One year on
It’s now one year since the Buckinghamshire University Technical College (UTC) in Oxford Road opened. We offer a unique education concept, mixing academic and vocational skills, with the usual GCSE/A levels alongside industry recognised technical qualifications. We asked the teaching team to highlight how they felt the Construction and IT students had progressed during the year. They all agreed there were two significan’t changes – the overall academic progress and that the majority of students came in with little or no confidence, but had now absolutely ‘blossomed’.
Beverley Flanagan, Principal of Bucks UTC, said: “We put their overall confidence down to our commitment to make our students ready for the world of work. By the end of week one, they were working in teams to make formal presentations to a group of employers and Governors. Work experience in the premises of our employer partners, means they’re already used to a workplace environment. The business dress code also gets them in the right work mind-set.
At the end of term, all students took part in a performance to employers, Governors, staff and parents. Some of these students would never have been so brave to talk and sing in front of an audience one year ago. All this helps them become self-assured, professional individuals.”
Parents are noticing the change in their young people too. Beverley Bennett, mum to Joe Bennett, age 14, who is studying IT, commented: “The difference in Joe from when he started back in September to now is phenomenal – he has grown into a confident young man. Please pass on our thanks to his teachers and in particular Vince and Alan for all their hard work, kindness and patience, it certainly is paying off.”
Academic improvements are also very evident. There has been a huge improvement in Maths overall, and some students have jumped four levels, rather than the two expected in the usual secondary school route. This is helped by the smaller class numbers which give a more personal teaching approach.
Beverley Flanagan, Principal concludes: “With the right attitude and aptitude, our students will get a job. They are already undertaking excellent work experience with our employer partners. Some students have been taken, a year earlier than expected, on work placements – Felix and Scott are off to Taylor Wimpey, while Austin and Connor will be working with Esri UK. Employers have praised the ‘professional attitude to work’ that our students bring.”
If you are a bright young person with a passion for IT or Construction and enjoy vocational skills study, consider making the leap to Bucks UTC.