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SALFORD UTC MEDIACITYUK TECH COLLEGE TO OPEN SEPT 2014
 

Star date: 7th May 2013

NEW MEDIACITYUK TECH COLLEGE FOR 14-19 YEAR OLDS

A new media tech college for 14-19 year olds called UTC at MediaCityUK is to open in September 2014, backed by The Lowry, University of Salford, Salford College and the Aldridge Foundation, with young people expected to turn up 8:30am-5:30pm most days, wearing `business dress'.

A step forward or back to the 1950s?

Full details here…


UTC at MediaCityUK is currently recruiting for a £80,000 `Principal Designate', while a consultation began on April 24th on its proposed opening – not that anyone the Salford Star knows is aware of it.

The University Technical College, or UTC, is backed by The Lowry, University of Salford, Salford College and the Aldridge Foundation, and will take young people as young as 14 away from local schools to specialise in media, with GCSEs and A Levels offered as well as BTEC qualifications in Creative Media Production.

The pupils will be expected to wear "business dress", will take lessons in entrepreneurship, and attend forty weeks a year from 8:30am-5:30pm on most days, even though they might have to travel far greater distances than to their local school.

In the same bracket as academies and free schools, UTCs are the brainchild of the ConDem Government, and both parents and trade unions remain incredibly sceptical about this latest change to an unaccountable, divisive education system…

"My son is 13 and has just chosen GCSE options where, quite rightly, he was encouraged to keep a broad curriculum because at that age the majority of children are far too young to know what they want to do" one Salford mum told the Salford Star

"I would not be happy to put him in a technical or vocational college at this stage, forcing him to specialise before he even knows what he wants to do or what his real strengths are – and they don't seem to be given enough careers advice at school to even know how such options would impact on a future career" she added "I think this is more the sort of choice children should make post-GCSE and it would be far more appropriate at a 6th form stage."

She explained that the UTCs had echoes of the old 1950s tech colleges where pupils were divided at an early age into academic and blue collar industries. In the post-blue collar age, former Capita founder Rod Aldridge, now chairman of The Aldridge Foundation says…

"The MediaCityUK UTC will provide outstanding opportunities for young people to develop skills in the Creative Industries, an area of huge opportunity in our region. It will also allow employers to influence and shape education delivery to ensure that there is a developing talent pool in the region with the skills and aptitudes that the sector needs."

Meanwhile, Salford's National Union of Teachers Assistant Secretary, Judith Elderkin, believes that UTCs are a "back of an envelope initiative by the Government which has already meddled enough with the curriculum."

She's worried that the 720 place UTC, to be located at the bottom of South Langworthy Road, might also drain pupils from existing, expensively re-built secondary schools like Moorside, Harrop Fold and Walkden, making them and their already running media courses financially unviable.

"It's not been thought through" Judith explains "but we'll wait and see. At the moment there's no need for a UTC but there is a need for investment in primary schools."

For further details on the UTC at Media City UK and to fill in the hush hush consultation, which runs until 5th June 2013 – click here.

See also previous Salford Star article – click here

wrote
at 14:52:45 on 10 July 2013
It sounds like an excellent inititiative. Whats so wrong with variety. Typical NUT claptrap trying to sabotage it. Perhaps its the fact that the hours could be 9-5 thats got Judith Elderkin and her ilk running for the hills. I bet kids will be queing up to get in, and those parents who feel it wont suit their kids dont have to apply!
 
UTC at MediaCityUK wrote
at 10:35:53 on 10 July 2013
We have extended the consultation period to Friday 12 July. Please complete our online questionnaire to have your say. www.utcmediacityuk.wordpress.com/section-10-consultation/. Our proposals will also be on display in the Open Centre, MediaCityUK piazza, between 11am and 1pm today (10 July).
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 16:23:03 on 09 May 2013
UTC-MCUK thanks for the heads up, wish you well with the vision. I hope our Council also helps our young people to find good jobs. It is encouraging reading such commitment on investment in Salford. We need also to work on overcoming the barrier that see many people in Salford thinking MediaCity area is for the privileged few. Inclusive identity will be a serious feature in making this UTC vision a big success.
 
UTC at MediaCityUK wrote
at 15:38:23 on 09 May 2013
The UTC at MediaCityUK was created in response to the need to get more young people from the area into employment in the creative and digital industries in Salford. It will be complementary to the existing secondary schools in the city, providing pupils and parents with an option to specialise if they choose to. All the students will be taught a broad curriculum alongside skills and work experience which will give them a professional edge in the digital and media landscape that surrounds us. The UTC responds to a demand from the people of Salford to provide new ways for young people from the city to access the fresh employment opportunities brought about by the advent of MediaCityUK. In keeping with this, we believe it is crucial that we take on board the opinions of the people of Salford before developing the project. The period of consultation has in fact been extended until 28 June and will include consultation on the facility itself. We hope that this will provide the best opportunity for people from around Salford to have their say in what we believe will be a significant development in getting a new generation into employment within the thriving creative and digital industries. More information can be found at www.utcmediacityuk.co.uk UTC at MediaCityUK
 
m irlam wrote
at 20:41:11 on 07 May 2013
Salford Star - never happy about anything. Nust be such fun in your house
 
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