Record number of prospective students attend Ron Dearing UTC open event

An open event organised for prospective Ron Dearing UTC students attracted a record number of attendees.

Students who would like to join the Ofsted ‘Outstanding’-rated school in Year 10 or Year 12 in September 2024 attended the event with their parents or carers.

They met the UTC team, Employer Partners and toured the state-of-the-art facilities, including STEAM Studios, the school’s new dedicated centre for creativity which officially opened its doors last month.

A total of 420 students turned out for the open event as they hope to pursue their education in the school’s exciting employer-led working environment.

They found out more about the curriculum, the school’s 40-hour working week, what is expected of students regarding behaviour and conduct, building their personal brand and what the UTC offers outside the classroom.

Prospective students were able to experience practical sessions at Ron Dearing UTC.


They also heard about the incredible exam results achieved, as the UTC significantly outperforms the national averages for GCSE, A-level and technical qualification outcomes. Former Ron Dearing UTC students also attended the open event to inspire prospective students.

Lloyd Shaw, 13, who would like to join Ron Dearing UTC in Year 10 next year, attended with his mum, Sarah Dennett, and sister Bethany Dennett.

Lloyd said: “I’d like to study Engineering or Computing and I like the idea of a 40-hour working week. It was great to have a look around and find out more about the exciting the opportunities available.”

Prospective Year 10 student Billy Wray, 14, who was joined by his parents Mike and Kerry at the open event, said: “I’m interested in becoming an architect in the future, so I’m looking at the Art and Design and Creative iMedia courses. I like the Enrichment programme Ron Dearing offers and the amazing equipment you can use. I really hope I get a place here.”

Kerry said: “Ron Dearing UTC gives students great experiences and they work on real life employer-led projects, so they can relate to them.”

Grace Howe, 13, who attended with her mum Stacey and hopes to join Ron Dearing UTC in Year 10 in 2024, said: “I love Art and English, and I’m considering becoming a police officer or pursuing a career in medicine. It would be a great opportunity for me to study at Ron Dearing and the facilities are amazing.”

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley speaking to prospective students and their parents and carers.


Ron Dearing UTC has been oversubscribed every year since it opened its doors in 2017. The recent expansion of the school has enabled it to increase its capacity from 600 to 800 students.

Open event attendees heard about the outstanding destinations 100 per cent of students have moved on to since leaving Ron Dearing UTC, including university and apprenticeships.

Lillie Mitcheson, 15, hopes to join the UTC in Year 12 next year and attended the event with her parents, Lizzy Beach and Phil Mitcheson.

Lillie said: “I’m here to find out more about sciences and 3D design because I’m interested in becoming a vet or going into textiles. I’m keeping my options open and I’m really impressed with what I’ve seen.”

Lizzy said: “I like that Ron Dearing UTC helps its students to become work-ready because it’s so important now. It feels more like a workplace than a college, which is impressive.”

Several Ron Dearing UTC Employer Partners attended the open event to share how they support students and the curriculum.

Wendy Hiley, HR and Talent Acquisition Business Partner at rural broadband specialist Quickline Communications, a Major Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, said: “Everyone is really impressed with the UTC and what it can offer. We love working with Ron Dearing and we’ve already met some really talented and inspirational young people. We can’t wait to have some of these students join our future workforce.”

A total of 420 prospective students turned out for the latest Ron Dearing UTC open event.


Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “More students, parents and carers applied for this open event than ever before and it was fantastic to receive such a high level of interest.

“We’re incredibly proud of our students, staff and our world class facilities, which showcase what we’re about as a UTC and show how doing things differently works.

“New students make a very brave decision to come to us from their existing schools but we promise to deliver for them. We want every student to have the best experience and results possible.”

There are only 200 places available for Year 10 students in September 2024 and 225 places in Year 12. More than 5,000 students per year group are eligible to apply.

Applications have already exceeded the available number of places. The selection process is carried out at random and students will be notified if they have been successful by March 2024. Visit to apply for a place in either year group.

Two further open events have been organised at Ron Dearing UTC and will run from 5pm to 8pm on November 9 and January 11. To book a place visit