Ron Dearing UTC records outstanding A-level results

Sixth form students taking part in a day preparing them to apply for apprenticeships with Ron Dearing UTC’s employer partners. 50% of Year 13 students have now secured apprenticeships, with some having already joined their new employers.

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) has delivered outstanding A-level results, validating the school’s employer-led approach to education.

The Hull school has recorded an exceptional set of grades in the first public results since it opened its doors two years ago.

Highlights of an excellent A-level results day for Ron Dearing UTC included:

  • 25% of all grades are A or A*.
  • 70% of grades are A*-C.
  • The average grade is a B, compared to last year’s national average of C+.
  • Thirteen students have straight A* or A grades.
  • The overall pass rate is 100%.

All 85 Year 13 students took A-levels and Level 3 technical qualifications identified by the school’s employer partners as the qualifications that would best equip them with the knowledge and skills they need for successful careers within the engineering, digital and creative sectors.

The results for technical qualifications, including Engineering, Computing and Creative iMedia, are also outstanding, with the average grade being a Distinction, the equivalent to grade B at A-level. The national average grade for technical qualifications last year was a Merit, which is the equivalent to an A-level grade C. As with A-levels, the school’s pass rate for technical qualifications is 100%.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We’re absolutely thrilled with these results. We had exceptionally high expectations, but our students have exceeded even our high hopes. 

“We’re really delighted because these students and their parents put so much faith in us. We didn’t even have a building when they applied to come here and, as a brand new school, we were completely untried and untested.

“Our students and their parents bought into our revolutionary, employer-led model of learning, which has at its heart a proactive partnership between education and business professionals. It’s fantastic that they have been rewarded for their belief in our unique educational approach.

“We’re delighted that we have delivered a high-quality curriculum and learning experience and are extremely grateful to our highly committed staff team, our employer partners and the University of Hull for the huge contribution they have made. 

“The greatest credit must go to the students, however. They have worked exceptionally hard to achieve these brilliant results. They have embraced all the many opportunities made available to them at Ron Dearing UTC and pushed themselves to go well beyond their comfort zones on a regular basis.  

“It’s gratifying to see them rewarded for this effort and now moving on to amazing destinations.

“These results prove that an approach to education which involves students applying the theory they learn in the classroom to real projects designed and delivered with employer partners not only develops their employability skills, but also enhances their academic progress.  

“We often talk about giving our students the edge and, across the board, these results show we are absolutely doing that. The Ron Dearing UTC educational vision has been validated.”

With students receiving their individual results today, the school is confident that all learners who have applied to university will have their offers confirmed.

Meanwhile, 50% of the students have been successful in securing high-quality science, technology, engineering, creative and accountancy apprenticeships, either with the school’s employer partners or other leading local businesses. This is compared to just 6% of all students nationally who move on to apprenticeships. 

Some of the Ron Dearing UTC students have already started their apprenticeships, with many more looking forward to joining their employers in September.

Mrs Pashley also highlighted that almost half of students studying A-level maths, or further maths, achieved an A or A* grade.

She added: “We’re especially delighted with the maths results, because maths is so important to the careers we’re focused on preparing our young people for.

“In terms of developing the engineers and digital specialists of the future, it’s really important we’re producing students with top-quality maths skills.”

Ron Dearing UTC is a school that means business, offering a unique education model with a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering. The £10m school in Hull city centre caters for students aged between 14 and 19 from Hull and the East Riding.

Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partners are the University of Hull and the hugely successful businesses KCOM, RB, Siemens Gamesa, Smith & Nephew and Spencer Group. The school is also supported by Hull City Council and many other industry partners, including APD Communications, Arco, BP, Ørsted and Sonoco Trident.

Charlie Spencer OBE, Chair of Governors and Executive Chairman of Spencer Group, said: “These are superb results and a testament to the hard work and amazing talent of the students and the teaching team.

“All the partner employers are so excited about the contribution the students will make when they apply all they have learned at Ron Dearing UTC in the workplace.”

[John Meehan – Meehan Media & Comms]

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