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. Get to know us on our staff information page.

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 took place in 2018/19.

How many students will there be at the UTC?

The maximum capacity of the UTC is 600 and we will be expanding towards this number over the next few years. Each year group has a capacity of 150 students. That means that we will always be a small and focused place where we know our students well. 

Is there a uniform?

Years 10 and 11 students wear a business suit.  Post 16 students wear business-style clothing.  See our Uniform page for more details.  All students wear protective clothing in practical lessons and workshops, provided by the UTC.  Year 10s must order their suit via our uniform provider but other items may be purchased from high street stores or from our uniform supplier. We will provide a tie and lapel pin free of charge.

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.  After two years at secondary school, most students can chose a broad set of subjects which they find interesting.  If it’s engineering, technology, science, maths or computing then the UTC may well be the right next step. 

Our students receive a broad education with a curriculum 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 are 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 is a typical class size at the UTC?

The typical class size in Year 10 at the UTC is 20-25 for core academic subjects falling to 12-18 for technical and vocational sessions.  Our Sixth form class sizes vary hugely, from between 3 and 15 students.

Are there Physical Education lessons?

Yes, Year 10/11 students have sport and fitness sessions and all students have access to a range of clubs.  Post-16 students have independent study time in which they can use the facilities. We have a gym, Multi-Use Games Area and hall on the UTC site. We also have access to local sports facilities.

Are free school meals available?

For all eligible students free school meals are provided.

Who runs 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 Sunderland, Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd and Gestamp Tallent Ltd) as well as the Principal.  Find out more on our governance pages

Do students have to sit an entrance exam or pay any fees?

We are a state-funded school and there are no 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, which we will discuss with you before you start.

After we have submitted our application, what happens next?

Decisions on all applications are notified to applicants within two weeks of our deadlines. You will then be asked to confirm your acceptance of a place with us.  If you apply after 1 March and there are spaces then these will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis.

If my child was unsuccessful in securing a place, is there a waiting list?

If we receive more eligible applicants than there are places available, we maintain a waiting list until the end of the first UTC term after the start of the school year. It is open for any parent to ask for their child's name to be placed on the waiting list.


We have a duty to provide an education for anyone who wants to join the UTC.  The building is DDA compliant – we have lifts and good access to all areas of the UTC.  We aim to be as accessible as we can for students with special educational needs and disabilities.  Please contact us if you want to talk about particular needs.