Frequently asked questions
Who teaches in the UTC?
All UTC staff are suitably experienced and qualified in relevant subjects. The vast majority are fully qualified teachers, while some industry experts may work with us on specific technical topics.
Is the UTC subject to Ofsted inspection and performance tables?
The UTC, like all schools, will be inspected by Ofsted and appear in performance tables. The UTC's first Ofsted inspection takes place in 2018/19.
How many students will there be at the UTC?
In our first year of opening (2016/17) there will be a maximum of 240 students distributed across Years 10 and 12. For entry in 2017/18 we will admit up to 300 students across Years 10 and 12. When we are fully operational in 2018/19 there will be a maximum of 600 students distributed across all four Year groups.
Will there be a uniform?
Years 10 and 11 students wear a business-style uniform. Post-16 students wear business-style clothing. All will wear appropriate protective clothing in practical lessons and workshops. We'll provide one set of key clothing items free of charge for each student. All other items may be purchased from high street stores.
Isn't 14 too young to specialise in a career-focused education?
All students across the country choose GCSE options at 14; this is a natural point for them to be considering their future direction.
Our students receive a broad education including English, Maths and Science combined with practical and technical qualifications which are recognised by employers and universities. Students will also have the opportunity to develop business, technology, enterprise, financial and management skills. Our students will be well prepared for a wide range of careers whichever route they decide to take when they leave the UTC - university, apprenticeships, further study or direct employment.
What will be a typical class size at the UTC?
The typical class size within the UTC will be 20-25 for theory and practical sessions falling to 12-18 for vocational sessions.
What transport will be provided?
Most students make their own way to the UTC on public transport or by car or by bike. We recognise that public transport is difficult from many locations and we are committed to help you reach us. We use our minibuses to pick up from some hard to reach areas. Each individual student's situation will be different so if you are considering joining us and would like to discuss how to get to the UTC then please contact us. We subsidise transport costs for students eligible for free school meals.
Will there be Physical Education lessons?
Yes, Year 10 students have sport and fitness sessions and all students have access to our facilities. We have a Multi-Use Games Area and Hall on the UTC site. We also have access to local sports facilities.
Will free school meals be available?
For all eligible students free school meals are provided.
Who will run the UTC?
UTC South Durham is incorporated as a company under the name The Durham UTC Ltd. UTC South Durham is the name of the school that operates under this company structure as an Academy Trust. The Academy Trust also has charitable status. It is controlled by a Governing Body which includes representatives from the founding members (University of Sundelrand, Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd and Gestamp Tallent Ltd) as well as the Principal. The Governors have the strategic role of running the Academy Trust, acting as custodians of the ethos and values, establishing targets and ensuring that it is operated in a sound and business-like manner.
Do students have to sit an entrance exam or pay any fees?
For students who join us in Year 10, there are no academic entry requirements. Anyone who applies can join us providing we have a space. For joining in Year 12, there are academic entry requirements for each course selected. We are a state-funded school and there are no fees.
After we have submitted our application, what happens next?
Decisions on all applications will be notified to applicants within two weeks of our deadlines ie by 14 December 2016 for the first closing date and by 14 March 2017 for the second closing date. You will then be asked to confirm your acceptance of a place with us.
If my child was unsuccessful in securing a place, will there be a waiting list?
If we receive more eligible applicants than there are places available, we will maintain a waiting list until the end of the first UTC term after the start of the school year. It will be open for any parent to ask for their child's name to be placed on the waiting list.