron Dearing UTC, who has four qualifications under his belt.

An additional 18 students and staff are studying Microsoft Technology Associate courses, such as Networking Security, HTML App Development and Database Admin.

This includes Year 13 student Lewis Taylor, 17, who passed the Intro to Programming using Python coding qualification and is also working towards two Autodesk certifications.

Lewis, who is preparing to study a degree in engineering at Newcastle University, said: “It’s good to have professional qualifications and be officially recognised. This has helped to prepare me for my degree and I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s given me a sense of achievement and it’s a bonus on my CV.”

Fifteen students and staff are studying Adobe certifications in Photoshop and Dreamweaver and a further 47 are studying AutoDesk software, including AutoCAD, Inventor and Revit.

Five members of the engineering staff team have passed their chosen qualifications in this field, including Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal for Employer Engagement and Head of Engineering.

Glenn said: “We’re using the certifications to ensure teaching and learning is as finely tuned to industry standards as possible, as well as extending our own knowledge into new areas. It’s also good for continuing professional development.”

Year 13 student Felicity Robson, 17, is working towards an Adobe Photoshop certification and said the qualification will support her upcoming interior design degree at York St John University.

She said: “When I mentioned the certification to the university team, they said it would help with my course and it also helped me to secure an unconditional offer of a place, which is great. Ron Dearing UTC has given me so many opportunities.”

Lisa Regan, Lead Practitioner for Professional Qualifications at Ron Dearing UTC, said she is proud of all students and staff who have chosen to commit to the additional professional qualifications.

“Very few schools and colleges offer this opportunity, especially the range and specialist topics available,” she said.

“There’s real confidence to be found in students having their skills officially certified by such major software companies. We’ve also got a few students studying courses which develop skills they’re not covering in lessons.  This shows great commitment and determination to get the most out of their experience with us and give themselves the best chance to outshine their competition in the job market.”