Doncaster UTC technical college will start lessons next week at temporary base with its town centre base opening in October
It has been years in the planning, and its state of the art Doncaster town centre base is not yet complete.
But the Doncaster University Technical College (UTC) is finally set to open in a temporary base at the National College For Advanced Transport and Infrastructure (NCATI), at Lakeside.
Its first intake of 180 pupils starts on Wednesday September 9, at what was previously known as the National College for High Speed Rail. At the end of October, they will move to the purpose-built, town centre, UTC building when it is completed after delays due to lockdown.
It brings to an end four years of waiting, since Doncaster Chamber first lodged a bid to the Government for the college, which will teach engineering skills, in 2016.
The agreement to start lessons at NCATI was signed off this week.
Helen Redford-Hernandez, chief executive of the Brighter Futures Learning Partnership Trust, which will be running the new college as well as Hungerhill School, said: “We will temporarily be in the NCATI building, until half term – then we will be moving the the new building on College Road.”
Youngsters took part in a transition event at NCATI, along with their parents, at the end of last week.
Only year nine and year 12 pupils will attend this year.
Teachers will be in this week getting ready for the opening.
The school is paying for buses to take pupils from the town centre to the out of town, temporary site, until its permanent base is ready.
Mrs Redford-Hernandez said: “We feel very excited – we are the first UTC to be oversubscribed. We had 300 applications for 150 places, and we’re taking on 180.
"In terms of working with employers, we have some fantastic projects already in place, working with the local engineering firm Agema Spark, and with some of the people who work on the television show Grand Designs.
"We have had some challenges with opening due to lockdown,
“But the principal, Garath Rawson, and I have appointed experienced teachers, some of whom have worked in UTCs before, specialising in engineering and creative and digital technologies.
"We couldn’t have done it without Garath. He’s been inspirational. It’s been a massive team effort.”
The UTC is expected to reach its full capacity in 2022, when it will have years pupils in year nine, 10, 11, 12 and 13.
Doncaster Chamber chief exectutive, Dan Fell who put in the original college bid, said: “Doncaster’s business community have been heavily engaged with Doncaster UTC from day one. It is therefore exciting to see the ongoing successes of the project, including the recruitment of excellent education leaders and hundreds of learners keen to access excellent technical education in Doncaster.
"Perhaps most pleasingly, it is great to see a significant number of employer-led projects have been developed. This will enhance learning at the UTC in a way that is different to other schools and that will really help learners prepare for the world of work. This was one of the original design principles of the UTC and shows just how embedded in the project local businesses are.”