2016 Higher Apprenticeship Evening

On 18 October 2016, The Leigh Academy hosted the Leigh Academies Trust’s Higher Apprenticeship Evening for our Year 13 students who are considering higher apprenticeships after they have completed their studies. This event has proved to be a great success and one that will now be on the annual calendar.

A wide range of employers, alumni and STEM Ambassadors supported the event, which was held in the evening so that parents and carers could attend.

In excess of 120 Year 13 students from our Dartford secondary academies attended. This was a chance for the students to find out what opportunities there are locally and nationally.

We would like to thank Laing O’Rourke, Kenard, A4G, Kent County Council, The Army, The Royal Navy, Adecco and the Ministry of Defence for supporting the event alongside former students and STEM Ambassadors.

Our alumni were able to elaborate upon their journeys after they left Trust academies to current students. These included Justin Wells who is currently flying helicopters for the National Police Air Service, Ray Johnson who is working with a charity and Tamara Castle who works in recruitment. Tamara added that she is looking forward to a new chapter in her career when she moves to Dubai with her current organisation in the New Year.

Our STEM Ambassadors talked to the students about the different opportunities that they have had in STEM based careers. One Ambassador was particularly popular as she had work experience opportunities available in the IT sector.

The Leigh UTC, headed by their new Director of Apprenticeships, Jay Wright, exhibited at this event for the first time promoting the higher apprenticeships in engineering that are now available at this college as well as those in IT that will be on offer from 2017.


Leigh Academies Trust’s HR team lead by HR Director Richard Taylor attended to publicise future opportunities for working within the Trust.

After a short introduction to the evening by Lesley Tannock, Careers Advisor at  Leigh Academies Trust, students and parents were enthusiastic about talking to the participants. The introduction highlighted the importance of professional CV’s and transferable skills required by employers. It was stressed that assistance will be offered in the new year to all Year 13 students who may need additional support with job hunting.

Feedback on the evening from students, parents, carers and employers was excellent.

Read all about it

The Leigh UTC have appeared in various local and national press recently.

Apprenticeship Evening

Last night Leigh UTC students and parents attended the Leigh Academies Trust Higher Apprenticeship evening event at the Leigh Academy. Students were introduced to 19 companies including Laing O’Rourke, Kenard, Co-Op and A4G, all who offer Higher Apprenticeship opportunities to Post 16 leavers. This year we were also excited to have our own stand promoting the apprenticeship opportunities we offer here at The Leigh UTC for Engineering and IT Post 16 leavers. Many thanks to our wonderful ex students who are currently in Higher Apprenticeships who came to offer advice and support.

The Scholars Programme with the Brilliant Club

The Scholars Programme is a university style course which is designed to develop the knowledge, skills and ambition to help pupils secure places at highly-selective universities. The course was delivered by Rima Saini who is currently studying towards her PhD in Sociology at City University.

The programme began with a visit to King’s College London during which the students had a tour of the University buildings, had a lecture of study skills and took part in their first tutorial.


The students then took part in a further five 1 hour sessions, based at the Leigh UTC, designed to challenge their talents and make them think about how statistics can be used to interpret sociological questions. The sessions were implemented as small group seminars are at a university.


The trip culminated in a visit to St John’s College Cambridge. Here the students once more had the opportunity to tour a prestigious university. They also spent time reflecting on how they had benefitted from the course and what the students could do to give them the best chance at succeeding at a highly selective university.


“I enjoyed learning about this because it’s vital in the society we live in, and was strange to see all the factors that attributed to a person’s voting behaviour.” (Morgan Stansell, Year 11)
“My main focus was the effect of animal cloning, I enjoyed learning about this because it was interesting to find out people’s opinions and views.” (Hayden Thomsett, Year 11)

Black History Month

Last week students and staff celebrated Black History month with a wonderful and informative assembly prepared and delivered by Mrs Warrens tutor group, Tutor group 10. All UTC students took part in an interactive quiz that celebrated successful black people in history and modern day. The winning team was Tutor group 1 who only just beat Mr Adams! In addition to this assembly, our wonderful Senior Team and Student council did a short presentation about upcoming events and actions. We look forward to the many charity fundraising events planned in module 2.

Pixl Student Celebration Westminister

Leigh UTC students were nominated for awards at the Pixl  Student Celebration held at Central Hall, Storey’s Gate, in Westminster.

Students and parents spent an evening celebrating their academic achievements, gained at the UTC. The night involved performances from students and with guest speaker Johanna Shand.

Joanna Rowsell Shand (MBE) is an English cyclist on the Great Britain Cycling Team who competes on track and road.

She shared her journey of successes to date, which include the gold medals won in the women’s team pursuit at four editions of the World Championships (2008, 2009, 2012 and 2014) and the gold medal in the same discipline at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 games in Rio, as well as the individual pursuit at the 2014 World Championship.

We are extremely proud of Nester Hakata, Michael Folley and Jack Murphy for progressing so well since joining the UTC, and the opportunity for them to celebrate with students from across the country.




Leigh UTC Students’ Success at Duke of York Awards 2016

The Leigh UTC proudly attended the Duke of York Awards, at which nine Year 13 leavers achieved gold awards. Students were presented with their awards by HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, who also spoke at the ceremony and personally congratulated The Leigh UTC at the after post-ceremony reception.

dscf7175Of the 39 UTCs, nine achieved awards, the majority being silver and bronze. Having entered the scheme for the very first time, The Leigh UTC fielded one of the largest cohorts of award winners, all of whom secured the coveted gold award.

A key precondition of this award was that students should gain excellent grades. All achieved a distinction or higher in engineering or computer science, as excellent grades in their other qualifications. Students provided further evidence through interview to demonstrate how they had excelled outside the curriculum, including working for companies on team projects, being team leaders and securing work experience within their chosen career paths. All of the students from The Leigh UTC secured places at their first choices of university or, alternatively employment in engineering or apprenticeships. These include apprenticeships with BMW and Kenard, who now run their level 4 apprenticeships at The Leigh UTC.

We would like to thank our business partners, SEM, Kenard and 8point3, for helping us with the external interviews. We are also grateful for the many aspects of their continued support of The Leigh UTC since its opening in September 2014 which includes governance, provision of work experience work experience, mentoring and supply of materials.

As part of the awards process, students discussed their accomplishments in areas such as chairing meetings, collaborative work and project management. Working with companies such as T3 Racing, they designed car parts used in The Isle of Man T3 races, as well as creating CAD models and undertaking mock modelling using 3D printers. Some students worked for major construction firms on day release while others even trained apprentices as part of their own projects.

Lord Baker, Chair, Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the charity which promotes ad sustains UTCs said:

“The Duke of York Award for Technical Education provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the individual achievements of UTC students and the value of technical education. These young people represent some of best technical talent in the country which is essential if we’re to prosper as a nation.”

Steve Leahey, Principal at The Leigh UTC, commented: “It was such an honour to be part of this process and witness at first hand the impact that this award has had on our students. I am extremely proud of this experience, which is what sets us apart from any other secondary school.”

Leigh UTC students who achieved the prestigious gold award were Ryan Battledore, Harry Dressel, Daniel Knight, Cameron McIntosh, James Mannion, Harry Martin, Harry Tindall, Jacques Whitehead and Yasmin Yearoo,.

The crowning achievement was the award for outstanding achievement overall, which was presented to Leigh UTC student Harry Dressel. dscf6981



Throughout the interview process, all Leigh UTC students were judged as having exceeded the gold-award standard expectations by some considerable distance. We are extremely proud of each and every one of them.

Well done to all concerned!


Leigh Academies Trust recognised by Sir Michael Wilshaw, HMCI

We are delighted that Leigh Academies Trust has been recognised as a high performing multi-academy trust in a recent report by Sir Michael Wilshaw. LAT was visited by HMI in June 2016 to gather evidence about the impact of effective leadership in multi-academy trusts that are strongly performing.  They reviewed our practices and identified how LAT delivers high quality education for all of its pupils.  The summary report is available to view below: