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.”

Students turn radio gurus as broadcast project teaches new skills

Digital media students at Ron Dearing UTC are being given a unique insight into every aspect of radio as they prepare for their own shows to be broadcast across Hull and beyond.

Fifteen Year 13 students are working with Andy Pea, director and presenter at West Hull FM community radio, to learn more about radio station roles and what happens behind the scenes to make each element of a show work.

West Hull FM broadcasts daily to 150,000 homes and businesses in the west of the city and surrounding areas, with many more listeners tuning in online from across the globe.

Working in small groups as part of an eight-week pilot project, students have been given creative control to choose their own radio show content and themes, ranging from arts and culture to basketball, film and television, and are recording content and conversation to bring their shows to life.

Away from the microphone and presenting, some students have chosen to focus more on scriptwriting, producing, research, design, branding and other roles, learning every element of radio.

They are following guidelines set by the UK’s communications regulator OFCOM, all in line with radio broadcasting codes of conduct and official industry-level requirements.

Andy, who is also a visual artist, said: “I think of radio as an art medium and platform, and I want to introduce young people to the world of radio to give them a real insight into broadcasting.

Students Jasmine Scoffins and Kelland Sharpe with Andy Pea, director and presenter at West Hull FM.


“The students’ enthusiasm and interest is infectious and the skills they’ve demonstrated so far have been fantastic. The skills they’re learning are transferable and also align with some of Ron Dearing UTC’s specialisms, so it’s a perfect fit.

“Community radio often has a tag of being more appealing to the older generation, but I want younger voices to be heard. To be able to give them this platform to discuss various topics is amazing and really exciting.”

Students have written jingles, named their shows and created logos as they work towards their content being aired in the coming weeks and, Covid-19 restrictions permitting, they could also have chance to visit the West Hull FM studios in Park Avenue.

The radio-based project builds on other units completed by the students during their two-year course including journalism and pitching techniques, giving them a broad understanding of various areas of media.

Year 13 student Kelland Sharpe, 17, said: “You don’t realise how much goes into radio behind the scenes. It’s really hands-on and we’ve been finding out about the whole process.

“We’re looking at film and television and seeing where the conversation leads. It’s a really interesting and enjoyable project to be part of.”

Fellow Year 13 student Jasmine Scoffins, 18, said: “Working with Andy has helped us to understand the different roles in radio and how each one is flexible to support someone in another role if needed. We’ve split the work, sharing ideas and roles.”

Kate Blowman, Deputy Head of Creative Digital and Subject Lead for Art at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “Working with Andy is enabling our students to further develop their skills at industry-standard level.

“It’s brilliant to see how their communication skills have massively developed and their confidence has grown throughout the project.”

Minister for the School System sees outstanding employer-led education in action at Ron Dearing UTC

The Minister for the School System has visited Hull’s Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) for a first-hand look at outstanding employer-engaged education and to discover the keys to its success.

Baroness Berridge was joined on the visit by Carol Gray, the Department for Education’s Regional Schools Commissioner for the East Midlands and Humber.

The Conservative peer and Mrs Gray met a number of current Year 13 students, all of whom have secured exciting Level 4 and degree apprenticeships.

Two ex-Ron Dearing UTC students, Cameron Davies and Oliver Walkington, also joined the discussion. Cameron left Ron Dearing UTC two years ago and has just completed his apprenticeship in Creative Digital at Hull-based digital brand management business Sonoco Trident, a Major Partner of the school. Oliver is currently studying a degree level commercial apprenticeship at Spencer Group.

All the young people spoke passionately about why they chose to join Ron Dearing UTC and how the curriculum, which combines academic and technical qualifications, has enabled them to acquire the qualifications, skills and experiences sought after by industry.

Baroness Berridge views student’s Kate Higginbottom’s work in Ron Dearing UTC’s Engineering Design department during her visit to the outstanding-rated employer-led school. Picture: R&R Studio.


Year 13 student Scarlett van Raamsdonk, 18, who recently secured a degree apprenticeship in the Merchant Navy, was also among the students who met the Minister.

Scarlett said: “It was really nice to meet Baroness Berridge. She is also the Minister for Women and is very interested in women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). She was really positive about Ron Dearing UTC and it’s nice she was so interested in what we had to say.”

The Minister and Regional School’s Commissioner also visited the UTC’s Engineering Design department where they met current learners who are working on Virtual Reality (VR) and 3D printing projects.

Baroness Berridge said: “It was wonderful to meet some of the students, staff and employers at the outstanding Ron Dearing UTC, where academic attainment and excellent technical education go hand in hand.  The students’ skills in technology left me feeling like a luddite and to see the commitment of the employers, including financial commitment, to the UTC is inspiring.”

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Baroness Berridge and Carol Gray to our school. They were very interested in our formula for success and seemed to be extremely impressed.

“We are completely aligned with the ambitions of the Department for Education’s Skills for Jobs White Paper, including strengthening links between employers and education providers, placing employers at the heart of defining local skills needs and offering courses tailored to the skills needs of businesses.

“Ron Dearing UTC is the living embodiment of that philosophy.  Our education model provides a blueprint for outstanding collaborative, employer-led learning which could be replicated across the country.”

Baroness Berridge and Mrs Gray also met leaders from some of Ron Dearing UTC’s employer partners – Charlie Spencer OBE, Executive Chairman of Spencer Group and Ron Dearing UTC Chair of Governors; Richard Martin, Customer Experience Director at Arco and the school’s Vice Chair of Governors; Dr Bruce Charlesworth, Chief Medical Officer at Reckitt and Chair of Ron Dearing’s Personal Development Committee; and Kirsty Bark, Global Talent Manager of Sonoco Trident.

These leading members of Hull’s business community explained why they are so committed to the school and the value they get from the relationship, including the opportunity to shape and hand-pick their future workforce.

Mr Spencer said: “We were delighted to be able to brief the Minister on what Ron Dearing UTC has achieved and explain the absolutely integral role we, as employers, play in the school and its success.”

Scott prepares for the world of work at Hull-based PBS Construction

A Year 13 Ron Dearing UTC student is looking forward to a bright future in quantity surveying after securing a job at a Hull-based civil engineering company.

Scott Coates, 17, is studying Maths and Engineering at the employer-led school and completed work experience at family-owned PBS Construction last summer.

After enjoying the experience and leaving a lasting positive impression, he has now been offered an Assistant Quantity Surveyor role at the company’s Trinity Street base in west Hull from August.

As part of the early stages of his job, Scott will shadow a PBS quantity surveyor to learn the ropes, attend site visits and monthly progress meetings, meet site managers and sub-contractors, measure up jobs on site and calculate valuations.

He will also study a Level 4 qualification in quantity surveying at Leeds College of Building one day a week for two years, backing up his on-the-job experience.

Scott said: “Work experience at PBS was great and I’ve been offered a really good job. I prefer to be hands-on and out on site, so this is the right path for me.

“Being a student at Ron Dearing UTC offers you good opportunities and a great standard of teaching, and the knowledge and skills I’ve gained helped me to get this job. I’m really looking forward to starting work.”

Year 13 student Scott Coates has been offered an Assistant Quantity Surveyor role at PBS Construction.


Hundreds of Ron Dearing UTC students have moved onto positive destinations since the school opened its doors in 2017, including many with its Employer Partners.

While PBS Construction is not a Ron Dearing UTC partner, the company’s Commercial Director Mark Brooks said they were impressed by Scott’s attitude and enthusiasm and wanted to offer him a job.

Mark said: “We got on really well with Scott when he came for his week of work experience last year and he liked the company. He got in touch with us again when he was thinking about his next steps and showed initiative in pushing himself forward.

“Scott is the first Ron Dearing UTC student we have taken on, but we have had success with another college student who came on board via the same route. He’s now managing his own multi-million pound jobs at PBS and we’re keen for Scott to progress and do the same.”

PBS predominantly works with commercial and public sector clients and has completed many projects of varying sizes and budgets over more than three decades in business.

Most recently, the team started a £4.5 million National Lottery-funded restoration project at Scarborough’s South Cliff Gardens to preserve their unique heritage and improve them for visitors.

Ron Dearing UTC students secure dream jobs with amazing employers

Three Ron Dearing UTC students have secured incredible jobs travelling the world on a cruise liner, working on space missions, and helping develop new models for one of the country’s biggest luxury car companies.

Rated outstanding by Ofsted, Ron Dearing UTC has continued its track record of helping its students secure prized apprenticeships with the school’s Employer Partners and other leading organisations.

Year 13 students Scarlett van Raamsdonk, Will Nickolds and Joshua Wormald are now preparing to take the first steps towards their dream careers.

Scarlett, 18, will complete a three-year Bachelor of Engineering degree apprenticeship while working as an Engine Cadet in the Merchant Navy, based on global cruise line MSC Cruises.

Working in the ship’s engine room, her role will include maintaining, checking and cleaning the engines and carrying out watches on board following five months’ studying at South Shields Marine School, part of South Tyneside College near Newcastle, from September.

Scarlett, who is studying Maths, Physics and Double Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “This is my dream job and I’d love to work up the ranks and become a Chief Engineer in the future.

From left, Ron Dearing UTC students Will Nickolds, Scarlett van Raamsdonk and Joshua Wormald have secured prized apprenticeships with incredible employers.


“My dad is a Marine Engineer and I travelled and lived on ships until I was four years old, so my whole life revolved around that and I wanted to go back to it.

“I don’t think I would have had this opportunity if I hadn’t become a Ron Dearing UTC student. They have helped me so much with my CV and helped me to stand out from the crowd. I’m so excited.”

Will, 17, will begin a four-year engineering degree apprenticeship at Airbus Defence and Space, a division of the world’s largest airline manufacturer and international aerospace pioneer Airbus, in September.

Based at the company’s UK headquarters in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, he will be involved in mechanical analysis work for a range of space missions including the ExoMars rover searching for life on Mars, as well as global telecommunication satellites for phones and television.

Will, who is studying Engineering, Maths and Physics at Ron Dearing UTC, will complete his studies through Blackpool and The Fylde College and Lancaster University.

He said: “I’m over the moon to have this opportunity, as I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in engineering. Aviation and space has been my lifelong passion and I used to go to air shows with my grandad, who was a logistics man in the Royal Air Force.

Scarlett van Raamsdonk will complete a three-year Bachelor of Engineering degree apprenticeship while working as an Engine Cadet in the Merchant Navy, based on global cruise line MSC Cruises.


“Ron Dearing UTC has opened up a whole world of opportunity for me and I’ve gone from building remote control drone planes in my back garden to doing something professional. They’ve given me the guidance and knowledge to progress.”

Maths, Physics and Engineering student Joshua, 18, is also gearing up for his dream career at Jaguar Land Rover in Coventry, where he will begin a four-year electrical and electronic engineering degree apprenticeship in September.

His role will include programming electronic systems and designing electronic circuits and safety systems for the company’s luxury vehicles.

Joshua said: “Ron Dearing UTC has high expectations of its students and they treat you like an adult and as equals, which sets you up for life and helps you prepare for work.

“Jaguar Land Rover is an amazing place to work and I’m really excited to see what the future holds.”

Will Nickolds is beginning a four-year engineering degree apprenticeship at Airbus Defence and Space, a division of the world’s largest airline manufacturer and international aerospace pioneer Airbus.


Ron Dearing UTC, in Hull city centre, is an employer-led school that caters for students aged between 14 and 19 and has a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and engineering.

Earlier this year, the Government announced its Skills for Jobs White Paper to revolutionise post-16 education and training and champion technical education.

The measures announced put technical qualifications on an equal footing with GCSEs and A-levels, recognising that traditional education isn’t developing young people with the skills our economy needs.

The white paper puts an end to the misconception that a degree is the only route into lucrative careers and promotes degree apprenticeships as another way to obtain a degree without the debts.

In addition, it  highlights the importance of strong educational partnerships between employers and schools, an approach which Ron Dearing UTC and it’s employer partners are proving works extremely successfully.

Kathy King, Senior Assistant Principal and Joint Head of Sixth Form at Ron Dearing UTC, said the students have bright futures ahead of them.

Joshua Wormald will begin a four-year electrical and electronic engineering degree apprenticeship with Jaguar Land Rover in September.


She said: “We’re really proud of all our students and the diverse pathways and destinations they progress to, whether it be university, apprenticeships or other.

“At Ron Dearing UTC, it’s about more than just the curriculum. It’s the information, guidance, support, training and additional skills provided by our Employer Partners, our personal development programme and the huge focus on employability skills alongside the students’ studies.

“With Joshua, Scarlett and Will, they’re covering land, sea and air, and these are fantastic examples which demonstrate employer-led education works.”

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.”