Ron Dearing UTC named among England’s best schools for A-level progress

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) has been named as one of the best schools in the country for the progress made by A-level students.

New league tables released by the Department for Education show Hull’s employer-led school is ranked 15th of all schools and colleges in England, including fee-paying independent schools, for the progress made by students who took their A-levels last summer.

Excluding independent schools, Ron Dearing UTC is ranked as the 6th best for student progress, with a progress score of 0.72, which is officially rated as “well above average”.

Students celebrate their A-level results at Ron Dearing UTC last summer. The school has now been named as one of the best in the country for the progress made by A-level students.


You can see the top-rated schools and colleges in England for student progress here.

Ron Dearing UTC is also the No. 1 ranked school or college in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire. You can see the ratings for Hull here.

The scores record how much progress students made between the end of key stage 4 (GCSEs) and completion of their A-level studies, compared to similar students across England.

Also known as “valued added” ratings, the scores are calculated by comparing A-level results of students at each school or college with the A-level results of students in schools and colleges across England who started with similar results at the end of key stage 4.

A score above zero means students made more progress, on average, than students across England who got similar results at the end of key stage 4. A score below zero means students made less progress, on average, than students across England who got similar results at the end of key stage 4.

The Ron Dearing UTC progress score recognises the exceptional progress made by students who left other local schools following their GCSEs to join in the sixth form when the new school opened in September 2017.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “To be ranked as the top school or college in our area for value added progress at A-level and the 15th best in the country is phenomenal and a great tribute to the students, their parents, our fantastic university and employer partners and all our talented staff.

“However, I am not a big believer in league tables.  They only measure one aspect of a school or college’s educational provision – exam results.  Great schools and colleges are about so much more.

“Whilst I am extremely proud of our students’ examination success, I am equally proud of the progress they made in terms of their personal and employability skills and the fact that they have gone onto exciting careers within the tech and engineering industries or to study these subjects to degree level at university.

“Ron Dearing UTC was established to ‘do education differently’ and to provide a talent pipeline for our university and employer partners and the wider engineering and tech sectors and we’re delivering on that vision.

“Last year 60% of our students progressed onto apprenticeships compared to only 6% nationally.  This proves that our unique employer-led model of learning not only delivers outstanding examination results, but, most importantly, creates outstanding employees who can make a valuable contribution to society and the economy.”

Ron Dearing UTC’s opening day in September 2017. The school has now been named among the very best schools in England for the progress made by A-level students who joined on the first day.


Ron Dearing UTC is a school that means business, with a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering. The school is focused on equipping 14 to 19-year-olds with the knowledge and skills to give them the edge as they make their way into employment.

The school’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, Bonus, BP, C4DI, Green Port Hull, Ideal Boilers, Fujitsu, Ørsted, Sewell Group and Sonoco Trident.

Ron Dearing UTC is due to reach its full capacity in September this year, 12 months earlier than originally scheduled, due to continuing strong demand for places.

Students who wish to join Ron Dearing UTC in Year 10 next September should register by January 31. Applications can still be made after that date, but earlier applications will be considered first. Students wishing to apply for Year 12 places can continue to apply until the end of August.

Applications should be made online here.