Victoria Leggett, Education correspondent
Friday, January 25, 2013
The search is on to find a principal for the Norfolk University Technical College – and the team behind it plans to break the mould when it comes to looking for candidates.
The UTC will open in September 2014 in a large former factory at Old Hall Road in Norwich.
Focused on advanced engineering, energy and manufacturing, the college’s board promises to offer “a brand new way of learning for 14 to 19-year-olds”.
But in order to achieve that, it now has to find a principal to lead that learning.
Norfolk UTC said it would not restrict itself to candidates in the education sector.
Dick Palmer, chief executive of the Transforming Education in Norfolk (Ten) federation of which the college is part, said: “We’re determined that Norfolk UTC will break the mould in terms of the education and opportunities offered to its students. We think the best person to lead the college may well break the mould of the conventional principal too.
“All principal roles are challenging but we offer a role that goes beyond that. We are looking for an outstanding candidate who has the experience and energy to help create something truly revolutionary: an institution that will lead the way in new educational theory and practice, particularly in the fields of advanced engineering and energy skills.”
The board is welcoming applications from anyone with an education or engineering background, including chief executives of engineering companies and former armed forces personnel keen to help develop young minds.
Norfolk UTC will eventually cater for 600 students aged 14 to 19, with 150 being admitted in 2014 in years 10 and 12.
Backed by local and national employers and run in partnership with Norwich City College, the University of East Anglia, Group Lotus, Gardline and Future Marine Services, it aims to “rejuvenate the Norfolk economy through the production of versatile, work-ready, and well-qualified graduates”.
Mr Palmer added: “Norfolk UTC will give students access to innovative education delivered through what we call “technical challenges”.
Students will learn through both academic and practical discover in a work-based environment to achieve vocational qualifications as well as GCSEs and A-levels.
“We want to give our students the choice to move on to high education, apprenticeships or straight into the world of work.
“Our students will graduate with the qualifications and practical skills that leading employers in this region have been calling for.”