Providing young people with the skills they need to fulfil their potential


On Friday 24 November, Medway University Technical College (UTC), GL Assessment and the Baker Dearing Educational Trust welcomed Helen Whately, MP for Faversham and Mid Kent, for a tour of the UTC, and to discuss the vital role of technical education in providing students with the skills they need to succeed.

Medway UTC is a technical school for 14-19 year olds, and specialises in Technical Engineering and Construction Management. Supported by local employers including BAE Systems, its aim is to equip young people with a strong technical education and academic foundation, which prepares them for a fulfilling and exciting career. Medway UTC works with GL Assessment to identify the most appropriate technical pathways for students to take, and benchmark their attainment in core subjects when they join.

During her visit, Ms Whately had the opportunity to talk to students about their experience at the UTC and to also hear how Medway is working with GL Assessment to support students with the potential to excel in STEM and technical subjects. Delegates also discussed with Ms Whately the findings of GL Assessment’s recent report, Hidden Talents: the overlooked children whose poor verbal skills mask potential. The report showed that UK schools contain sizeable numbers of students who could have a natural affinity for science and engineering, but aren’t performing as well as they could academically because poor verbal skills are masking their talents.

Helen Whately, MP for Faversham and Mid Kent, said: “It was a pleasure to visit Medway UTC and hear about the opportunities it offers to young people. As a country we need to make sure young people have the skills they need for the jobs of the future. So it was great to hear about the work Medway is doing to encourage pupils to study science, technology and engineering. I was impressed to hear about how involved employers are with the UTC and how it’s clearly preparing students for the world of work.”

Dr Karon Buck, Principal of Medway UTC, said: “At Medway UTC we are dedicated to providing young people with the skills they need to succeed. With the help of GL Assessment we are able to assess each individual pupil’s attainment from the moment they arrive at 14, as well as obtain valuable insights into their strengths and how we can support them in their chosen pathway.”

Hannah Marr, Senior Publisher at GL Assessment, said: “GL Assessment has worked with Medway UTC to create a comprehensive assessment programme that measures students’ attainment and provides teachers with insights to support their development. It is so important that we identify and nurture students with potential in STEM and technical subjects. It was a pleasure to see the successes of the college today with Ms Whately.”

Peter Wylie, Director of Education, Baker Dearing Educational Trust, said: "Students come to UTCs from many different schools and have to make a quick start on their exam courses. Having a reliable set of assessments really helps teachers find out what their new students are good at, and what their potential is. Those UTCs that use the GL Assessment tests find them a very reliable source for this essential information."


Notes to the Editor

About Medway UTC

Medway University Technical College was founded in 2015 for 14-19 year olds and specialises in Technical Engineering and Construction Management, alongside a traditional curriculum of GCSEs and A Levels. Medway UTC is a member of the movement of University Technical Colleges promoted by the Baker Dearing Educational Trust.

About the Baker Dearing Educational Trust

Baker Dearing Educational Trust (Baker Dearing) was founded by Lord Baker and Lord Dearing to promote the concept of University Technical Colleges (UTCs). Baker Dearing sits at the centre of the UTC network and focuses on promoting and supporting new and existing UTCs. Baker Dearing is funded by a number of major sponsors: the Edge Foundation, the Department for Education, Garfield Weston Foundation, Gatsby and Peter Cundill Foundation.

About GL Assessment

GL Assessment is the largest provider of formative assessments to UK schools. It specialises in literacy, numeracy, reasoning, SEN and attitudinal assessments, and has relationships with over two thirds of UK primary and secondary schools.

Hidden Talents report: Hidden Talents: the overlooked children whose poor verbal skills mask potential

46 Providing Young People With The Skills