Students achieve outstanding GCSE results at Hull’s employer-led school

Vice Principal Mark Ollerenshaw with Ron Dearing UTC students. The employer-led school has today recorded outstanding GCSE results.

Students at Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) have achieved outstanding GCSE grades, paving the way for the next positive step in their learning journeys.

The results justify decisions made by the students and their parents to leave their previous schools at age 14 to commit to Hull’s employer-led school when it opened two years ago.

Highlights of the excellent GCSE results achieved by Ron Dearing UTC’s Year 11 students include:

  • 70% of students achieved grades 4-9 in both English and Maths.
  • 40% of students secured grades 5-9 in English and Maths.
  • 11% of students achieved a grade 8 or 9 in Maths, while 13% attained a grade 8 or 9 in Physics – the very best grades possible.
  • Progress in Maths and Physics is likely to be in line with the top 5% of all schools in England and Wales.
  • 44% of students achieved a Distinction or Distinction* in Engineering in a technical qualification equivalent to a GCSE.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We’re really delighted with these results. 

“This is our first Key Stage 4 cohort to come through and they all applied to join us in the early days before we opened. They put their faith in us and made a very brave decision to leave their existing schools and come to Ron Dearing UTC.

“We’re absolutely thrilled they decided to buy into our employer-led vision and their achievements prove it’s an approach to education which works.

“We’re delighted the students have made fantastic progress with us, have achieved excellent GCSE results and so many have opted to stay with us to continue their education in our high-performing Sixth Form.

“Our Maths and Science results are especially outstanding, which is great to see because both of those subjects are integral to our specialisms of engineering and digital technology.”

Attendance for the year group was 97% over the past two years, which is significantly above the national average and reflects the students’ commitment to their education since joining Ron Dearing UTC.

Of the 116 Year 11 students, 102 have achieved the entry criteria for a place in Ron Dearing UTC’s Sixth Form, leaving a limited number of places for external applicants available in Year 12 from September.

Meanwhile, having notched up successful GCSE results, several students will now begin apprenticeships with leading local employers, including BAE Systems at Brough.

Sarah said: “Every single student who applied for a place in our Sixth Form has been successful and they will be able to continue their learning journey with us. They will hopefully go on to really great results at 18 and fantastic destinations in the future.

“Although the vast majority of students have decided to stay with us into the Sixth Form, it’s also really pleasing to see some have already managed to secure high-quality apprenticeships with major businesses, which is quite an achievement at the age of 16.

“It shows the level of their maturity, technical knowledge and expertise, and shows they have already developed strong employability skills.”

Exam performance was also outstanding across science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) subjects, with the following results:

  • 84% of students achieved grade 4 or above in Maths.
  • 79% achieved grade 4 or above in Chemistry.
  • 84% attained grade 4 or above in Physics.
  • 84% achieved grade 4 or above in Dual Science, which includes Chemistry, Physics and Biology.
  • 90% of students achieved grade 4 or above in their Creative Digital qualification.
  • 90% attained grade 4 or above in Engineering Manufacturing.
  • 100% of students realised grade 4 or above in Engineering Design.

The excellent GCSE success come a week after equally outstanding A-level results, which saw the school achieve a 100% pass rate, with 25% of all grades being A or A* and 70% of grades A*-C. The results for technical qualifications, including Engineering, Computing and Creative iMedia, were also exceptionally good, with the average grade being a Distinction, the equivalent to grade B at A-level.

Ron Dearing UTC in Hull city centre caters for students aged between 14 and 19 from Hull and the East Riding and offers a unique education model, with a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering. 

The school’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 and many other industry partners, including Major Partners APD Communications, Arco, BP, C4DI, Green Port Hull, Ideal Boilers, Fujitsu, Ørsted, Sewell Group and Sonoco Trident.

Principal Sarah Pashley and Chair of Governors Charlie Spencer OBE have paid tribute to students who have delivered an outstanding set of GCSE results.

Charlie Spencer OBE, Ron Dearing UTC Chair of Governors and Executive Chairman of engineering business Spencer Group, said: “Our students have now delivered excellent results in their A-levels, technical qualifications and GCSEs. Those results are a great credit to each of the students, their families, their teachers and the school community.

“Speaking on behalf of Ron Dearing UTC’s employer partners, we’re proud to have supported the students in their learning journeys and we’re really excited by the amazing pipeline of talent that has now begun to flow from the school into our businesses.”

External students who are interested in applying to join Ron Dearing UTC’s Sixth Form in September are asked to e-mail Vice Principal Mark Ollerenshaw at for further information.

[John Meehan – Meehan Media & Comms]