In a letter received from Lord Hill of Oareford, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, he said ‘This marks a significant step on the journey to opening (of the UTC in Daventry), and demonstrates the confidence we have in your vision’.
University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are a relatively new concept in education, and are designed to offer 14-19 year-olds an opportunity to take full time, technically-oriented courses. The Daventry UTC for new Technologies is planned to open by 2013 and will cater for up to 600 pupils. It will become part of a national network of University Technical Colleges (UTC) as proposed by Lord Baker and the late Ron Dearing of the Baker-Dearing Educational Trust.
Moulton College is the lead sponsor for this flagship government-funded project, a Beacon College known for providing outstanding education, and is co-sponsored by the University of Northampton. Other key partners include Daventry District Council and Northamptonshire County Council, West Northants Development Corporation and the Daventry Learning Partnership which includes Moulton and Northampton Colleges and the William Parker and Danetre secondary schools.
The UTC facility will allow pupils to specialise in a vocational curriculum in sustainable new technologies, alongside the core GCSE subjects of English, maths, science and a wide range of sport and enrichment activities.
Students will have the opportunity to work with Moulton College and The University of Northampton, as well as gain valuable work experience with local and national industry provided by employers such as Cummins Ltd, Cosworth, DHL, ProLogis, Hiforce and SDC. The initiative is seen by project leaders as vital in raising the aspirations of young people and developing a creative and innovative workforce for the region and beyond.
Principal at Moulton College, Steve Davies, said:
We are delighted to be able to implement the vision of raising aspirations for the study of sustainable technologies in Daventry and the east midlands region.
There will be a key focus on skills, leading into education and local industry to help support the next generation of creative and innovative technicians.
This UTC will play a key role in addressing the region’s skills gap and ensuring that we foster a passion and enthusiasm for embracing sustainable technologies that will enable us to produce a new generation of innovated and talented students who meet the demands of society and industries in the region.
Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of The University of Northampton, commented:
The Daventry UTC will add real value to technical education for the future of Northamptonshire. We are a University with established teaching and research excellence in areas including science-focussed and environmentally-based disciplines. As such we are delighted to support an initiative where students will learn in a very practical way, integrating national curriculum requirements with technical and vocational elements.
Professor Nick Petford
Cllr. Chris Millar, Leader of the Council at Daventry District Council, said:
Daventry is nationally recognised for its extensive green agenda and the UTC will provide a valuable focus on renewable and sustainable technologies to nurture the home-grown skills and talent of our young people.
Improving the education offer of Daventry is one of the cornerstones of the Council’s vision to create a more vibrant and sustainable town in the face of significant future growth. It complements our on-going work to improve the local economy through improved education, retail and leisure facilities.
Cllr. Chris Millar
Leader of Northamptonshire County Council Jim Harker said:
Having the right skills available in the county is crucial to our economic growth and our ability to retain and attract employers. The aim of the Daventry UTC would be to provide outstanding education for up to 600 14-19 year old students who are committed to a technology-related career or will be motivated to achieve greater academic success through exposure to a vocational/technical curriculum.
The employment potential of the students will be enhanced through first class and comprehensive links with local employers, particularly leading engineering, construction and logistic employers among others.
Picture: Artist’s visualisation of the new University Technical College at Daventry.