Ron Dearing UTC has opened up an extra 50 student places in response to huge demand to be part of its first intake. The Hull based UTC, which opens in September 2017, specialises in digital technology and mechatronics and had planned to take in 150 students for the first year. However, applications have already outstripped that level so the UTC has applied successfully to the Department for Education to increase the first-year intake to 200 students.
Speaking about the demand for places, Principal Sarah Pashley said:
The level of interest in the UTC and the number of applications has been really encouraging. We’re delighted the local community shares our enthusiasm and that of the University of Hull and our employer sponsors for Ron Dearing UTC. Students and their parents clearly understand there is a huge gap in education provision in this area, which we will fill, and they want in. Because of the demand we applied to take in more students in our first year and the Department for Education was very happy to agree to that.
Almost 200 applications have already been received for the 100 places now available next September in each of year 10 (age 14) and year 12 (age 16). Mrs Pashley stressed students and parents who felt the UTC was the right option for them should continue to apply up to the end of January:
Places will not be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Everybody has an equal chance of getting a place provided they apply by January 31st, which is the cut-off point if people want an offer to be made before March 31st. Applications can still come in after January 31st but we won’t consider them until we have looked at all the applications that came in before the end of January.
Prior to applying our admissions criteria, we will be meeting with every single applicant and their parents to ensure they understand fully the educational offer at Ron Dearing UTC and that it’s the right place for them.
Vice Principal Mark Ollerenshaw talked about the enthusiasm for the UTC’s business-led educational model, the backing of leading employers and the route it offers into growing industries offering exciting and rewarding careers:
Clearly young people are recognising there are exciting opportunities in the local economy. They can also see Ron Dearing UTC will equip them with the skills, qualifications, practical experience and contacts with leading employers to give them the edge and the best possible route into those careers.
Lord Baker, Chairman of Baker Dearing Educational Trust, which promotes and supports UTCs, said the high level of applications indicated strong confidence in the new school:
There are currently 48 University Technical Colleges in major towns and cities across England. In 2016, 44% of UTC leavers went on to university and 29% started apprenticeships, both far exceeding the national average for schools.
Ron Dearing UTC has received a large number of applications from students hoping to join next year. This is great news and a very positive signal of local confidence in the new school and its sponsors who include Spencer Group, Siemens and the University of Hull.
Ron Dearing UTC is an impressive and dynamic school that will offer young people in Hull and the wider region the choice of a high-quality technical pathway from the age of 14. I have no doubt it will be an exciting place of academic and technical learning for ambitious young people.
More than 200 prospective students and parents attended the UTC’s latest open event. Parent Ruth Hodgkinson, from Hessle, said the UTC was perfect for her 15-year-old son Connor:
It sounds fantastic because it’s work-based and applied learning. I think that’s what teenagers need and is different from what is offered by other schools and colleges. What appeals to us is that Connor will be getting ongoing, hands-on practical experience and will work on real business projects. That will give Connor a huge advantage. He will be able to say to employers ‘I’ve done it. I don’t just know the theory – I’ve applied it practically’.
Students or their parents/carers can apply to join the UTC online at www.rondearingutc.com/apply or call 01482 222299 to request an application form.
A final open event will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2017. Students or parents can find out more about the event and secure their place by visiting: www.rondearingutc.com/openevents