Revealed: How Doncaster's new University Technical College could look

An artists impression of how Doncaster University Technical College could look
An artists impression of how Doncaster University Technical College could look

This is how the planned Doncaster University Technical College could look when it opens in two years time.

The pictures have been drawn up by architects for Doncaster Chamber, which has been leading the bid for the college which was given the go-ahead by the Government this week.

Now officials in Doncaster say they are are looking at a number of high profile town centre sites for a planned facility, where hundreds of students will be trained to become experts in engineering and digital technology to help provide the skilled workers local businesses need at the state-of-the art new college in Doncaster announced this week.

Read more: Doncaster to get University Technical College to train young engineers aged 13-19
No decision has been made on the exact town centre location, but bosses have confirmed that they plan to use a central site.

A number of recent college have been sited in out of town locations including the National College for High Speed Rail, at Lakeside, and the new sixth form college at Auckley.

The new school will help to provide a workforce for the future and ensure Doncaster’s economic sustainability in the advanced engineering, rail and digital design sectors. It had been proposed to deal with concerns from local employers about a shortage of key engineering skills, with Doncaster Chamber having led the bid with partners within business and education.

The UTC will open in September 2020, and will teach 750 students aged between 13 and 19-years. They will have access to a unique learning experience enhanced by close links with local supporting employers to bring the curriculum to life through project work.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System, Lord Agnew, wants the borough's existing schools and its business community to work closely with the UTC.

In an interview with the Free Press this week he said: "There has been a process of engagement with business and employers and they have been actively involved in the bid. There is a flexible model in terms of how they operate, but in successful UTCs the employers go in and are involved. The more an employer becomes involved, the more they get out of it.

"Many have a full time employer engagement manager.

He added: "It has been a very though bid. Donacster is not short of school places, but we are bringing in another institution into the community and needed to be very sure that this was going to add value.

"How it affects other schools will depend on the policy of engagement. They should consult with schools to offer a different route to the academic route. It is important to have a constructive relationship, and there needs to be an open door policy with the schools, to encourage them to be open and collaborate with the UTC."

But he said funding revenue for schools would still based on a the basis of how many pupils they had. Funding attached to a pupil who moved from a mainstream school to a UTC would transfer to the UTC.

He added: "I'm very optimistic. Where we have seen the the best UTCs, the proportion of children going on to good destinations, be that a apprenticehsip, university or a good college has improved."

Doncaster Chamber chief executive Dan Fell, who led the bid for the UTC, said: "We all now look forwards to working closely with DfE to open a brilliant UTC in Doncaster’s town centre in 2020.”

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster commented: “It has been a long held ambition of the council, Doncaster Chamber, local businesses and the whole of Team Doncaster to bring a University Technical College to Doncaster so it is fantastic news that we now have the green light from Government. We have just published a review of post 16 education across Doncaster and one of its key recommendations to improve outcomes for young people is to improve quality and choice in Doncaster’s further and higher education opportunities so our communities have clearer routes into employment which the UTC will be an integral part of.

Pupils at Doncaster UTC will study core GCSEs and A levels alongside a high-quality technical curriculum that focuses on teaching them key digital and engineering skills, designed with local and national employers. It will join the 49 University Technical Colleges that specialise in subjects that meet the needs of employers and the economy by integrating academic study with practical learning, already open nationwide

It will provide and education science, technology, engineering and maths subjects and specialise in offering advanced engineering, rail and digital design sectors. Work will now continue to recruit the Principal, senior staff, businesses to provide hands-on learning and of course students to be able to open the doors in September 2020.