News - 12 May 2014

Principal Designate Appointed For UTC

Derby Manufacturing University Technical College (UTC) has appointed a Principal Designate to drive forward plans to open the city’s first education facility of its kind in September 2015.

Phil Morris will join the UTC this September from Landau Forte Academy: Tamworth Sixth Form where he was instrumental in launching the new facility in 2010.

Derby Manufacturing UTC is a partnership between Derby College, the University of Derby, Rolls-Royce Plc, Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd, Derby City Council and a wide range of supply chain employers working in local manufacturing and engineering. It is one of 50 new UTCs being developed across the country.

Derby Manufacturing UTC will open in a new £8 million purpose-built centre in Pride Park in September 2015 for the first intake of students in year 10 and year 12.

The UTC will have capacity for up to 600 young people aged 14 to 19. They will study core GCSE’s, A levels and engineering qualifications enhanced by project based learning, work placements, employer site visits and guru lectures.

Mr Morris was born in Swansea and has over twenty-seven years of experience in education.

After achieving his A levels at Penlan Comprehensive in Swansea, he studied Physics at the University of Salford and then attained his teaching qualification from the University of Exeter.

At John Hampden Grammar School in Buckinghamshire he was in charge of the large, and very successful, Physics department and was Head of Year 11. He guided many students towards successful careers in Engineering and Science.

He then moved to Welbeck: The Defence Sixth Form College where he was Academic Vice Principal. Here he selected and taught prospective Engineering Officers for all four services, Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and the Civil Service. Under his guidance the College became one of the best in the country for value added scores at A level, where all students had to study Mathematics and Physics.

In 2010 he became Principal Designate at Landau Forte Academy: Tamworth Sixth Form. He set up this Academy from scratch, being in charge of a brand new build and having to recruit nearly a hundred staff. It now has six hundred students and, with its first cohort, achieved excellent examination results with students progressing to Oxford and to do Medicine.

Mr Morris said: “The prospect of being able to help the young people of the East Midlands to enhance their skills and qualifications, with the assistance of the many excellent companies in the Derby area, is exciting and challenging.

“I believe that this collaboration will ensure that Derby Manufacturing UTC will be seen as the Centre of Excellence for students who wish to work within Engineering and will help Derby to continue to be seen as the place to be for the Manufacturing and Engineering industry.”

Graham Schumacher, Head of Development Services at Rolls-Royce plc and chair of the UTC Board of Trustees, explained: “We attracted a high calibre field of applicants for this role which is not surprising considering Derby’s pedigree as the UK’s most high-tech city, with a growing international reputation for advanced manufacturing.

“We are delighted that Phil Morris has joined us as we countdown to the opening of the Derby Manufacturing UTC and are confident that he has the experience and determination to turn the vision for the new UTC into a reality.

“The first challenge will be to oversee the development of a purpose-built UTC facility, build his own team and recruit the first 180 students, ready for the opening in September 2015.

“High-tech companies rely on a strong pipeline of people with science and engineering qualifications. Derby Manufacturing UTC will lead the way by offering high-quality science, engineering and technical education alongside core subjects such as English and Maths – skills that employers across the board have identified as crucial skills for their businesses.”

Applications for September 2015 are already being accepted online and, to find out more, there is a special event on Saturday June 28 at the Rolls-Royce Learning Centre in Wilmore Road, when young people and their families can learn more about the UTC and try out some of the practical skills that will be on offer.

For more information about this event, how to apply online and about the Derby Manufacturing UTC, please visit the website ; like the facebook page and follow on twitter

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