Hundreds of students and parents attend Open Event as demand for places grows

Hundreds of prospective students and their parents attended the first Ron Dearing UTC Open Event of the new academic year, highlighting the huge demand for places.

Ron Dearing UTC offers its unique education model to 14 to 19-year-olds, working in partnership with some of Hull’s leading businesses to equip young people with the knowledge and skills to give them the edge as they make their way into the world of work.

More than 500 students and their parents attended the Open Event to find out about joining the school in Year 10 or Year 12 in September 2020.

Ron Dearing UTC opened its doors in September 2017 and the first three years have all been oversubscribed. Just 300 places are currently available for September 2020 and more than 60 applications were received for Year 10 places ahead of the Open Event.

Students use virtual reality (VR) equipment to practice welding skills. It gives students a taste of what welding could be like as a career.


Attendees had chance to have a look around the school and get involved in workshops and demonstrations, largely focused on science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) subjects.

They also met staff, current and former students, the employer partners and student ambassadors from Lead Academic Partner the University of Hull, as well as hearing from Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley, Vice Principal Steve Willacy and Yvonne Moir, Human Resources Director at engineering business Spencer Group, one of the school’s Founding Partners.

Sarah highlighted Ron Dearing UTC’s unique educational model and vision, showed images of the school’s first leavers who have just begun apprenticeships with leading local companies, and shared the outstanding GCSE, A-level and technical qualification results achieved in the school’s first public exams this summer.

She said: “The turnout has been brilliant and we’ve had lots of great feedback.

“Hopefully both the students and parents have gone away with a clear understanding of what Ron Dearing UTC offers and excited by our employer-engaged model of learning. It’s great to now have the results to prove it works.

“It is important the prospective students and their parents know and understand how close the partnership is between our school, the University of Hull and our employer partners. It’s a real team approach.”

Year 10 students, pictured from left – Ashburner Davison, 15, Abigail Dearing, 14, and Jessica Harkins, 14, gave physics demonstrations to prospective students and their parents at the Open Event.


Yvonne Moir, who is also a Ron Dearing UTC Governor, said Spencer Group initially intended to take six apprentices from the school this year but instead recruited 14.

She said: “The apprentices’ level of skill and knowledge is fantastic, so they have come into the workplace and fitted straight in. We don’t take apprentices from anywhere else now.

“The UTC is a brilliant opportunity to keep really gifted and skilled young people in Hull. This school is our talent stream for the future.”

Engineering Manufacture teacher Clive Isaacs, pictured left, with Year 12 student Luke Raine-Ellerker, 16. Luke’s brother, Charlie, 13, attended the Open Event with parents Simon and Michelle Raine-Ellerker, from west Hull.


Simon and Michelle Raine-Ellerker, from west Hull, took their son, Charlie, 13, to the Open Event as he hopes to join Year 10 in September 2020. The couple’s other son, Luke, 16, is already a student at Ron Dearing UTC’s Sixth Form after choosing to stay on after completing Year 11.

Mrs Raine-Ellerker said: “At Ron Dearing UTC the support, learning and mentoring the students get is brilliant and the staff are fantastic.”

Dylan Yeaman, 13, from east Hull, would like to join Year 10 at Ron Dearing UTC next year and attended the Open Event with his mother, Lisa.

He said: “I really like science and this school focuses on that. Looking around tonight, I have never seen anything like this in a school before. There are lots of 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 Major Partners APD Communications, Arco, BP, C4DI, Green Port Hull, Ideal Boilers, Fujitsu, Ørsted, Sewell Group and Sonoco Trident.

Students interested in places at Ron Dearing UTC in Year 10 and Year 12 from September 2020 can attend further Open Events on November 7 or January 16. To register to attend, or to download online application forms, click here.