FORMER education secretary Lord Baker will see how work is progressing on Daventry’s new University Technical College (UTC) when he visits the town this week.
He chairs the Baker Dearing Educational Trust and Edge Foundation, which has spearheaded the new concept of UTCs in education, and he will be given a tour of the construction site off Ashby Road on Thursday.
The Daventry UTC for new technologies is planned to open later this year and was one of only 13 proposals in the whole country that were approved by the Department for Education in the initial round of applications.
It will offer 14-19 year olds an innovative mix of academic studies, technical learning, employer-led design projects and work placements. Students will be able to take a range of GCSEs (and A/AS Level subjects from Year 12) alongside specialisms in the areas of engineering, modern methods of construction or environmental sustainability.
Students will have the opportunity to work with lead sponsors for the project Moulton College and The University of Northampton, as well as gain valuable work experience with local employers Cummins, Cosworth, DHL, ProLogis, Hi-Force, FCC Environment and Kier.
Lord Baker will visit Moulton College as part of his tour, as well Cummins in Daventry’s Royal Oak Industrial Estate.
David Edmondson, Principal Designate at the Daventry UTC, said: “We are delighted that Lord Baker is visiting Daventry to see how work on the site is progressing and also some of our key sponsors including Cummins and Moulton College.
“Lord Baker has spearheaded the concept of UTCs, which will play a key role in addressing the nation’s skills gap, and it will be an honour to show him how his vision is becoming a reality in Daventry.”
Stephen Davies, Principal of Moulton College and lead sponsor for the Daventry UTC, said: “We are delighted that Lord Baker is visiting Daventry as this will enable him to see how the continuous work and tenacity of all of the sponsors is coming together to ultimately provide for an outstanding educational experience for young people at the Daventry UTC.”
Construction work is progressing well on the UTC, with the main contractor Shepherd in the process of carrying out groundworks and installing the building’s steel frames.
Interest is high for the 120 places available for Year 10 students this autumn and applications are now being accepted from potential students living within a 45-minute journey radius of the site, including the wider area of Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and south Leicestershire. The first offers of places at the UTC are being made this month. The first Year 12 entry will be in 2014.
To find out more about the Daventry UTC, view the prospectus and apply for a place visit www.daventryutc.com.