Helping young people to aspire and older people to thrive

Some questions frequently asked about the Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC

What is the Sir Simon Milton Westminster University Technical College?
This new University Technical College is known as the Sir Simon Milton Westminster University Technical College and will be based in Central London next to Ebury Bridge behind Victoria Railway Station, close by Victoria Coach Station. It opens in September 2017 in a new flagship building designed for students studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects with a focus on Transport Engineering and Construction and the Built Environment. Students will have the opportunity to study Engineering and Construction from the age of 14. Technical qualifications can be studied alongside, but not instead of, academic GCSEs, and A Levels.

When will the Sir Simon Milton Westminster University Technical College open?
The first entry will be in September 2017. Applications for 2017/18 entry at Key Stage 4 for learners aged 14 years are being handled by the UTC. Online application is encouraged , but paper applications are also welcomed. For admission at Key Stage 5 for learners aged 16 years, applications are being handled by the University of Westminster on behalf of the UTC.

If you are interested please contact Karen Barker to join the mailing list for news and details about forthcoming open days and taster events, or for further information, at k.barker@westminster.ac.uk or by telephone on 020 3506 9277.

Who are the educational sponsors of Sir Simon Milton Westminster University Technical College?
The University of Westminster is the lead educational sponsor, working closely with City of Westminster College, with support from staff of the St Marylebone Academy Trust.

Who originally proposed a University Technical College for Westminster in Central London?
The idea of developing a UTC was suggested by the Sir Simon Milton Foundation Trustees who recognised that too few young people in London had access to the Technical Skills education needed to secure jobs and careers in London. The Foundation is the UTC’s charity partner and it has contributed through fund-raising to provide scholarships, travel bursaries and additional funding for staff appointments. Westminster City Council and the Tri-Borough Education Service for Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have supported the UTC proposal from the outset.

Which employers have helped shape the educational offer?
The design of the Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC curriculum has benefited from the following UK and world leading industry partners specialising in Transport Engineering, Property Development and Construction Management:

Land Securities
BT Fleet
Transport for London
Colas Rail
Alstom
Sir Robert McAlpine

Between them these companies, headed by Network Rail, form the Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC Employer Alliance.

What involvement will these companies have once the UTC is open?
Each partner company will provide a series of Employer Business Challenges each year to provide real work-life examples of projects underway in the Transport Engineering, Property Development, and Construction Development and Management industries. Typically, each company will provide three projects each year lasting between six to eight weeks each. For students aged 14 and 15 these projects will be aligned with their exam studies in Engineering and Construction and the Built Environment, which will help students to make links between theory and practice, learning by doing.

What will be the catchment area for Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC?
The catchment area for Sir Simon Milton Westminster University Technical College is Greater London. This means that the UTC will be accepting applications from pupils from across London.

Will specialising at a young age narrow down options for young people in terms of employment and further or higher education opportunities?’
Not at all. The UTC will open up opportunities rather than closing them. After completing their UTC education students will have the requisite qualifications to go into University or Higher Education for degree or BTEC HND studies or to enter employment or start an apprenticeship.

Will students get a guaranteed job at the end?
Studying at Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC will give pupils a distinct advantage when looking for a job. The UTC has a close relationship with the sponsor employer institutions – Land Securities, BT Fleet, Transport for London, Colas Rail, Alstom and Sir Robert McAlpine – who will offer work placement opportunities and will be involved in shaping the curriculum with company-specific projects. No school can guarantee an employment position at the end, however there is a great demand for workforce in the sectors of transport engineering and construction and this is why our UTC has gained the invaluable support of these particular employer sponsors.

Will this be a pathway to University?
Having completed their studies at the Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC, students will have three options – they will be able to enter employment, start an apprenticeship or go into Higher Education. College leavers wishing to enrol on a higher education course will be able to apply for scholarships provided by the Sir Simon Milton Foundation.

How many students will attend?
UTCs have a smaller number of students than normal schools, enabling students to benefit from smaller class sizes, from privileged access to the state-of-art facilities of the College and its employer partners, and to participate fully in project-based learning through Employer Business Challenges. In the first year of opening the UTC will admit up to 225 pupils – around 75 to Year 10 and 150 to Year 12. From 2019, the UTC will admit around 250 pupils each year, 100 to Year 10 and 150 to Year 12 with approximately 550 pupils on the premises.

When will the UTC start the application process?
We are accepting applications now. If you are interested in applying for a place, want to join our mailing list for news and details about forthcoming open days and taster events or need any further information, please contact Karen Barker at k.barker@westminster.ac.uk or by telephone on 020 3506 9277.

When will the applicants be notified of the outcome of their application?
Key Stage 4 applicants’ families will be issued with a letter advising them of the outcome of their application from January 2017 onwards. Letters will be despatched by First Class mail and email. Online applicants will be the first to be notified as they will be issued with an email, but there should be no more than 24 hours difference between receipt of the notification by either method. Offers of study to Key Stage 5 entrants will be confirmed in March 2017.

When will the Principal be appointed?
The Principal, Miss Karen Barker, was appointed in April 2016. Karen graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Physics from the University of Manchester, and qualified as a teacher with a PGCE from St Martin's College. Her professional career began as a science journalist, working for Maxwell Business Publishing and then Reed, prior to moving into teaching. Together with the experience of working on technical documents for BAE Systems, her grounding in journalism and marketing, and background as a physics teacher, position her well for the UTC. Karen’s senior leadership roles at secondary level include the Head of Science and subsequently Assistant Principal post in a Technology and Performing Arts College and running a Studio School as Deputy Principal and then Principal.