Students at UTC will work a normal working day, says man behind project

Youngsters at Manor Infant School and Nursery celebrate with headteacher Ashley Howard, centre. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Infant school rated ‘good’ four years after being placed into special measures

  • University of Portsmouth pro vice-chancellor says UTC is very attractive
  • College will educate 600 pupils from across the area
  • It’s also being supported by Portsmouth City Council
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STUDENTS at the area’s first University Technical College will take on a normal working day in a bid to prepare them for a career – but will not be given homework.

The news comes as plans to open a UTC on the site of Trafalgar School in Hilsea are progressing fast, with a public consultation due to start next month.

It is a traditional engineering city and we would wish it to remain so

Paul Hayes, University of Portsmouth

The UTC will educate 600 pupils aged between 14 and 19 and will specialise in engineering and mechanics.

The school will run from 8.30am until 5pm each day, to replicate a normal working day.

Students will also not be given homework.

Paul Hayes is the pro vice-chancellor for education and student experience at the University of Portsmouth.

He is also the chairman of the steering group for the UTC.

When the college opens, he will become the chairman of governors.

He said: ‘This isn’t just a school for Portsmouth.

‘It has a really big catchment area.

‘It will work because it’s very attractive. For some people, it’s difficult to motivate them with the curriculum.

‘This is a much more hands-on curriculum that’s aimed very much at electrical engineering and advanced manufacturing.

‘They are practical subjects, alongside the traditional subjects on the national curriculum.

‘It’s a different approach. It’s a different school day, from 8.30am to 5pm.

The project is led by the university and Portsmouth City Council.

It has also been supported by the Royal Navy, BAE Systems, QinetiQ, Airbus, Pall Europe and Land Rover BAR.

Mr Hayes added it’s important that the area has more young people qualified to work in the engineering and mechanical sectors.

‘There is a skills shortage. Employers have an ageing workforce,’ he said.

‘They know what their workforce requirements are going forward.

‘There aren’t enough skilled people to meet those requirements. It is a traditional engineering city and we would wish it to remain so.

‘It’s a new model of education. This isn’t the first in the country – it has been tested..

‘It’s an alternative offering within the city.’

The school will educate pupils from a wide area, from Winchester to East Hampshire to Arun, as well as across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.

Students will work with local employers on problem solving and give them a taste of life in industry.

The college is due to open in September 2017.