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 post-ceremony reception.

Of 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, and 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, 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.

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 overall achievement, which was presented to Leigh UTC student Harry Dressel.

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!