Ofsted inspectors visit Ron Dearing UTC to learn more about employer-led education

Ron Dearing UTC hosted a careers education event for more than 50 of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) from Ofsted from across the North East, Yorkshire and Humber region.

The UTC was selected as the venue for the event because of its hugely successful model of employer-led education and its highly effective Careers Information, Advice and Guidance (CIAG), which secures positive destinations for all students.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley and Chair of Governors Richard Martin, Customer Experience Director at Arco, delivered a presentation on how the school’s unique partnership with some of the region’s leading businesses is meeting the local needs of both young people and the economy.

They explained the school’s educational philosophy of teaching its students theory and then creating opportunities for them to apply this to real projects, working alongside the employer partners.

They also took inspectors through the UTC’s comprehensive careers programme, which is led by the Human Resource Directors from the employer partners and the University of Hull.

Ron Dearing UTC students took the inspectors on group tours to see first-hand a number of exciting employer projects students are working on with companies including Founding Partner Siemens Gamesa and Major Partners Designs and Jupiter IT Solutions.

In addition, inspectors visited the F1 in Schools challenge workshop, where teams of students were designing and manufacturing miniature CO2-powered cars based on the official F1 model using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM).

Ofsted inspectors visited Ron Dearing UTC to find out more about employer-led education.


Inspectors also met some former students who are now working as apprentices, including six apprentices from engineering company Spencer Group, which is a Founder Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, and two from safety experts Arco, which is a Major Partner.

During the afternoon session, inspectors shared good practice for inspecting careers education, which forms part of the evidence collected about personal development in the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) in England.

Sarah said: “It’s always great to be able to showcase the outstanding links we have with employers, which are fundamental to our model of education.

“It was a valuable experience for our students to talk about the different projects they are working on and to show the inspectors what they are doing.

“It was also lovely to see some of our former students who have gone on to successfully launch their own careers.  They were able to tell the inspectors how Ron Dearing UTC gave them the edge to take their first steps on the career ladder and progress really successfully.”

Richard said: “We’re really proud of our employer-engaged model of learning.  The UTC’s impressive student destinations statistics show how beneficial this way of working is to the students.

“It was great for me to be able to talk about the mutual benefits to employers as well. It’s a two-way relationship. The model wouldn’t work if the employer partners didn’t get as much out of it as the UTC does.”

Inspectors spoke to Ron Dearing UTC students taking part in the F1 Schools Challenge.


Lee Elliott, Her Majesty’s Inspector, said: “The Education Inspection Framework highlights the importance of schools developing an effective, well-considered curriculum. However, it also places an emphasis on ensuring pupils are prepared for their next steps in education, employment and training.

“We wanted to highlight to inspectors the affect on pupils when schools get this right. Staff and pupils at Ron Dearing UTC should be congratulated for their efforts in this respect. They have developed extremely strong partner links with employers from Hull and beyond. This is helping to bring learning to life and ensure pupils see where their learning can take them in the future.”

Ron Dearing UTC was ranked number one out of more than 4,500 schools and colleges in England in the Department for Education’s latest destinations data for Year 13 leavers.

Of the 74 Year 13 sixth form students who took Level 3 A-level or technical qualifications in 2019, more than half (54%) went onto apprenticeships and sustained their destination – the highest percentage of any English school or college.

In addition, almost every student went onto positive destinations, including 32% progressing to further or higher education and 9% securing employed roles which were not apprenticeships.

The data for Ron Dearing UTC covers students who studied level 3 qualifications, including A-levels in Maths, Further Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and Level 3 technical qualifications in Engineering, iMedia, Art and Design and Computing.