Skip to main content
All Posts By

UTC Admin

1st class destinations

UTC Warrington is amongst the best institutions for students entering an apprenticeship after leaving 16-18 provision in England, they are currently ranked 13th out of 4,518 providers nationally (GOV.UK – All schools and colleges in England – Find and compare schools in England 2022).

T-Level Funding

To support the delivery of T-levels in engineering and manufacturing, laboratory sciences, construction design and surveying and digital support services UTC Warrington is one of 86 projects nationally to secure funding from a £74 million fund to further invest in our world-class facilities and industry-standard specialist equipment.  #T-level  #ProudtobeUTC

UTC Warrington students secure ambitious destinations

Students at UTC Warrington are once again celebrating a fantastic set of examination results, with 58% of students achieving the top grades in their technical studies. Over 50% of this year’s leavers are progressing onto higher and degree apprenticeships in engineering, science, construction and the built environment and digital occupations with the UTCs world-class employer partners. Students have been successful in securing life-changing opportunities with leading businesses such as Rolls Royce, Sellafield Ltd, Cavendish Nuclear, Jacobs, BCN, ARUP, United Utilities and Barclays.


Head of College Chris Hatherall said “I am immensely proud of our students’ successes today. They have once again demonstrated the value of an employer-led technical education at UTC Warrington. I’d also like to say a huge thank you to all of our incredible teaching staff who have worked tirelessly through COVID-19 to give our young people access to the best possible opportunities. We look forward to another successful year having recently been one of 86 projects nationally to secure funding from a £74 million fund to further invest in our world-class facilities and industry-standard specialist equipment.”

UTC Warrington students share their joy and hopes for the future after receiving their academic and technical results

UTC Warrington students have shared their joy and hopes for the future after receiving their academic and technical grades during an unprecedented double results week.

At the UTC, which specialises in engineering, digital, construction and healthcare, students can complete technical qualifications as well as GCSEs and A Levels.

This approach enables students to develop the technical skills in demand by employers and provides the opportunity to progress to apprenticeships and university.

Year 13 students received their A level and technical grades on Tuesday, August 10th, whilst Year 11 students collected their GCSE results on Thursday, August 12th.

The usual results days dates were moved nationally this month as a result of the pandemic.

Lee Barber, Chief Executive and Principal, UTC Warrington, said: “I am immensely proud of our students who have worked very hard in challenging circumstances and achieved some great grades as well as strong university and employer destinations despite experiencing another tough year due to the pandemic.”

He added: “We know that the regional and national economy needs people with the right technical skills to support a skills-led pandemic recovery. That is what the UTC is all about – equipping students with the vital skills that employers need that enable them to go onto fantastic careers.”

In the civil engineering and engineering technical qualifications, Year 13 students achieved a 100% pass rate with 36% being awarded distinction* or distinction grades.

Year 13 students are progressing to top universities and apprenticeships with leading employers including Sellafield, BAE Systems and Red Bull Racing.

Year 11 students also achieved a 100% pass rate in their technical specialisms – construction, engineering and digital.

Most Year 11 students have chosen to stay on to complete their sixth form studies at the UTC for another two years to further develop their STEM skills and knowledge, so they are well positioned to secure top university places and apprenticeships.

Amber Thomason,18, is looking forward to starting an apprenticeship at Sellafield in Cumbria after achieving a top set of technical results.

Amber gained A Level maths as well as the highest grades, triple distinction stars (D* D* D*), in her civil engineering technical qualification.

She said: “I felt nervous waiting to find out how I had got on, as I have worked really hard. I am so pleased with my results. I’ve got what I was hoping for and what I needed to move on with my career.”

Amber added: “I chose to study at the UTC as I felt it was the right move to start my career. I knew it would help me gain experience to ensure my success.

“The employer partners were a huge part in my move. I knew that I’d gain experience working with them and secure a destination in the long run having those contacts.”

Kyle Burke, 19, is going on to study a Degree in Architecture at the University of Liverpool after receiving his A Level and technical results.

Kyle achieved a distinction star and double distinction (D* D D), in his civil engineering technical qualification as well as a grade C in A Level art.

He said: “I am pleased with my results. I have got what I was expecting and deserved. I chose the UTC because I wanted to get into architecture and heard they were a good choice for that career path and have great facilities.”

Kyle added: “Studying technical qualifications is a good choice if there is a specific career and industry that you want to get into.”


UTC Warrington students secure Sellafield apprenticeships

A number of UTC Warrington students are getting ready for the next stage of their careers after being offered engineering apprenticeships with a top regional employer.

Three students have secured apprenticeship places with Sellafield in Cumbria, that start in September 2021, and another two learners are on the reserve list.

Lee Barber, Chief Executive and Principal, UTC Warrington, said: “The UTC equips students with the vital skills that employers need, enabling them to go onto great careers. Apprenticeships are an excellent route to achieving that and I’d like to congratulate our students on their success.”

Declan Finn, 18, Amber Thomason,18, and Daniel Neve, 18, who are completing a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering and A Level maths, have secured apprenticeship places.

Declan said: “I am delighted to be offered a mechanical engineering apprenticeship with Sellafield as this is a major step to reaching my career ambition.”

He explained: “An apprenticeship appeals to me as it enables you to learn real skills and earn as you learn by completing a qualification at the same time as getting paid for it.

“I will be able to get experience, work on real projects with engineers who understand engineering problems and solutions, and increase my chances of securing a job after my apprenticeship unlike university where a destination afterwards isn’t guaranteed.”

Declan has enjoyed his studies at the UTC. He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience at UTC Warrington. The staff have been very helpful and delivered my subjects and courses well, challenging me to get higher grades.

“I chose to study at UTC Warrington because of the engineering subjects, the excellent facilities and machines I can use as part of my course and the number of employer partners they have, which gave me more confidence in finding a destination after I finish my course. Apart from the skills and knowledge that I have learned in my subjects, I have also completed work experience placements and developed skills to improve my interview, cover letter and cv writing techniques.

“The facilities and engineering machines and software that the UTC has is something I have been fortunate to use as I wouldn’t be able to use that type of equipment elsewhere and it has helped me understand more about my course topics.”

Amber Thomason said: “I feel proud as I have achieved my goal of securing a Sellafield apprenticeship that I have had since starting at the UTC.”

She explained: “I chose to study at the UTC as I felt it was the right move to start my career. I knew it would help me gain experience to ensure my success. The employer partners were a huge part in my move. I knew that I’d gain experience working with them and secure a destination in the long run having those contacts.

“With the many different types of engineering the UTC offers, I have tried other subjects and taken part in work experience to make sure civil engineering was the right route for me. My career ambition is to work within the built environment and the construction cycle. Civil engineering combines design and maths, which are the two subjects that I enjoy the most.”

Daniel Neve has also enjoyed his time at the UTC and his long term career goal is to work in electrical engineering. He said: “I am very happy to have secured the apprenticeship. I have wanted to work with Sellafield since completing work experience with them in Year 11.”

Daniel explained: “The opportunity to learn as I work really appeals to me, giving me much more opportunity to get hands on and learn about the company, giving me a better chance of securing a job at the end of my apprenticeship.”

He added: “Studying at UTC Warrington has been a great experience. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many different employers, such as Sellafield and to get hands on with projects such as the Royal Navy challenge. I’ve got a better insight into engineering and learned to use many different types of machines, as well as software such as computer aided design.”

UTC Warrington joins new digital skills scheme

 UTC Warrington is backing a new digital skills scheme.

The UTC and further education colleges in Cheshire and Warrington have received a grant of over £150,000 from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to help increase digital skills within local communities.

UTC Warrington, along with partner colleges Cheshire College and Warrington & Vale Royal College, are on a mission to provide practical, creative spaces that encourage communities to embrace future ways of working and living through their latest project Stream.

Stream aims to raise awareness and develop confidence in digital applications and equip local people with the skills needed to help them start new careers in the ever-growing technology sector.

Over 500,000 Cheshire and Warrington residents are set to benefit from specialist equipment, accessible in a range of local areas from libraries and community centres to ‘pop-up cafes’, which will enable wider access and participation in skills development and training programmes, including the ability to deliver and record live broadcasts and interactive question and answer sessions.

Chris Gee, Associate Assistant Vice Principal, and UTC Warrington’s lead on the project said: “This funding from the LEP is a fantastic opportunity for UTC Warrington to work with other groups in the community, including employers. This has opened up avenues for employers to work with schools and colleges in ways they haven’t done before, using technology such as body cameras to demonstrate a number of different roles in a variety of sectors.”

Clare Hayward MBE, Chair of the Cheshire and Warrington LEP, said: “The LEP is delighted to support this important practical initiative which will help up-skill and build confidence among people of all ages in Cheshire and Warrington. As our economy bounces back from the pandemic it’s imperative that we are able to offer the right skills to businesses as they grow. Digital skills is fast becoming a ‘must have’ requirement for many, which is why Stream is such a useful and timely programme.”

UTC Warrington is a technical school for 14 to 19-year-olds, backed by employers and Manchester Metropolitan University, that is Ofsted graded ‘good’. The £10 million facility, on Dallam Lane, is equipped with industry leading facilities and specialises in engineering, digital, construction and healthcare.

Students complete technical qualifications alongside GCSEs and A Levels, and work on employer projects, giving them a head start on their career ambitions. Young people can join UTC Warrington in Year 10 or Year 12. Apply now for September 2021. Visit or call 01925 737067.

For more information about Stream, visit

My experience of the UTC – a parent governor perspective with Jackie

Jackie is parent of Year 13 student Amber, who decided to move to UTC Warrington four years ago to pursue her ambition of becoming an Architect. Jackie describes her experience as a parent and parent governor so far.

Why did you choose to become a governor at the UTC?

I became a governor at the UTC because I felt I had a lot to offer to school. Having previously been a governor at a primary school and currently working with apprentices, young people and funded training in my current role, I felt I had the right qualities to offer the school.

As well as this, I felt I could offer different views to other governors and challenge the school from a different perspective.

Do you find the UTC supportive?

Ever since Amber joined the UTC, I’ve found it to be very supportive and informative – but over this past year with COVID they have gone above and beyond! We received a lot of communication from the school via the parent mail portal and, to make sure we get the information, they also email it to us.

If I’ve ever had any issues or queries, then I’ve been able to email the teachers directly and I’ve always had a response or a call back quickly. Over the last few months, we’ve has clear communication about lesson plans and how they are structured, and what work Amber needs to do each week.

How have you found the UTC’s online learning offer?

I think the UTC were ahead of the game with online learning, as when Amber joined she was instantly given a Microsoft Teams account, which is the platform they use for online lessons.

UTCs are all about technology so I think it came as second nature to the staff and students.

One thing that I’ve found really good is how the teachers not only deliver a great online lesson, but they engage in the pastoral side of things, checking to see how everyone is feeling and if they are coping okay with learning at home.

How do you think the UTC has helped and made a difference to your daughter?

The UTC has definitely helped Amber get on the right track towards a career that she’s always wanted in Architecture. At her previous school, Amber was in the top sets but felt as if she wasn’t being challenged and didn’t enjoy it very much, so she made the decision herself to move to the UTC. She wanted to move to the UTC as she could study Engineering, Maths and Science – which would help her achieve her future ambition.

Being able to do the subjects she’s interested in has really brought Amber out of her shell, which has been fantastic to see. She’s also had 100% attendance across the four years she’s been at the UTC which shows how much she enjoys going.

Amber was also offered an opportunity at the end of Year 10 which has helped her recently when filling in her UCAS applications for five redbrick universities to study architecture.

She was invited to attend an interview for the Place Academy which is based at the Royal Institute for British Architects in Liverpool. She attended this and was accepted onto a year-long placement. She committed to attending this placement in her own time, going to various sites around Liverpool and pulling a portfolio of work together.

The UTC is always looking for placements and opportunities for the students to support them in their next step, and the placement Amber had has definitely helped her pull together a really strong personal statement.

Amber has her eyes set on going to university, however the UTC has informed her of other possibilities and other pathways which has led Amber to also apply for some degree apprenticeship schemes.

Why do you think we need UTCs?

We need UTCs because not everybody learns in the same way and mainstream schools teaching traditional subjects doesn’t suit everyone.

The UTC offers a different way of learning which still includes the fundamental subjects, but also includes the specialisms which enables students to learn more practically.

I also think the UTC prepares students for life, it’s not just about what they achieve in school but about giving them the skills to take with them beyond school, such as interview skills and work experience opportunities.

What would you say to any parent who is hesitant to move their child from their current school?

If your child is interested in the UTC and the specialisms that they offer, I would say support their journey as they will succeed.

It’s one of the best decisions that Amber has made. Four years after joining she has achieved everything that she’s wanted to.

UTC Warrington to educate and train the healthcare professionals of the future

Warrington teenagers inspired by healthcare professionals working on the frontline in the global coronavirus pandemic are being offered a new careers pathway.

UTC Warrington is launching a new technical specialism in healthcare, backed by employers, to educate and train the health and social care workers of the future.

Amanda Downing, Associate Principal, UTC Warrington, said: “Our new healthcare specialism is an important addition to our curriculum offer given the national surge of interest from young people in health and social care careers since the start of the pandemic, as well as the urgent need for new talent in the sector.”

She added: “As a UTC, we train young people in the scientific and technical skills which are increasingly in demand in these roles, alongside essential people skills such as empathy, communication and teamwork.”

From September 2021, students in Year 10 and Year 11 will be able to study a BTEC in Health and Social Care alongside their GCSEs.

In sixth form, students will be able to choose from a vocational route with a BTEC Extended Diploma Level 3 in Health and Social Care, equivalent to three A levels. Or students can study a combined route completing a BTEC Diploma alongside A Levels.

Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is one of the employers working with UTC Warrington on the new healthcare specialism.

Sarah Power, Talent for Care Programme Facilitator, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As an organisation, we are really keen to work with the UTC to offer students some insight into our services and how they operate and to hopefully inspire them to consider a career in the NHS. Our staff are passionate about the work that they do and keen to share that enthusiasm with local young people.”

She added: “We are continually expanding the work we do in our local community and hope to create a unique link with UTC Warrington that will ideally see some of the students undertaking these new health and social care pathways to form part of our future workforce.”

Alongside their studies, students will work with local health and social care employers through site visits, work placements and practical masterclasses.

Students will complete real-life challenges, set by employers to build their industry knowledge and skills, and progress to health and social care related degree courses and high quality apprenticeships after successfully completing their studies at the UTC.

UTC Warrington is a technical school for 14 to 19-year-olds, backed by employers and Manchester Metropolitan University, that is Ofsted graded ‘good’.

The £10 million facility is equipped with industry leading facilities and specialises in engineering, digital, construction and healthcare. Students complete technical qualifications alongside GCSEs and A Levels, and work on employer projects, giving them a head start on their career ambitions.

Avanti West Coast helps pilot virtual work experience for young people in Warrington

Avanti West Coast employees have given young people a unique insight into their roles as part of a pilot virtual work experience programme by Network Rail.

Using a specially created video, the Station Manager and Customer Service Assistants based at Warrington Bank Quay talked to students from UTC Warrington about the different jobs available at Avanti West Coast, for the trial of Network Rail’s work experience initiative ‘Ready 4 Rail’.

Developed by Network Rail, the virtual programme is designed to provide a viable alternative to traditional work experience, which has been cancelled due to the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as preparing young people for future career and academic choices.

Bringing together different organisations, the scheme aims to showcase opportunities across the rail industry virtually – through videos, presentations, and engagement activities with video conferencing.

Avanti West Coast, which connects Warrington to Scotland and London with its services, was invited to give students an understanding into the role of a train operator with a dedicated session.

During the forum, the inter-city operator shared stories from its staff about how they came to work in the rail industry – from deciding on a career change, to a new-found interest following work experience – and how they engage with local communities and strive to deliver the best possible customer experience.

Amanda Downing, Associate Principal of UTC Warrington, said: “Connecting our students with engineering, digital, construction and healthcare employers, so they are on the right track for exciting, future careers opportunities, is at the heart of everything we do. I’d like to thank Avanti West Coast for their support.”

The team at Warrington Bank Quay were joined by colleagues from office-based roles, who gave a glimpse into their work across the route and involvement with the station.

Following the video, students had the opportunity to put forward questions to Avanti West Coast representatives as part of a Q&A session.

Gareth Williams, Head of Sustainability at Avanti West Coast, said: “We want to connect young people to opportunity, so we’re proud to have played our part in Network Rail’s trial of its Ready 4 Rail programme – ensuring young people don’t miss out on gaining an insight into the opportunities available within the industry. It has been great to showcase what Avanti West Coast is about and we hope our session will help to attract new and emerging talent in the communities we serve.”

Lee Braham, Avanti West Coast Station Manager at Warrington Bank Quay, said: “Helping others is a rewarding experience and by supporting this programme we hope to make a difference in our local community and inspire the next generation of potential railway workers. I hope our short video will go a long way in helping students who want to know more about starting a career on the railway.”

James Richards, Engineering Capability Manager at Network Rail, said: “We know how important work experience is to help prepare students for the career and academic choices, which is why we’ve worked with industry partners to develop a virtual approach to work experience with our ‘Ready 4 Rail’ programme. Trialling this new approach has enabled us to bring to life the wider opportunities in the rail industry – highlighting the many partners involved in the railway and the vital work they deliver. I hope that Ready 4 Rail will have inspired the students to explore the industry as a potential employer and that they had fun, developed their skills and feel well-equipped to make choices for their future.”

About Avanti West Coast

Avanti West Coast, operator of intercity rail services on the West Coast Main Line, is a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia, delivering a cleaner, greener railway that drives the West Coast forward.

We’re on a mission to revolutionise train travel, linking together the towns and major cities of the UK to create an iconic railway the country can be proud of. We’ve got big plans including a fleet of new intercity trains, as well as the complete refurbishment of the existing Pendolino train fleet. We will introduce more train services every week with new routes added, and a much-improved onboard service with enhanced free Wi-Fi, plug sockets, 25,000 brand new seats and improved catering. Since 8 December, passengers have benefitted from improved passenger compensation, available for journeys delayed by just 15 minutes.

For the latest news, visit the Avanti West Coast Media Room:

Meet Chris Gee- Associate Assistant Vice Principal/Head of Commerce

How long have you been at the UTC for?
I’ve been at the UTC for over three years now, and I’ve loved my experience of teaching here. No day is the same here, which makes it incredibly interesting.

How did you get into teaching?
Previously, I worked in Investment Banking for a few years, which provided me with some valuable knowledge; however, I felt like I was ready for a change. I was interested in a career that was more interactive and varied, and teaching felt like the right next step for me. I love working with people and wanted to make a difference to the students’ lives. Since 2010, I’ve worked as a teacher, learning all about the education sector and developing my knowledge in my subjects.

Why did you decide to start teaching at a UTC?
I saw how UTCs stood out compared to other schools, as they offered a range of exciting technical specialisms, alongside GCSEs and A Levels. I was interested in exploring a new subject and preparing students for their future careers. Teaching at a UTC seemed like it would be a great opportunity to work alongside others who are passionate in their fields.

What do you think are the strengths of a UTC?
UTCs have strong relationships with employer partners, which benefits students, as they get an insight into the real world of work. They also provide students with excellent technical qualifications, valuable knowledge, and transferable skills for industry. Another strength of UTCs are that they are typically smaller, so everyone knows each other, which is a friendly environment to be in. There’s access to industry-standard equipment that helps with projects, and it feels like a real business environment.

What is the most enjoyable thing about teaching your subject?
Computer Science and IT are quite challenging subjects, so it’s really rewarding to see students achieve and accomplish a project or task that they found difficult. My subjects encourage students to think outside the box, so I enjoy pushing them to reach their potential. It’s interesting experiencing how each individual tackles a problem, and I like seeing a range of different ideas and solutions that my students come up with.

What kind of projects do the students work on in your subject?
Our sixth form students have been set a project by Fujitsu called Operation Innovation, where they have to work in teams to invent the next solution for Education or Healthcare. My teams came up with new products, including an automatic hand sanitiser and a new mobile phone app. Our projects encourage students to come up with ideas for real problems in the world, which helps to prepare them for their future careers. Fujitsu have been incredible to work with in our Cyber Science specialism, as they help students to understand what to expect when working in industry.

What skills do students develop from studying this specialism?
Students gain problem-solving skills, resilience, independence, and team-work skills. They have learnt how to stay self-motivated when working on their projects, particularly during this challenging period, which is a really important skill to have.



What has been your highlight of working here?

My highlight was my second year of working here, when we rolled out a new PSHE Programme, which was based around the motto ‘Excellence and Kindness’. This helped us to develop the culture here at the UTC, to make it a positive environment to be in, and it’s an ongoing goal. This has been mentioned in our previous Ofsted reports, which is an excellent achievement for us.

What are your goals for the department?

I aim to provide innovative and exciting lessons and a good quality education for my students, so they feel prepared to enter the next chapter of their life, after finishing at the UTC.