Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, speaking with students at UTC Oxfordshire

18 Oct 2016, 3:56 p.m. / News

UTC Oxfordshire welcomed a very special guest as Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, visited the Didcot campus on 17 October to meet its staff and students.

During a tour of the UTC’s science and engineering facilities, the Education Secretary talked to students about why they chose to join the UTC and their experiences of it so far. Year 11 student Elliot Harvey told Justine about his experience of studying at the UTC:

It’s exceeded my expectations and I’m so glad I made the move. We’re treated like adults and have a very mature relationship with our teachers. When I leave I want to work in motorsport as a race technician, and I’ve managed to get work experience with Williams Racing while I’ve been at the UTC.

The Education Secretary also spoke to Richard Noble OBE, Project Director of BLOODHOUND SSC, and two engineering students who demonstrated the UTC’s 3D printing. At the end of her visit she spoke enthusiastically about UTC Oxfordshire and the wider UTC model and said:

I think UTC Oxfordshire is fantastic for young people in and around Didcot, who have now got this brilliant new choice in terms of their education. I also think it’s great for employers. The best scenario is one where employers get the skills they need for their future workforce and young people get the chance to build great careers. The UTC is an inspiring way to bring those two things together.

The UTC model recognises that every young person needs different things from their education. They’re interested in different things and we need an education system that really caters for that. The UTC provides a very different offer for the pupils here, which they would otherwise not have been able to get.

We’ve made some great steps forward on our academic route over the last six years, but this is about diversity and choice. UTCs are about providing an option for the many young people who want to pursue a route in their education that’s more technical in nature, and UTCs can be a big part of how we do that.

Speaking about the visit, Owain Johns, Principal of UTC Oxfordshire, said:

We hope today has helped to demonstrate the importance of UTCs in providing young people with the skills needed to meet the demands of local employers. Our specialisms in science and engineering, along with our strong links with industry, will ensure our students are highly employable and ready for the working world when they leave education.

For information on UTC Oxfordshire’s upcoming open events, visit: www.utcoxfordshire.org.uk/events

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