Pryce pledge to UTC

Wednesday 11 June 2014

Ian Pryce CBE, Principal and CEO of Bedford College, has met with parents of the Houghton Regis UTC it is now sponsoring.

Parents and pupils heard that award-winning Bedford College has strong links with 1,000s of employers – particularly engineering and technology companies. It is the largest provider of Bedfordshire apprenticeship training and is going to put all those contacts to good use on behalf of the University Technical College.

The UTC, which takes pupils from the age of 14 – 18, has welcomed Bedford College as a new sponsor following an Ofsted report which said it needed support.

“We at Bedford College have a history of engineering education excellence, we are committed to technology training and are looking forward to helping the UTC improve as quickly as possible for the benefit of its pupils,” said Mr Pryce,

“We will be recruiting more 16+ pupils from this September (2014) who will be able to benefit from Bedford College-supported experience on their doorsteps in the South of the county rather than having to travel to our campus in the North.”

“There will be investments of time and money in back-office functions, estates, marketing and most importantly for parents and pupils, in the curriculum and teaching.”

“Improvements are already being made in the education provision by the existing team and with the backing of Bedford College the UTC will grow bigger and better.”

Leadership at the UTC will be a single figurehead who reports into Ian Pryce. Government-led changes mean the Spring window to advertise for a permanent head to start in September has been missed. But this will be redressed in 2015.

“We have much to do and will be starting straight away. The Bedford College project team will be working all over the summer to welcome new and existing pupils in September.”

Ten Things to Learn about the UTC at Houghton Regis

University Technical Colleges are a specialist form of school set up by the Government to allow 14 year olds to focus on careers requiring the latest skills.

Pupils take a variety of qualifications including GCSE and A Levels in subjects like Maths, IT and Physics. Good results are expected this summer.

Big name employers are continuing to back the UTC and more are following now Bedford College is involved.

Extensive consultation will be conducted to consider widening the curriculum to include wider technology training – as all careers will require higher IT skills in the next decade.

The age range could be dropped in 13 to be in keeping with the changeover to upper schools which still exist in parts of Bedfordshire.

Bedford College is planning a 13+ Bedford Technical Academy in the North of the county.

Bedford College is bringing in the University of Bedfordshire to support the UTC – joining Cranfield University which is already on board (and with which Bedford College has close links).

Bedford College has achieved 90% scores in its teaching and learning activities – top quality skills which it will share with the UTC.

Bedford College has close links with schools in Central Bedfordshire, runs the award-winning Shuttleworth College near Biggleswade and is the largest provider of 16+ education in Central Beds.

Bedford College has been asked to sponsor the UTC based upon its successful track record at Shuttleworth, Bedford Academy, Bedford Free School and The Bedford Sixth Form.