Staff pave way for a new-look college
STAFF at the new University Technical College had their first day of work yesterday as the final touches are put to the new building.
Students do not begin until next week but the staff were called in to get ready for their arrival.
Principal Angela Barker-Dench said: “I think there are a few nerves but everyone is very excited.
“It is nice that after so many months of getting ready we can get down to doing what we do best.
“We have a team of about 20 staff members and I am delighted with who we have got in. There were a lot of high calibre applications so we spent many months going through everyone.
“These few days are all about getting everybody up to speed and planning for the next few weeks ready for when the students arrive. It would have been nice to do this in the campus but we are all looking forward to moving in.”
For the first week, the students who have signed up will have a residential course in Oxford Brookes before starting in the new site on September 15.
The final section of the building will be completed by October 9, when the UTC will get all the keys.
The Chair of Governors is Sean Wellington who works at Oxford Brookes, who are behind the Swindon UTC projects.
He said: “I have been working on this for three years so it is great to be at this stage.
“It has gone very quickly from when we first put the bid in to putting together the team. It has been a fantastic process and we are really pleased with the team we have.”
There were 14 staff members starting yesterday with the rest joining in the coming weeks. Among those present was Deputy Principal John Oliver.
He said: “The big attraction is the UTC has a very exciting and different curriculum and there is an opportunity to educate our young people in a way to make them very employable.
“The engineering focus is a big attraction for us and the students. A lot which we have spoken to already know they want to go into engineering so it will make for a fantastic environment.
“I think everyone is looking forward to getting started.”