Ron Dearing UTC students celebrate outstanding A-level and Level 3 technical results for sixth consecutive year

Sixth form students at Hull’s university technical college (UTC) are once again celebrating superb A-level and Level 3 technical results.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley, centre, celebrating its outstanding results with students and staff.

Ron Dearing UTC opened its doors in 2017 and no sixth form student at the Ofsted ‘Outstanding’-rated school has ever failed a qualification.

This year, more than half of the 149 Year 13 cohort have secured a place at university, including with the Russell Group of elite higher education institutions. The others are preparing for exciting apprenticeships with leading businesses across the country, including with the UTC’s Founding and Employer Partners.

This year has also seen an increase in the number of students progressing onto degree apprenticeships with companies such as Ron Dearing UTC Founding Partners Reckitt and Spencer Group.

Highlights of the UTC’s results this year include:

  • 100% pass rate for the sixth consecutive year
  • 41% of all grades are A or A*
  • 92% of grades are A* to C
  • The average grade for A-levels is a B
  • The average grade for Level 3 technical qualifications, including Engineering, Computing, Art and Design, and Creative iMedia, is Distinction +

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We’re so proud of our students’ achievements this year. Despite not taking external exams in Year 11 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they have risen to the challenge and performed exceptionally well.

“We were concerned that the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) decision on results returning to pre-pandemic standards this year might mean that our results dipped, which seems to have been the case nationally.

“However, at Ron Dearing UTC, with the exception of a slight dip in the percentage of students achieving A* and A grades, all other benchmarks have remained in line with last year. 

“This means our results have bucked the national trend yet again.

“We’re particularly delighted to have maintained our 100% pass rate for the for the sixth consecutive year.”

Erin Rowe, 18, achieved Distinctions in all three of her technical qualifications, Digital Media, Art and Engineering.

She recently started work at Fresh Design International, an architecture and design company. Her early career has already seen her travel to Luxembourg, using high-tech software to scan buildings.

Erin said: “From the very first day at Ron Dearing, everyone has been so friendly and welcoming. I’ve massively enjoyed my time here, and am very sad to be leaving.

“I feel like I’m settling in nicely at Fresh Design, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.”

Peter Sward, 18, achieved straight A grades in all three of his A-levels – Biology, Chemistry and Maths.

He will now progress on to Oxford University, where he will study Biology. He has ambitions to work in genetics in the future.

Peter said: “I moved to Hull from Canada five years ago, and have been at Ron Dearing since Year 10. I’ve enjoyed my time here and I’ve met some great people. The teachers have been so helpful.

“I’m looking forward to starting at Oxford now, and seeing what the future holds.”

Mercy McFarlane, 18, secured a triple Distinction in her Extended Diploma in Engineering.

She is preparing to begin an Electrical Engineering Apprenticeship at Smith+Nephew, a Founding Partner of Ron Dearing UTC.

Mercy said: “I’m really proud of my grades, and all the hard work has paid off.

“I can’t wait for my apprenticeship. The whole male side of my family are all engineers and I want to be the first female. I’d like to be an offshore electrical engineer working on oil rigs in the future.

“I’ve loved my time at Ron Dearing UTC and all the opportunities it has given me.”

Cohen Morfitt, 18, achieved A* in A-level Further Maths and Maths, and a double Distinction in his Technical Diploma in Computer Science. He is now going to study Maths at Durham University.

Cohen said: “Coming to Ron Dearing UTC is the best decision I’ve ever made and the teachers have been amazing. They really pushed me and helped me achieve these grades.”

Leia Palmer, 18, achieved a double Distinction* in her Diploma in Digital Media and a C in A-level English Language and Literature.

She will now study Film Production at the University of Salford.

“My interest in film production started while I was at Ron Dearing, and I did a workshop in it which really captured my imagination,” said Leia.

“I loved Salford, and Media City, and it’s the place to be for film and broadcasting. At the moment I’m interested in a career in radio in the future, but let’s see what happens!

“Ron Dearing is the best place I’ve ever been – I came four years ago and I’ve loved it. I couldn’t have asked for any more support from the staff, they’ve been fantastic.”

Aleksis Vanags, 18, achieved an A* in A-level Further Maths, an A* in A-level Maths, an A in A-level Physics and a Distinction* in his Technical Certificate in Computing.

He will now progress on to Imperial College London, where he will study Aerospace Engineering.

Aleksis said: “I’m really happy with my results – I’ve wanted to study Aerospace Engineering for a while now, and I can’t believe it’s actually going to happen.

“I’ve made some really good friends here at Ron Dearing, and all of the teachers and staff have been supportive and have pushed me to get the best results possible.

“I’m going to miss it here, but I’m also excited for what comes next.”

Ron Dearing UTC in Kingston Square, Hull city centre, caters for students aged 14 to 19 and offers a unique employer-led model of education specialising in art & design, computing, engineering and maths and sciences.

Next month will see the UTC’s largest ever intake of students, with the opening of its new £5m centre for creativity, STEAM Studios. The state-of-the-art facility includes a gallery exhibition space, four creative studios, digital suites and a large independent study area for sixth form students.

Richard Martin, Chair of the Governing Board at Ron Dearing UTC and Non-Executive Director at Major Partner Arco, said: “This year’s A-level and Level 3 Technical results are fantastic once again and this is testament to the hard work of everyone involved.

“The UTC staff, our Founding and Employer Partners and our parents and carers always go above and beyond to support our students and in encouraging them to be the best they can be.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for Ron Dearing UTC as it continues to grow and welcome more students, giving them the edge and opening up wonderful opportunities as they prepare for their very bright futures.”

The capacity of STEAM Studios is greater than originally anticipated and Ron Dearing UTC is able to offer a small number of additional Year 12 places in September.

Any students who are interested in applying should email Principal Sarah Pashley via or attend Ron Dearing UTC with their results in person on Thursday 17 August.