Ron Dearing UTC students and Freedom Festival join forces

Ron Dearing UTC students are playing their biggest part yet in Hull’s Freedom Festival.

The festival was fully established in 2013 following its beginning at Hull’s 2007 William Wilberforce commemorations and has become the highlight of the city’s annual artistic and cultural programme.

Due to Covid-19, Freedom Festival did not take place as usual last year and was an online and broadcast event. This will be the second time Ron Dearing UTC students have been involved in the festival through a partnership between the employer-led school and the festival organisers, Freedom Festival Arts Trust.

Covid restrictions allowing, this year will see about 30 Year 12 and 13 art and graphic design students play their part, including 20 of them becoming young reporters and joining the event’s official media team to cover various elements of the festival, including the main event in September.

It is also hoped Ron Dearing UTC will become a public exhibition space where artwork and photography by students and staff can be viewed by the public during the festival.

Students have been given a brief by Anthony Baker, Executive Director and Joint CEO of Freedom Festival, and Mikey Martins, Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive, to create their own piece of public art based on the theme of freedom.

They have complete freedom to choose what they wish to create, such as statues and art and light installations, to go on public display in the community during the festival. They will pitch their ideas to the Freedom Festival team via online meetings.

Year 12 student Ryan Morris is excited to be involved in the Freedom Festival project.


Talks will also be held with the school’s employer partners and other local businesses regarding siting the students’ artwork on their premises and around the city.

Lynn Garland-Collins, Senior Assistant Principal and Director of Creativity at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It’s such an extensive programme and a phenomenal opportunity for our students.

“The team behind the Freedom Festival is giving students a detailed insight into how every element of an event of this scale is organised and delivered and providing them with a fantastic opportunity to get involved.

“They’re finding out about planning, health and safety, risk assessments, communication, artistic roles and logistics, and they can apply all of this to their own learning.

“They have the chance to create art which is going to inspire, delight and encourage conversation, and knowing their artwork could be exhibited in public spaces across the city is very exciting.

“The eyes of the world are on Hull during Freedom Festival and this is a wonderful opportunity for our students to showcase themselves through their artwork and step outside their comfort zones.”

A photography competition has also been launched for Ron Dearing students and staff, with photographs selected for the Freedom Festival exhibition and students involved in the Young Reporter Scheme will have training on interview techniques, blogging, social media and more.

Student Kelsey Hearne, 16, believes working with Freedom Festival is a great opportunity.


Students could also have the chance to get involved in the International Freedom Festival Symposium, which sees people from around the world debate and discuss the topics around freedom.

Year 12 student Ryan Morris, 16, said: “I’m excited to be involved and it’s such a big opportunity. I’d feel honoured if people wanted to come and look at my work alongside the work of my classmates.”

Fellow Year 12 student Kelsey Hearne, 16, said: “This is such a good opportunity to get our artwork out there and it’s a chance to do something different to showcase our creative skills.”

Anthony said: “We are delighted to be working with Ron Dearing UTC for another year, giving their students a unique experience of Freedom Festival and meeting with the festival creative team and artists throughout the year to give them further insight into their studies.

“Young people are the future of our city and through our work we aim to give them a deeper understanding of how art and creativity play an integral part in our ongoing happiness and prosperity.

“The pandemic has shown just how much value we place on creative enjoyment and the students of Ron Dearing UTC will play their part in developing projects which may feature at the festival in the future.”

Open events planned for September starters

Ron Dearing UTC is inviting all students who have secured a place for Year 10 in September, plus those who have provisional offers of places in Year 12, to two separate open events to learn more about their subjects and finalise their choices.

New Year 10 students are invited to the school on Thursday, April 15th, while prospective  new Year 12 students are invited on Thursday, April 22nd, both from 5pm to 8.20pm.

Ron Dearing UTC has been significantly oversubscribed every year since it opened its doors in September 2017 and 300 places have been filled across both year groups for the new school year in September after 548 applications were received.

Students will be able to meet teachers to discuss their subject options and choices, meet some of the school’s Employer Partners and hear from the school’s Senior Leadership Team, including Principal Sarah Pashley, and Vice Principals Steve Willacy and Mark Ollerenshaw.

Ron Dearing UTC is inviting students who have secured a place for Year 10 in September to two separate open events.


Stringent Covid-secure measures will be in place at both events, with social distancing, mask wearing and staggered attendance times in place.

Mark Ollerenshaw, Vice Principal for Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “Many of the students attended our open events last year, but some haven’t had the chance to look around and could only attend the virtual events due to Covid restrictions.

“These evenings are always great because they are the first time we can welcome them as Ron Dearing students-in-waiting.

“The conversation changes from ‘this is what we’re all about’ to ‘this is what you’ll be doing’ and we’re looking forward to welcoming our new students to the Ron Dearing community.

“The open event is the time for Year 10 students to begin the process of choosing their technical subjects, such as Engineering, Creative Digital, Digital Technology and Art and Design.

“It’s also a chance for Year 12 students, some of whom are already Year 11 Ron Dearing students, to get the right advice and guidance about the courses they want to study in our sixth form.”

One parent or carer per student can attend the open events and they will be contacted directly with further details of how to book.

Female students given opportunity to shine in national broadcast media technology programme

Three female Ron Dearing UTC students have secured places on a prestigious national mentoring programme to help them pursue careers in the broadcast media technology industry.

Backed by ITV and BT, the Rise Up UTC Mentoring Programme is supporting 23 young women aged 16 to 18 from five university technical colleges across England to secure related degrees, apprenticeships or progress directly into the industry.

Rise is a global, not-for-profit advocacy group for gender diversity within the broadcast media technology sector and aims to ensure a sustainable pipeline of female talent in the media and broadcast industry at all levels.

The Ron Dearing UTC Creative Digital students could secure roles in engineering, product innovation, technical operations, sales, marketing, editorial and commercial areas of the industry in the future.

Each student will be supported by an industry mentor over 12 months and they will have access to industry partners, as well as networking with other participants, completing industry-based challenges and projects, and attending online events.

All three Year 12 Ron Dearing UTC students who applied for the programme – Kelsey Hearne, Keelie Hakim and Jordan Harwood – were interviewed before their places on the programme were confirmed.

Kelsey, 16, who is studying Creative Digital and hopes to pursue a career in the film industry, has been paired with mentor Megan Johnston, Senior Partnerships Manager at Sky.

Rise is a not-for-profit advocacy group for gender diversity within the broadcast media technology sector.


Kelsey said: “It’s a really good opportunity to make connections in different areas of the industry.

“You’re matched with a mentor in the area you’re interested in, so it’s a connection relevant to you and your ambitions for the future when looking for a job or other opportunity.

“We’ll have phone or Zoom calls with our mentors and they’ll find out what we want to gain from the programme and what we aspire to in the future. I’m looking forward to learning more.”

The mentors have all come from Rise’s annual industry mentoring programme, which has supported more than 70 women from across the sector.

The other UTCs involved in the programme, which runs until November, are UTC Media City in Manchester, UTC Sheffield, UTC Mulberry Schools Trust in East London and UTC Global Academy in West London.

Jordan, 17, who is also studying Art alongside Creative Digital at Ron Dearing UTC, has been paired with mentor Sophia Hazari, Transmission Lead at Discovery Inc TV.

Jordan said: “I want to become an animator in the future and get involved in the creative side of broadcast media. This opportunity will help me to become more confident and focus on elements of my work to help me reach my goal.

“I enjoy being part of a like-minded team and we’re all in the same boat as we all want help to progress in the future.

“Working with Sophia will help me look at my weaknesses and build on my strengths, and I’ll be able to draw on her experience in the industry.”

Lynn Collins, Creative Director at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “This is a phenomenal opportunity for any young person who aspires to work in the broadcast media technology industry.

“There is huge potential for them to make contacts and develop as creative practitioners, and this isn’t an opportunity which comes along every day.

“Kelsey, Keelie and Jordan have a truly unique chance to embrace this and position themselves in an industry they love as they prepare for their futures.”

International Women’s Day project puts future female industry leaders centre stage

Female students studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects at Ron Dearing UTC have been given a unique platform to share their thoughts and ambitions on becoming future sector leaders.

Harper Fox Partners, a Partner of the employer-led school, has launched its ‘Declarations From Our Future Female Leaders’ project as part of its ‘From Classroom to Boardroom Alliance’, which inspires students to be the best they can be at the highest level.

Eighteen female Ron Dearing UTC students have submitted written declarations on what it means to them to be a future female leader in STEM, as International Women’s Day takes place today.

It is the first employer-led project Harper Fox Partners has run in partnership with the school and the declarations will be showcased across the company’s social media channels and on its website over the next two weeks.

Harper Fox Partners is an innovative recruitment company pioneering leadership and executive search solutions for the global energy, engineering, technology and manufacturing industries.

It recognises skills shortages within the energy, technology and engineering sectors across the world and aims to encourage young people to pursue a career within these industries, particularly females.

The company was founded by The Apprentice 2019 finalist Scarlett Allen-Horton and Lord Sugar, who hosts the hit BBC television series, has since invested in her business.

Year 12 student Kate Hickingbottom has taken part in the ‘Declarations From Our Future Female Leaders’ project.


Highlights of the declarations from Ron Dearing UTC students have been filmed and will be shared online, including via the company’s YouTube channel, as part of the project backed by Lord Sugar.

As part of her declaration, Year 12 Engineering, Biology and Chemistry student Kate Hickingbottom, 16, said: “Studying STEM is an amazing opportunity to explore what has always fascinated me. STEM is constant around the world and it’s a global community with a common language.

“I want to carry on discovering as much as I can through studying STEM to be able to give back to the world in valuable ways that I’m passionate about. I’d like to inspire other girls to not be afraid of studying STEM.

“I hope that by continuing to study and succeed in STEM, I can help normalise women being leaders in the industry based solely on their abilities, not their gender.”

Fellow Year 12 Engineering, Physics and Maths student Catherine Crees, 16, said being involved in the project has enabled her to share her views on equality with a wider audience.

In her declaration, she said: “As a potential future leader in STEM, my hope is that the role is genderless and given to the best possible person for the job, whether they are a woman, man, or of the LGBTQ+ community.

“As a woman going into STEM, my hope is everyone is equal and respected, has the opportunity to show what they can do, and rises to the level of management they aspire too.”

Year 12 student Catherine Crees has been able to share her views on equality with a wider audience.


As the partnership with Ron Dearing UTC grows, Harper Fox Partners, which has offices in London and Birmingham, plans to offer mentorship and work experience to students, as well as motivational talks, interview techniques, networking and more.

Scarlett, Founder and Business Director of Harper Fox Partners, said: “In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re delighted to have launched ‘Declarations From Our Future Female Leaders’, working in collaboration with Ron Dearing UTC.

“We wanted to look to the next generation of future female leaders in STEM to understand how the students view the sector and what their personal aspirations are to inspire a gender diverse sector, whilst inspiring them to become our decision makers.

“The students involved have displayed incredible talent, ambition and passion and we’re delighted to share their declarations during the month of March with the world.”

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal for Employer Engagement and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said the project is helping to shine a light on the industry gender gap.

He said: “It’s amazing that companies such as Harper Fox Partners are highlighting there is still a gender gap in STEM and the arts, and they’re championing the importance of equality and diversity in the workplace.”

Important information: Phased re-opening plan

Week 1 – Phased return timetable

  Year 13 Year 11 Year 12 Year 10
Monday 8th March In school for Covid test – appointment email sent previously

Home before / after test – complete work set online

Online learning (lockdown timetable) Online learning (lockdown Timetable) Online learning (lockdown timetable)
Tuesday 9th March In school

(Normal timetable)

In school  for Covid test – appointment email sent previously

Home before / after test – complete work set online

Online learning (lockdown timetable) Online learning (lockdown timetable)
Wednesday 10th March In school

(Normal timetable)

In school

(Normal timetable)

In school  for Covid test – appointment email sent previously

Home before / after test – complete work set online

Online learning (lockdown timetable)
Thursday 11th March In school

(Normal timetable)

In school

(Normal timetable)

In school

(Normal timetable)

In school  for Covid test – appointment email sent previously

Home before / after test – complete work set online

Friday 12th March In school

(Normal timetable)

In school

(Normal timetable)

In school

(Normal timetable)

In school

(Normal timetable)


Exams update

  • No exams – Centre Assessed Grades (teacher assessment) instead
  • Deadline for grades to be submitted to exam boards by 18th June
  • All grades to be moderated (checked for accuracy) by the school
  • Exam boards to carry out random moderation
  • Exam boards will shortly publish a list of evidence that schools should use to calculate the grades. This is likely to include:
    • Work produced
    • Coursework
    • Assessments
    • Mock exams
  • Students will be assessed only on what has been taught
  • Results days are 10th August for Year 13 and 12th August for Year 11


Daily safety checks

Before coming to school each day, please check the following:

  • You are not currently suffering from any of the following:
    • A fever (high temperature)
    • Persistent cough
    • Breathlessness
    • An altered sense of taste / smell
  • No-one in your household is currently suffering from any of the above
  • No-one in your household is currently self-isolating due to local guidance on Covid-19 infection
  • You have no reason to believe that you are at genuine risk of having been in contact with someone infected with Covid-19 within the past 14 days
  • No-one in your household has received a positive Covid-19 test result in the past 14 days

If you are unable to answer ‘yes’ to one or more of the above statements you must NOT come to school.  Please ring the Attendance Line – 01482 222299.


Social distancing – Students

  • Arrival – enter via reception turnstiles. Temperature checked on entry. Face coverings put on.
  • Break:
    • Breaks to be taken in Bubble Social Areas:
      • Year 10 – Floor 2
      • Year 11 – Conference Centre
      • Year 12 – Floor 1
      • Year 13 – Floor 3
    • N.B. The Dining Room will be closed to students at break times
  • Lunch:
    • Years 11, 12 and 13:
      • Lunch to be spent off site or in Bubble Social Areas or in Dining 2 (if food pre-ordered from RDUTC)
      • Lunches purchased from RDUTC to be pre-ordered
      • Access to Dining Room Servery limited to between 12.50pm and 1.15pm
    • Year 10:
      • Lunch to be spent in Bubble Social Area or in Dining 1 (if food pre-ordered from RDUTC)
      • Lunches purchased from RDUTC to be pre-ordered
      • Access to Dining Room Servery limited to between 12.30pm and 12.50pm


PPE / Hygiene

In addition to handwashing / sanitiser / deep cleaning etc:

  • Students to bring their ‘Covid-kits’ every day, which include: hand sanitiser; tissue packs; wipes; pen; pencil; ruler; rubber; calculator. If students have lost their Covid-kit, they should collect a new one from reception on their first day back
  • RDUTC to provide students and staff with washable, non-medical face coverings which MUST be worn:
    • On entry to school
    • When moving around corridors
    • In Dining Room 1 Servery
    • In lessons
    • In social spaces
    • On public transport to and from school, if relevant
  • Students to wipe down work areas / keyboards before and after use
  • Rooms and equipment to be cleaned before and after each lesson


Response to symptoms

  • Temperature reader at entrance barriers to screen staff and students. Temp above 38 degrees:
    • Go to Covid Isolation Room (reception)
    • Temp re-tested after 15 mins
    • Temp still above 38 degrees – Parents contacted to collect – self-isolate – get a PCR Test – contact RDUTC with test outcome
  • Students displaying symptoms during the day: Call out to alert SLT – taken immediately to Covid Isolation Room – parents contacted to collect – get a PCR Test – contact RDUTC with test outcome


Identifying asymptomatic cases

From 5th March

  • Staff and students to have a voluntary Lateral Flow Test before returning to school plus two further tests.
  • If positive:
    • Go home and self-isolate
    • Get a Covid-19 PCR Test
    • Contact RDUTC with PCR Test outcome:
      • If negative, return to school
      • If positive, self-isolate for 10 days

From w / b 22nd March

  • Staff and students to take a voluntary Lateral Flow Test before setting off for school.
  • If positive:
    • Stay at home and self-isolate
    • Get a Covid-19 PCR Test
    • Contact RDUTC with PCR Test outcome:
      • If negative, return to school
      • If positive, self-isolate for 10 days



  • Currently anyone travelling from abroad must self-isolate for 10 days on their return
  • Please do NOT book a holiday abroad over June half-term
  • If restrictions allow foreign travel after June 21st and quarantine still applies, please ensure you return to the UK by 28th August (term starts on 8th Sept).

Natalie sets sights on renewables career after securing dream apprenticeship

A Ron Dearing UTC engineering student has secured an apprenticeship with a leading bespoke renewables company after setting her sights on a career in the industry.

Year 13 student Natalie Bamforth, 17, will begin her two-year design and specification apprenticeship at Hull-based Pure Renewables in July. Her role will include engineering design, construction design and build, and sales.

As part of a 22-strong team, she will complete heat loss calculations, assess solar panel requirements and more, helping to establish the most efficient solutions for domestic and commercial customers. She will also spend one day per week furthering her studies at East Riding College.

Natalie, who is currently studying Double Engineering and A-level Chemistry at Ron Dearing UTC, said she is looking forward to her apprenticeship and hopes it will be the first step on the ladder to a long and successful career in the industry.

She said: “This is such a great opportunity for me and I love that the apprenticeship incorporates design, as well as renewables, which is so important to me.

“I’m joining a great company and I’ll be able to progress and build on the knowledge I’ve gained at Ron Dearing UTC. They’ve helped me to progress to this point and given me so much support.”

As part of her studies at Ron Dearing UTC, Natalie completed an industry-standard project set by Ørsted, a renewable energy company which constructs and operates offshore wind farms across Europe and one of Ron Dearing UTC’s Major Partners.

Year 13 student Natalie Bamforth.


Her work, which focused on engineering, the environment and climate change, contributed to the school being shortlisted as one of three entries in the Renewables Education category of the Humber Renewables Awards.

The online awards, which recognise and celebrate success in the renewables industry across both banks of the Humber, took place on March 4th.

Chris Whitelock, Managing Director at Pure Renewables, which designs, specifies and installs renewable heating systems, said: “We’re delighted that Natalie is joining the Pure Renewables team as a design and specification apprentice.

“Natalie was recommended to us by the Principal of Ron Dearing UTC as someone who had a real and genuine passion for working within the renewables sector and, having had her come in for a couple of orientation days, she’s certainly proved that to be the case.

“With its focus on preparing young people for working in the technical and commercial worlds, Ron Dearing UTC provides an excellent practical, as well as academic, curriculum which really sets them up for transitioning into the workplace.”

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal for Employer Engagement and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It’s fantastic that Natalie has been able to find employment in an area she is so passionate about and one which Ron Dearing UTC holds in such high regard.

“We want to generate future engineers who have an understanding about the environment, which is vital on the road to becoming carbon neutral. Through employer-led projects such as these, we can ensure our students have great knowledge of this important issue.”

Students embrace online interview opportunities as they prepare for bright futures

Year 13 students at Ron Dearing UTC are preparing for their futures, by completing applications and carrying out online interviews to reach their dream destination.

Forty students have applied and been interviewed for engineering, commercial, graphic design and business development apprenticeships at Spencer Group, one of the school’s Founding Partners.

Others have applied and will have interviews for engineering and research and development apprenticeships at Founding Partner RB, software development apprenticeships at Major Partner arco, and artworker and computer generated imagery (CGI) apprenticeships at Major Partner Sonoco Trident.

In addition, some students have applied for apprenticeship positions at other leading businesses, universities, music establishments, the RAF and Merchant Navy.

Kathy Robson, Senior Assistant Principal and Joint Head of Sixth Form and Destinations; Sam Caley, Assistant Principal and Joint Head of Sixth Form; and Alex Bulger, Information, Advice and Guidance Mentor for Sixth Form at Ron Dearing UTC; supported the students through the application and online interview process, ensuring they have the best possible chance of securing their favoured destination.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the school’s Employer Partners were heavily involved in an annual Apprenticeship Expo where representatives from the businesses met students in person to discuss future career opportunities.

As restrictions remain in place, students have continued to receive advice and guidance remotely, including help with CV writing, interview techniques, mock interviews and personal feedback to help them prepare for the world of work, higher education or the Armed Forces.

Student James Dannatt being interviewed by Spencer Group.


Kathy said: “We really value the support we get from our Employer Partners and the opportunities they offer our students, as all Year 13 students are guaranteed an interview with them, providing they are on track to complete their qualifications.

“Alongside the qualifications in our Engineering, Creative and Tech pathways, we run a very successful personal development programme.  This includes driving lessons, first aid at work, work experience and the opportunity to acquire a range of professional qualifications chosen by employers to ensure students are work-ready.

“All of this is designed to boost our students’ confidence and ensure they have the right skills, knowledge and attitude to secure a positive destination.

“We’re delighted we’ve been able to continue to offer this support and experience online despite the challenges faced during the pandemic. That’s down to our partners and our school team, who have a great deal of experience in industry.”

Ron Dearing UTC’s employer-led approach to education works as well for its Employer Partners as it does for its students.

Employers have the invaluable opportunity to help shape their future employees through the control they have over the school’s curriculum, setting industry-standard projects and providing mentoring, advice and guidance during their school journey.  They also get the chance to ‘try before you buy’ through working with the students on industry projects and work experience placements.

Ryah Russell being interviewed for a position at Spencer Group.


Year 13 student Ryah Russell, 18, who is studying a Level 3 Cambridge Technical Diploma in Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, has been interviewed for an engineering apprenticeship position at Spencer Group.

She said: “The online interview was a good experience and being able to do this despite the pandemic is a weight off my shoulders. It means I can still progress and look ahead to the future.

“We’ve had really good support including a mock interview session, which realty helped with pointers on how we should present ourselves and approach interviews.”

Spencer Group has been so impressed with the calibre of students from Ron Dearing UTC that it doesn’t go anywhere else for its apprentices.  A number of other businesses which partner with the school, such as arco, are adopting the same approach.

New industry-leading partners open up exciting opportunities for Ron Dearing UTC students

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) has brought on board four new, industry-leading partners to open up even more opportunities for its students.

The UK’s leading shower manufacturer Kohler Mira, laser specialist Luxinar and smart tech company Sauce have become the employer-led school’s latest Major Partners, while Heald, which designs and manufactures world-class hostile vehicle mitigation systems, has become a Partner.

As employer partners, the companies contribute financially to the school, play a key role in developing the curriculum and set industry-standard projects for students to work on. They also support students by providing careers information, advice and guidance as well as offering work experience opportunities and potentially apprenticeships.

The employers are committed to equipping Ron Dearing UTC students with the skills they want to see in their future employees and to ensuring they are work-ready when they leave school.

Ron Dearing UTC’s new, industry leading partners Heald, top left, Kohler Mira, top right, Luxinar, bottom left, and Sauce, bottom right, will open up even more opportunities for students.


This year marks a century of Kohler Mira being at the forefront of the shower market thanks to pioneering developments in technology.

Derek Atkinson, Operations Manager at Kohler Mira (Hull), based in Melton, East Yorkshire, said: “We come into our centenary year no less committed to nurturing talent and pride ourselves on our continued work with the STEM community to support this.

“Having recently seen a decline in STEM activities from local secondary schools, we turned to Ron Dearing UTC for help. We were encouraged by how this employer-led school supports its students with pursuing careers in STEM.

“Already our partnership has meant we have been able to assist with the inclusion of a robotics unit into the curriculum. This allows us to support the development of much-needed specialist skills, such as robotics and process controls.”

Luxinar, which has its headquarters in Hessle, East Yorkshire, has been at the forefront of laser technology for more than 20 years and has installed more than 18,000 lasers worldwide for use in a vast range of industries and applications.

Operations Director Russell Jeynes said: “We’re keen to work with Ron Dearing UTC students to develop their understanding of engineering, which will help shape our local future talent pipeline.

“We want to inspire and encourage them to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related careers, showing that their hard work and our support will open up the worlds of science and engineering.

“We’re developing our apprenticeship programme for students who are passionate about pursuing a career in laser technology and we hope the experience Ron Dearing UTC students gain from us will help them stand out from the crowd.”

Sauce is based at Hull’s Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) tech hub, and specialises in working with large, traditional companies as their digital partners, creating solutions to key business challenges to keep them ahead of the technology curve.

Chief Executive Matt Weldon said: “Our projects for Ron Dearing UTC students will include planning, designing and building a mobile app, followed by quality control, and they’ll work closely with our project management team.

Students at Ron Dearing UTC will be given a greater insight into electronics, robotics, programming and digital applications as a result of four new industry partnerships.


“We’ll look at taking on Ron Dearing UTC students as apprentices and they’ll come to us work ready, because the school’s hours match a full working week and they are used to being treated as young adults.

“We want the students to come into the workplace and hit the ground running, finding innovative ways to fix real world problems with tech.”

Hornsea-based Heald designs and manufactures innovative security bollards, road blockers and barriers. The business has secured some of the world’s most high-profile locations with advanced protection against hostile vehicle attacks and is a world-class innovator in perimeter security technology.

Co-owner and Managing Director Debbie Heald MBE said: “Supporting young people has been important to Heald for many years and our partnership with Ron Dearing UTC will give us direct involvement in shaping our future workforce.

“We want to share some of our knowledge and expertise and get involved with work experience programmes. We also know any apprentices we take on from Ron Dearing UTC will already have the base skills we’re looking for.”

Ron Dearing UTC caters for students aged between 14 and 19 and has a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering.

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal for Employer Engagement and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It’s a great credit to these employers that, during such difficult times, they continue to see the importance of investing in their future employees.

“These new partners will give us greater industry insight into electronics, robotics, programming and digital applications, to strengthen further our employer-led curriculum and ensure the best possible outcomes for our students.

“It’s invaluable for us to have realistic client briefs when working on projects linked to industry and these play a key role in expanding our students’ skillsets. Having these partners on board helps us to continue to bridge skills gaps in the engineering and digital sectors.”

Engineering student strives for the top in sustainability as school shortlisted for renewables award

A Year 13 engineering student has played a key role in Ron Dearing UTC being shortlisted for a prestigious renewables award.

Natalie Bamforth, 17, is among the students who completed an industry-standard project set by Ørsted, a renewable energy company which constructs and operates offshore wind farms across Europe and one of the school’s Major Partners.

Many of the school’s employer partners help to shape the curriculum, setting projects specific to their sector and equipping students with the knowledge and skills they will look for in their future employees.

The Ørsted project focused on engineering and the environment, aiming to give students a greater understanding of the challenges linked to climate change. They had to research infinite materials, different types of renewable energy and low carbon production while evaluating the UK’s energy outputs and suggesting what changes they would make to achieve net zero carbon targets.

Year 13 student Natalie Bamforth


Now, Natalie’s work has contributed towards the employer-led school being shortlisted for a Humber Renewables Awards accolade.

The awards recognise and celebrate success in the renewables industry across both banks of the Humber and Ron Dearing UTC is one of three shortlisted entries in the Renewables Education category, alongside Marketing Humber and the Smart Energy Greater Lincolnshire programme.

Natalie said: “I loved working on this project and it’s nice to know my work has played a part in our school being shortlisted for an award.

“Projects set by the employer partners help us to understand more about their businesses and how they work, and we can learn with them as they continue to develop. They prepare us really well for our next steps in life.

“I think I’m part of the last generation that can make a real difference to the environment and I want to inspire people to be as motivated as I am in the fight against climate change. I’ve found out ways I can make a difference as an individual and we can all work together to play our part.

“I would like to go onto an apprenticeship in engineering when I leave Ron Dearing UTC and bring my passion for sustainability into that role.”

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal for Employer Engagement and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said employer-led projects are a vital part of the school curriculum as they prepare students for the future.

He said: “All of our sixth form engineering students undertake this project as Ron Dearing UTC and Ørsted believe having a sustainable mindset is the key to future engineers.

“The way Natalie approached the subject has driven her to take that passion for sustainability forward, potentially into an apprenticeship with one of our Major Partners when she leaves sixth form later this year.

“Her work has helped towards the school being shortlisted for the Renewable Education award and she is a great ambassador for this sector.

“We’re delighted to be shortlisted. Having Employer Partners set industry-led projects like this helps to change the mindset of engineers of the future and encourage them be more sustainable while promoting sustainable practices.

“Engineers with a sustainable mindset should mean the future will become greener and educating them on the mistakes of the past helps them to look at the potential in the future.”

The Humber Renewables Awards, which include nine categories, were due to take place last year but were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The event will now take place virtually on March 4.

Ørsted teams and individuals have also been shortlisted in four categories, while the University of Hull, Ron Dearing UTC’s leading education partner, is shortlisted in two categories.

For more information about the awards, visit

Exams: A message from our Principal

Following the Government’s announcement regarding exams for 2021, and having received formal confirmation from the exam boards, I can confirm all January exams have now been cancelled.

The exams boards have stated there may be an opportunity to take the exams at a future date.

If this is not possible due to arrangements still to be announced for this summer, they will work with the Department for Education (DfE) and exam regulator the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) to make sure students are treated fairly in any approach to awarding qualifications this year.

Ofqual and the DfE will work together to find a way to grade students. As soon as we have more information about this, we will share it with you.

It is vital that, while we are in this period of lockdown, students continue to engage fully in the online learning programme to ensure they acquire the knowledge and skills they need and are best prepared for assessments in whatever form they take.

We appreciate how difficult this uncertainty is for students. We will continue to regularly update you with information as we receive it and continue to support students.

Over the next few weeks, we will contact Year 11 students to further discuss destinations and courses for next year.  The sixth form team will continue to support Year 13 students with UCAS and apprenticeship applications.

Sarah Pashley, Principal