New Wolverhampton school praised by education watchdogs

A new Wolverhampton school is celebrating a successful Ofsted inspection which highlights its strong focus on providing pupils with key employability skills.

West Midlands University Technical College (UTC) opened in 2016, combining a traditional academic education with technical qualifications which have focus on design, innovation, architecture and construction.

An Ofsted inspection last month saw the school, based at Springfield Campus in Cambridge Street, officially rated as 'Good', with work to promote student welfare and personal development singled out as 'Outstanding'.

The UTC, which is supported by the University of Wolverhampton and works closely with employers, was said to be 'exceptionally successful' in developing key employability skills.

The report stated: "Students are very well prepared for the world of work when they leave." It added: "The curriculum sets the school apart from more traditional secondary schools. It is successful in its stated aim of ‘giving students a distinct advantage in seeking professional and technical careers within the construction, built environment and related information and communication technology (ICT) industries’."

The school’s curriculum was said to be distinctive and well planned. "Employers contribute impressively to many aspects of school life. The school’s specialism is evident in all that it does," the report stated.

Several students told inspectors how much progress they felt they had made since joining the school and pupils were praised in the report for their behaviour and attitudes.

Principal Av Gill was praised for his strong leadership, supported by his team of staff.

"Since his appointment to the school in September 2017, the principal has provided clear, authoritative leadership. He is well supported by able senior leaders. Together, they have built on the school’s existing strengths and successfully addressed its weaknesses," the report said.

Mr Gill said: "As Principal I am honoured to be leading West Midlands UTC. It is with pride that I can share that Ofsted has recognised how we support our students to develop into mature, confident, thoughtful and articulate young people. Ofsted states that the work we do to develop students’ employability skills is particularly successful. Our employers set projects that Ofsted recognise as developing high-order communication skills preparing them for the world of work. My team of staff demonstrate openness and integrity and have strong and respectful relationships."

Chair of Governors Kerrie Jones said: "As Chair of Governors I am delighted with the Ofsted judgement the UTC has received of Good with Outstanding elements which I believe is due to the exceptional teamwork of the Principal and staff in a short period of time. I would also like to thank our employer partners for their tremendous support which was also recognised by Ofsted ensuring that the UTC is extremely well integrated into its locale and the construction and built environment sector."

Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, added: "We are extremely pleased with this outcome for the UTC. We will continue to work in close partnership with the school to support ongoing future success."

Further information

For more information please contact James Allen in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322003.

Date Issued: Tuesday 17 June 2018

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