HE STEM Support for University Technical Colleges


HE STEM Support for University Technical Colleges (UTCs)

A series of seminars and colloquia by The Royal Academy of Engineering and the HE STEM Programme

A national seminar on 14-19 STEM curricula and technical qualifications in UTCs

Held at The Black Country UTC. Vernon Way Walsall West Midlands WS3 2PA

Who Attended

Principals, teachers, employers, institutions, lecturers, academics and senior leaders connected with UTCs.

Outcomes for delegates:

  • Up to date with the qualifications currently available to UTCs
  • Discussed the current education landscape issues
  • Examined the  future and potential for the  Diploma and Principal Learning
  • Heard practical examples of Science Technology Engineering Maths and other subjects in UTCs and contemporary issues of delivery
  • Heard the latest news from the examining groups and therefore be in a position to make informed contemporary curriculum choices.


Presentations from this Event

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Dianne Gomery Geoff Holden Jim Wade Kate Tague Les Jones Mark Booker Wallsall Presentation

Speaker Biographies

Chris HiltonChris Hilton

Chris has been an Assistant Head Teacher in a large comprehensive school in Oldham with responsibility for raising achievement.  He took up the position of Deputy Head Teacher at Kingsmead Technology School in Staffordshire where he had a variety of responsibilities including raising achievement, community liaison, curriculum development and pastoral welfare.

He was promoted to Head Teacher in 2005 and created the BKF Sixth Form Consortium and led the school to trust status.

Chris was appointed Principal Designate of the Black Country UTC in February 2011 and the UTC was opened to students in September 2011.


Kate TagueKate Tague


Kate Tague is the Vice Principal at the Black Country UTC responsible for Curriculum and Teaching & Learning.  Kate joined the Black Country UTC in June 2011 and is passionate about the vision and mission of the UTC.


Kate has a wealth of experience in curriculum development. She  worked for Edexcel for 7 years and during which  she lead the” BTEC into Schools” initiative nationally and was Regional Manager for the North West. Kate was seconded to the 14-19 Pathfinder team in Wolverhampton working on their cross city consortium curriculum and developing their Reach Level 1 programme. She went onto become the Senior Adviser for 14-19 in Staffordshire LA leading the development and roll out of Diplomas across the 8 consortia within the county. Kate’s passion for working with learners led her to return to teaching becoming Assistant Principal at an Academy in Staffordshire.


Jim WadeJim Wade

Jim is currently Principal of The JCB Academy in Staffordshire, a post he took up in January 2009.  The JCB Academy is the first University Technical College and the key mission of the Academy is ‘Developing the Engineers and Business Leaders for the Future’.  The work of The JCB Academy in developing an industry led curriculum based around solving engineering problems has been praised by many across both education and industry.

Prior to his current appointment Jim was Principal of South Molton Community College.  In his last inspection before moving to The JCB Academy, South Molton was judged as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and granted Leading Edge status.  Jim has also worked as a school improvement partner, mentor and consultant.




Dianne GomeryDianne Gomery

Dianne is Pearson’s Strategic Partnership Manager working with emerging schools and school groups e.g. the University Technical Colleges and Studio Schools. She has gained a wealth of education experience in her numerous Pearson roles and has previously held the posts of Academy Project Manager, Edexcel’s National Manager Functional Skills, Trident North Manager (Work Experience) and Curriculum Development Manager.  Dianne has over thirty years experience of working in education, as a Lecturer in Further and Higher Education, as a Curriculum Manager with responsibility for Quality Assurance and as a Dissertation Supervisor. She has an abiding interest in Curriculum Modelling and Assessment - particularly in the range of assessment methods employed to capture learners’ skills both during their learning process and the evidence they present.  Dianne was a Secondary School Governor for six years and her ongoing interest centres upon 14-19 Vocational Education.







Marc BookerMarc Booker

Marc Booker is Head of General Qualifications Development Business Support with AQA.  Working closely with the Baker Dearing Trust, Marc has developed an additional GCSE history option focused on industry and technology through time to help meet the needs of UTCs wishing to offer a full suite of EBacc subjects.  Working with Aston UTC and Engineering colleagues at AQA, Marc has also supported the development of a viable alternative to the Engineering diploma at Level 2.



David HarbourneDavid Harbourne

David Harbourne is Director of Policy and Research at the Edge Foundation, which champions technical, practical and vocational education. He is also Senior Education Adviser to the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, which is helping to build a new network of University Technical Colleges throughout England.  David started his career in the civil service. He was later Director of the National Association of Master Bakers, Chief Executive of the Hospitality Training Foundation and Executive Director of North Yorkshire Learning and Skills Council.


Professor Matthew Harrison?????????Professor Matthew Harrison

Director of Education, The Royal Academy of Engineering

Matthew Harrison is a chartered engineer, an academic, an experienced leader of 14-19 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and is Director of Education at The Royal Academy of Engineering.

He leads, on behalf of The Royal Academy of Engineering:

  • The engineering component of the LSIS STEM Programme, the national programme for subject-specific professional development for STEM teachers in the FE & Skills sector.
  • The engineering component of the HEFCE / HEFCW STEM Programme which strengthens teaching and learning in STEM subjects taught in universities in England and Wales.
  • The BIS-funded FE Data Project which is mapping out STEM provision in the FE & Skills system for the first time.
  • The Baker-Dearing Educational Trust work on technical curriculum options for 14-19 University Technical Colleges

Matthew has led the London Engineering Project in its work to widen participation in engineering higher education in the Capital since 2005. He was Chair of the Southwark & Lambeth Engineering Diploma Partnership for three years and now chairs the National Committee for 14-19 Engineering Education. He is Secretary to the Technician Council and a founding member of Education for Engineering. He is a member of a number of scientific advisory committees, including those at the universities of Southampton, Loughborough and London.

Matthew maintains a teaching and student supervision load at Cranfield University and has recently been appointed Visiting Professor at the Institute of Education. He is a regular commentator on STEM education in the media as well as a regular contributor to STEM education conferences in the UK and overseas.

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Geoff HoldenGeoff Holden

Senior Policy Advisor City & Guilds

I’ve spent most of my working life in education and after a number of years teaching in England and Europe joined City & Guilds in 2000.

I started out in assessment, working on engineering and motor vehicle qualifications. I then moved on to qualification development- mainly in the same fields.

I worked on the development of all the Diplomas, sitting as one of the awarding body representatives on the QCA committee which oversaw the work of the DDPs and was asked to join the Diploma Curriculum Advisory Group to support their introduction. More recently I joined the Nation Policy team where my role involves working with stakeholders, regulators and the Departments of Education and Business. I am currently working on the redesign of our 14-19 portfolio to support our wider progression strategy.

Les JonesLes Jones


Les is an experienced head teacher and scientist. His teaching covered eight secondary schools in the state and independent sectors. In Cheshire, in 1999, he founded a new 11-18 community school which became one of the first specialist schools of Engineering in England and he secured the same status in his second headship in Tyne and Wear six years later. During this time he was Chair of the National Engineering Head Teachers’ Steering Group and South Tyneside Secondary Heads’ Association. Uniquely, he has overseen the building of three new schools including the BSF/PFI Wave 1 exemplar scheme. He was a founding member of the Engineering Diploma Development Partnership and The Royal Academy of Engineering’s National Committee for Engineering Education.

He founded Solutions 4 Schools Ltd. and The Engineering Company (Europe) Ltd. in 2009.  Both support Engineering and Education development. Current projects and involvement in the UK include The Royal Academy of Engineering, Cambridge University, several English specialist schools of Engineering and UTCs. Europe-wide, he has advised the state education department of Hamburg, several Gymnasia in the same region and The Technical University in Harburg, Hamburg. In Italy he has developed a programme for Engineering students in Venice and he is an adviser to politicians, head teachers and schools in Naples and Sorrento in the south. He works with several Liceo, specialist art, science and hospitality and catering schools and a TV Company in the region. He is primarily based in North Yorkshire.

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Adrian MillerAdrian Miller

Adrian is Director of Engineering at Samuel Whitbread Academy. The Engineering Diploma has been a great success in Central Bedfordshire at Levels 1, 2 and 3. With the support of Cambridge University Engineering Department and many national and local engineering companies Adrian has developed pedagogy of applied learning by getting employers to deliver engineering aspects of the STEM curriculum.

Adrian has previously taught in inner city Luton and London schools and successfully utilised employer engagement to raise attainment and achievement. He is particularly interested in the use of non-transmissive Adpedagogy as a means of delivery the engineering agenda to KS3-5 students, motivating them to develop into engineers of the future.


Adrian is a fellow commoner of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and has written and spoken at various national conferences on how to motivate young people through engineering and develop a pedagogy of Applied Learning.


Adrian also works as an Educational Consultant on various projects such as Free Schools, Technical Academies and UTCs.


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