UTCs celebrate technical success and continual improvement

UTCs are celebrating the very best technical qualifications to have been secured since the programme launched in 2010. Overall, the average grade has climbed from Distinction to Distinction*.

This year, students at 34 UTCs undertook post-16 qualifications. This was the first year of external exams for a third of these UTCs and, despite this, they also performed above the national rate.

UTCs offer a technical and academic education and scores of students undertake challenging qualifications such as the BTEC Extended Diploma which is worth three A-Levels. UTCs also improved their performance in A Levels with average grades improving by around half a grade for UTCs over the last year.

Across the country UTC students are now taking up apprenticeships, places at university and employment, here are some of the highlights.

UTC Oxfordshire

As well seeing one of their students secure a place at Cambridge, the students from UTC Oxfordshire are being offered world class apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships at Williams F1, Jaguar Land Rover, Mini/BMW, Laing O’Rouke, Oxford Space Systems, X-Trac, RPS Water, National Rail, STFC and CCFE.

Owain Johns, UTC Oxfordshire Principal, commented:

We are all delighted with the results the students at the UTC received after its first set of public exams. They have all worked extremely hard over the past two years. I would like to thank partners and parents who have supported us so well in our opening two years – everyone is extremely proud of what has been achieved. This has all been made possible with the support and hard work of a really committed staff team.


The first cohort of students who joined UTC@Harbourside in 2015 received their post-16 exam results this year.

Head boy Kyle Brackenfield’s (pictured) grades includes a Distinction* in Engineering and an A Grade in Electronics. While studying for his exams, Kyle was also an RNLI volunteer and secured an apprenticeship at CNC Engineering. Speaking about his career goals, Kyle said:

I am really excited to start an apprenticeship in Computer Numerically Controlled, Engineering which has been created especially for me. I also want to start my own business in 3D printing.


Similarly, the first batch of students to attend UTC@MediaCityUK in Manchester received their results. 60% of this year’s A-Level students are progressing to university whilst the remaining students have largely secured employment or apprenticeships.

Principal Sharon Gardner noted:

The most common outcome for students was DDD* which is a fantastic achievement for students in our first year of results.

Jess Gallery achieved DDD* in her BTEC and has been successful in gaining an apprenticeship with the BBC (where there were 6,000 applicants for only a few roles).

WMG Academy Coventry

Students at WMG Academy Coventry celebrated a 100% pass rate in BTEC engineering and 99% across all A-Levels. The academy saw 85% of engineering students awarded three Distinctions or higher in BTEC Extended Diploma in Engineering, with over a third (35%) gaining the highest possible grade of three Distinction Stars.

WMG Academy student Katherine Fenton (pictured) achieved Engineering Distinction, Distinction, Distinction*, C in Maths and secured a degree level apprenticeship with Jaguar Land Rover. She was one of 100 apprentices chosen from 8,000 applicants. Katherine said:

WMG Academy has given me the confidence to go for it. It feels different to any other sixth form and everyone is really supportive. You gain so much experience of the outside world and industry and work placements and that has allowed me to use that on my CV and get better opportunities and grades.

Liverpool Life Sciences UTC

Another budding apprentice is David Callow (pictured) from Liverpool Life Sciences UTC, who has been accepted onto the highly competitive Dyson Institute of Technology Degree Apprenticeship. David achieved an outstanding A*BB at A-Level. He is extremely happy with his results and said:

UTC felt like home, the staff are really supportive and committed. They made every day enjoyable and nothing else could compare to the help they provide for students.

Lincoln UTC

Over at Lincoln UTC, 97% of candidates secured a place at university. As well as progression to university, Lincoln UTC students have been accepted for top apprenticeship roles including Siemens and Fairfields Control Systems.

[Pictured] Issy Latimer, whose A-Level grades earned her a place at the University of Manchester, where she will study Mathematics.

Interim Principal, Paul Batterbury said:

We are very proud of Lincoln UTC and the success of its students. With so many successfully moving on to higher education or into significant further training, such as apprenticeships, we remain confident about Lincoln UTC continuing to deliver the vision its founding principal, Dr Rona Mackenzie, initiated three years ago.

The Leigh UTC

Students from The Leigh UTC have also all secured either an apprenticeship or their preferred university destination as results showed:

  • 91% of all students achieved a Level 3 mathematics qualification
  • 100% of students achieved engineering A*-C at Level 3
  • 100% of students achieved IT/computing A*-C at level 3
  • 100% of students achieved AS extended project A*-E
  • Average grades for BTECs are Distinction * (1.2 grades higher than national average 2016)

Speaking about the results, Principal Steve Leahey said:

I am immensely proud of these results. It reflects on the unique positive relationships between our staff and students at The Leigh UTC. Gaining outstanding qualifications is only part of the process which includes our students securing fabulous employment and higher education destinations. I am extremely proud of all our students and they must be warmly congratulated.

[Pictured] Students at The Leigh UTC celebrate their exam results.