Record sixth form numbers at Ron Dearing UTC after outstanding GCSE results

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) is celebrating outstanding GCSE and Level 2 technical results as the school prepares to take on its highest ever number of sixth form students.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley has praised the work ethic and determination of its students

The grades surpassed expectations and significantly exceeded targets despite the 150 Year 11 cohort spending a substantial part of the past two years studying online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Almost 500 students applied for places at the school’s sixth form this year – the highest number of applications received since it opened its doors in 2017.

More than 350 students will now complete the sixth form across Years 12 and 13 from September, including 120 existing students who secured top marks progressing into Year 12, cementing the growing popularity of the school’s unique employer-led model of education.

Highlights of the GCSE and Level 2 technical results include:

  • 81% of students achieved grades 4-9 in both English and Maths
  • 62% of students achieved grades 5-9 in English and Maths
  • 86% of students achieved grades 4-9 in Sciences
  • 61% of students achieved grades 5-9 in Sciences
  • 95% of students achieved grades 5-9 in technical specialisms, including Art and Design, Creative iMedia, Digital Technology and Engineering

The excellent results come one week after Ofsted ‘Outstanding’-rated Ron Dearing sixth form students achieved record A-level and Level 3 technical results for the fifth consecutive year, despite the disruption caused to their education by Covid-19. This followed the students’ first external exams, as their GCSEs in 2020 were based on teacher assessed grades.

The growth in the UTC’s sixth form numbers comes as work to expand and increase its capacity is underway.

The first phase of remodelling the existing building in Hull’s Kingston Square is due to be completed by the end of August.

This will include additional independent study space and new science laboratories, enabling the UTC to take on an additional 80 Year 12 students from September. The intake will increase to a further 120 students by September 2023, taking Ron Dearing’s overall capacity to 800.

The expansion plans also involve creating a new hi-tech learning centre in the former Central Fire Station next to the school, including a large sixth form centre.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “Just like with our Year 13 results last week, our Year 11 results are even better than the very strong teacher assessed grades our students achieved last year.

“The exam boards have stated they have adjusted the grade boundaries so that the number of top grades and passes awarded falls midway between the last set of external exams in 2019 and the teacher assessed grades. It means these results are even more impressive.

“It’s an amazing achievement considering all the challenges our students have had to overcome due to the pandemic and they have demonstrated incredible determination and resilience.

“I’m absolutely thrilled they have achieved the fantastic results they deserve and delighted they can go on to follow the courses they want to study next year.

“The overwhelming majority of students have chosen to continue their learning in our sixth form. It’s a huge relief we secured funding to extend our building and create the extra space we need to fit them all in!”

Ron Dearing UTC caters for students aged 14 to 19 and has a specialist focus on digital technology, art and design, creative digital and engineering. While 120 students will progress into Year 12 next month, 27 have secured a mixture of apprenticeships or places at further education colleges and three will embark on careers in the Armed Forces.

Richard Martin, Chair of the Governing Board at Ron Dearing UTC and Non-Executive Director at Major Partner Arco, said: “These brilliant results are further proof that our unique, employer-engaged approach to learning really works.

“Having fantastic education leaders, teachers and support staff working in close partnership with the region’s leading businesses not only ensures our students develop exceptional employability skills, but also supports them to achieve top class exam results.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the vital role our parents and carers play in supporting their children and our school. They’ve worked with us every step of the way.

“The students have met every challenge the pandemic has thrown at them and come out on top. They are amazing and truly deserve this success.”

Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partners are the University of Hull and leading local employers KCOM, RB, Siemens Gamesa, Smith+Nephew and Spencer Group. The school is also supported by Hull City Council alongside many other Major Partners and Partners.

Students who wish to join Ron Dearing UTC in September 2023 can apply online via