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Lord Kenneth Baker impressed with progress at new Westminster UTC

Lord Kenneth Baker, the inspiration and driving force behind the new UTC technical schools concept, visited London’s newest, the Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC, in Victoria today and was impressed by what he saw. He toured the brand new building in Sutherland Street, SW1, which has been purpose-designed for the UTC and equipped with state-of-the-art technology.

Like all UTCs, Sir Simon Milton Westminster focuses on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) with a strong emphasis on the practical applications of learning and readying students for life in the workplace.

Lord Baker immersed himself in the school’s activities, meeting with staff and students from amongst the 120+ initial cohort of Year 10s and Year 12s, including sitting in on maths and chemistry classes. In engineering he observed an excellent student presentation for a new design of washing machine. He was taken on a full tour of the new building by sixth formers, including the stunning fifth floor roof terrace which boasts 360o views of London. Over a lunch of spicy chicken and rice in the college’s colourful dining room he chatted with students about their experiences of the new school and their life aspirations.

Lord Baker was pleased to see another example of his brainchild concept come to fruition and praised the progress made by staff and students in its very first term. He said: “This UTC, which opened in September, has got off to an excellent start. I have seen some outstanding teaching and very determined students. Everyone I have spoken to said they like the UTC much better than their old schools because they learn practical skills as well as academic subjects. Already they are thinking of the jobs they will get …….”

The Principal, Miss Karen Barker said: “Seeing these students engaging confidently with Lord Baker has made me really proud. I am confident our students will be among the high achievers of tomorrow”