Teachers and former students become colleagues in Ron Dearing UTC engineering team

The majority of Ron Dearing UTC’s engineering department comprises of teachers and their former students who have become colleagues to inspire the next generation.

Simon I’Anson is the employer-led school’s Deputy Head of Engineering and taught Glenn Jensen, who is now Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering at the UTC, at Beverley College, now known as East Riding College.

Simon also taught current Ron Dearing UTC engineering teacher Lee Ray, Engineering Technician Cieran Dowling and Engineering Teaching Assistant Charlie Halliday during their time as students at East Riding College.

Glenn later secured an engineering teaching job at East Riding College, becoming Simon’s colleague rather than student, and went on to teach Lee, Cieran, Charlie and Engineering Teaching Assistant Cheikh Diaw. Current Ron Dearing engineering teacher Clive Isaacs also taught Lee, Cieran, Charlie and Cheikh at East Riding College, before joining the UTC.

Simon, a motor vehicle lecturer of 22 years, also manufactured wind turbine blades at Siemens Gamesa, one of Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partners, before joining the school in November 2017, the year it opened its doors.

From Left, Lee Ray, Simon I’Anson, Glenn Jensen, Cheikh Diaw, Cieran Dowling and Charlie Halliday.


He said: “It’s a never-ending cascade of knowledge which continues to be passed down.

“I began teaching Glenn in 1999 when he was a motor vehicle apprentice and he was an exceptional student, winning Apprentice of the Year twice. I was also engineering lecturer for Cieran, Charlie and Lee, teaching them certain units.

“It makes me proud and proves that all those years of teaching were worthwhile, not just in bringing students on in qualifications but also seeing them develop as individuals.

“The model of education at Ron Dearing UTC goes hand in hand with industry and employer partnerships to give the students amazing opportunities. This is 100% the way forward in education.”

Glenn, who also joined Ron Dearing UTC when it opened in 2017, said the whole team prides itself on providing first class education to Ron Dearing UTC students.

He said: “I see it as a team of home-grown talent inspiring the next generation of teachers to go into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and industry.

Ron Dearing UTC’s engineering department comprises of teachers and their former students.


“When you hear about the destinations Ron Dearing UTC students have moved on to and see them securing their dream jobs in the engineering sector, that’s the icing on the cake for me.”

Lee, who has also worked at the UTC since it opened in September 2017, said: “Knowing each other as we do makes working together much easier. We have that element of trust and you know what everyone is thinking. We’re one big team.”

Charlie, who has been part of the team since December 2021, said: “Colleagues who were previously my teachers still teach me now. They help and support me to do my job here with great guidance.”

Cheikh, a member of the team since January 2021, said: “When I was given the opportunity to work at Ron Dearing UTC, I didn’t hesitate. The students have the chance to do theory and practical work and they’re ready for employment straight away.”

Cieran, who joined the team in September 2019, said: “My teachers have become my colleagues and I’m really proud to work at Ron Dearing UTC.”