A new Technical College for Medway

It is great to see that the Council is looking to establish a University Technical College (UTC) here in Medway.

For those who aren’t familiar with this concept it’s a new type of school for 14-19 year olds, which combines practical and technical skills with academic subjects and is supported by industry and a university.

The government has pledged funding to open 24 UTCs by 2014 across the country and Medway hopes to be included.  To help the bid, the Council is asking students and parents to give their views so we can see the potential interest in this new idea and I would encourage you to fill in the quick survey.

A future Medway UTC could specialise in construction and engineering and be sponsored by the University of Greenwich and MidKent College.

The main promoter of this concept is Lord Baker who visited Medway last year and said: “the Medway UTC will certainly have the strong support of the Baker Dearing Trust”.  Given that bids for UTCs are co-ordinated by Lord Baker and his Trust (along with the Department for Education), this is extremely encouraging.

I can really see the potential in this new initiative to raise aspirations and opportunities for young people in Medway, especially given that the school leaving age is soon to increase to 18.  I know from my experience as a lecturer at Canterbury College just how important it is to raise the aspirations of our young people and this will be a major step forward.

It is also encouraging that nationally UTCs have cross-party support.  As the Shadow Secretary of State for Education said in Parliament:

“UTCs are an exciting innovation, modelled on the highly successful JCB academy in Staffordshire, established under the previous government.”

With everyone’s support we can bring this to Medway in the near future.

Update

It is good to see that the Medway Labour Group are supporting the Administration’s plans for a UTC, courtesy of Medway Times.

One Response to “A new Technical College for Medway”

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