The Royal Seal of Approval has been given to Scarborough, according to the Scarborough News "The Prince of Wales has raised concerns about the skills gap in engineering, warning that young people are missing out on hi-tech careers because of misconceptions about the industry. 'The UTC concept has been created by the Scarborough Business Ambassadors’ Forum, which organises engineering week.' ... 'In his introduction to the engineering week booklet, the Prince says: “The work which Scarborough Engineering Week is promoting could hardly be more important or more timely.' The Goverment is expected to make a decision on Scarborough’s UTC bid this month.' Followed by: "The Prince sends his “warmest greetings” and wishes the organisers “every possible success”. http://www.thescarboroughnews.co.uk/news/local/royal-approval-for-scarbo...
Oddly enough York Potash, who have hosted the Engineering Week for a few years say they are not leading the bid for the UTC. But then Royal Approval is hardly a stamp for certainty or success, as Hackney UTC found out this last week:
11/07/14 'A flagship University Technical College has been forced to announce its closure because of falling pupil numbers. Hackney UTC in east London has said it will be close just two years after it first opened after receiving only 29 applications for September out of a target of 75. It follows a critical Ofsted report in February which said the college was underperforming in a number of areas.' Source: http://news.tes.co.uk/further-education/b/news/2014/07/11/london-39-s-fl... / Further the college had as its patron The Duke of York who only months earlier on March 7th opened North Durham Academy at Stanley: http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/11062771.Royal_visitor_opens_North...
Humberside has a UTC based in Scunthorpe 'The green light has been given to build the Humber’s first University Technology College (UTC). Backed by businesses in the region, the £11m investment will give young people the specialist skills they need for careers in the engineering and renewable energy industries. The Humber UTC will be established in Scunthorpe and will create 70 new jobs, including 45 teaching posts. Its full name is the Humber Renewables and Engineering University Technical College.' http://www2.hull.ac.uk/news_and_events-1/news_archive/2014newsarchive/ja...
In 2011, Middlesborough also applied for its own UTC, 'Following the announcement that the Government plans to create at least 24 UTCs by 2014, Middlesbrough College has submitted a statement of interest to the Department for Education. The college wants to create a school specialising in engineering and digital technology for up to 600 14 to 19-year-olds. If it gets the go- ahead from the DfE, the school would be the fifth approved so far and would create around 40 jobs. The college would contribute up to £6 million towards the UTC. If successful, this would be matched by government funding.'
Even Hitachi with its train factory (knew they rang a bell) could not secure a UTC bid for Newton Aycliffe, leaving many feeling 'disappointed' : http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/NEWS/10960294.Disappointment_after_Nort...
Criticism of UTC's includes a two tier system and (from wiki) 'The establishment of University Technical Colleges has been criticised by some teaching unions, who claim they will cause further fragmentation of local provision of education for 16- to 19-year-olds. Others have argued that because they offer similar programmes of study, UTCs will divert funds away from further education colleges.'
So who indeed is leading the push for a Scarborough UTC ? (even though it would appear the region may become intoxicated with them). Well, as usual it all comes down to the money. £ 10 mil to be precise. Fortunately I did ask Nick Edwards if Scarborough Borough Council had actually purchased the old Skipton Building Society building at Eastfield; (following the SHUC Meeting in June) "I was wondering if the Scarborough Borough Council actually purchased the former Skipton Building Society Building, or not. I am trying to work out why the Scarborough News keep saying the Scarborough Business Ambassaders want to build a UTC/Academy there: I would have thought you would have bought it to sell on to York Potash? ;-)) A short answer would suffice! Preferably a polite one!" Nick Edwards response was: "In response to your e-mail: The Council has not and is not planning to purchase the Skipton Building Society Building, opposite Morrisons Supermarket."
OK, fair dos. But then we find this: (Cllr Derek Bastiman) 08/04/14 http://democracy.scarborough.gov.uk/documents/s57331/14111%20Scarborough...
Some exerts: 'Once the UTC proposal is approved in principle a project development grant of 300k is released.On full approval a grant of up to £10m is released for securing a building (purchase/refurbishment/new build etc) and equipment costs.' And: Progress over the last 10 weeks is as follows;
•Project Steering Group established - (private sector,SBC, University) - to sign off the bid and deal with governance issues. This will become the shadow board and meets monthly - i.e. 3 times before the bid goes in in May. Project Working Group established - (private sector, SBC, University) - to take forward the actions and work with Whiterock Services to develop the bid. This group meets bi-weekly.
• Education Vision and Curriculum Planning WG established - (private sector, SBC, school and college reps, NYCC and Scott Walker - our lead education consultant)
• Communications WG established - (private sector, SBC)
• Premises WG established - (private sector, SBC) - this is very light touch to scope out site options. If the bid is successful, the Education Funding Agency will deliver a full site options appraisal. Scarborough North Yorkshire UK
5.7.2 The University of Hull is a full partner in the bid. Regular meetings have been held with the Principals and Coastal Heads Group and Scarborough Sixth Form College, Yorkshire Coast College and the schools are represented on the Education Vision and Curriculum Planning working group. Whiterock Services have been contracted to write the bid and are represented on the Steering Group and all Working Groups. Scott Walker will be contracted to develop the education vision, plan the curriculum and write the education part of the application. Further specialist educational advice also needs to be contracted at the Head/Deputy Head level to help develop the bid and attend interviews with the DfE. In addition, the Local Authority is contributing a substantial amount of Member and Officer time in support of the bid.
Yet, on the 14th June this year Hull University clearly stated they were "working towards a focus on Higher Education (aged 18+) with a trajectory of a University of Scarborough." See here : http://www2.hull.ac.uk/scarborough/scarborough-future.aspx "Attendees responded very positively to the vision but also expressed a keen sense of urgency about moving forward. They contributed their ideas and opinions on paper and these will be collated and reviewed along with other consultation feedback." - Were they at the same meeting? If you would like to respond to any of the information on this page or raise a question please email email@example.com
Certainly there were many Members of SBC at that same meeting who hadn't a clue what was going on, and probably still don't, yet Cllr Derek Bastiman has volunteered himself as the Working Group's SBC Member, perhaps he would like to inform the rest of Council, and perhaps embroider the public, what exactly is on his Agenda. Academy or Higher Education/University?
Or mebbe a Royal (hic), Pardon .... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEHMpSIhfTE
oops. it doesn't look very cross party locally: http://www.companiesintheuk.co.uk/directors/scarborough-business-ambassa...
mmm ok, have slept on this ... mebbe Cllr Bastiman is hedging his bets, I asked Academy or Higher Education/University? ... perhaps Cllr Bastiman is expecting both, or is purely applying pressure for Grimsby to make a commitment. Either way, playing Russian Roulette with the next generation's education provision is hardly comforting, and it still stinks of the old boys network and an inner circle within our Town Hall.