South Devon UTC has joined Education South West

2nd February 2021

The South Devon University Technical College has joined Education South West in order to develop its offer of high quality, employer led technical and vocational education to the young people of Devon. 

The South Devon UTC is situated in Newton Abbot next to Cricketfield. It provides bespoke technical education in engineering to 14 – 18 year olds. Its business partners include the Royal Navy, South West Water, Babcock, the Environment Agency and MB Aerospace and as it extends into the specialism of Health, new connections with employers in the Health Sector are being created such as Proud to Care, Exeter University, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust to name a few.  

Over recent years it has achieved huge success in securing work placements for its students, with 100% going on to permanent employment of further study upon graduation at age 18. 

Joining Education South West, a successful and growing 11 school academy trust, including Coombeshead Academy, Teign School, Kingsbridge Community College and Dartmouth Academy, will bring greater opportunities for curriculum development to the UTC. From September students will also be able to study health sciences at the UTC, specifically for those students who might be considering a career in Nursing, Radiography, Care, Occupational Therapy and childcare.  

Matthew Shanks, CEO of Education South West said: “I am delighted that the UTC has joined Education South West. It has long been a vision of mine to have a learning campus of educational establishments within the south Devon which caters for all children’s interests. I remain ambitious for the children in the south west and for what we will be able to do to support growth and development in and around south Devon for the future. The UTC joining Education South West means that we will be able to better support the development of appropriate and exciting curriculum for more students. We will also be able to develop the offer for our sixth form provision to provide more choice for the young people and communities we serve.” 

James Trout, Chair of the South Devon UTC governing body commented: “This has been a long-term aim and I am delighted that the UTC is joining a forward thinking and growing organisation who recognise the need for specialist provision for students.” 

Peter Di Giuseppe, Chair of Education South West said “A great deal of hard work has gone on to see this venture come to fruition.  It is an exciting day for the education provision in Newton Abbot and I look forward to the contribution that the UTC will make to the ESW family.”

The UTC will be headed by Executive Headteacher Rob Coles, and will be led on a day to day basis by Head of Campus, Claire Plumb. Claire said: “Our ambition to improve the life-chances and employability of the future generation of young people in the South West continues to flourish.  Joining the Education South West Multi-Academy Trust offers our students the opportunity to be part of this welcoming and supportive wider educational community.   We are very proud of the journey we have so far provided for our Engineers and Technicians and now look forward to equally positive outcomes through our extension into the Health Care specialism.  Joining ESW will provide even more young people with the opportunity to forge excellent relationships with our growing employer-led programme and will enable the wider community of Newton Abbot to benefit from the growth of a skilled and employable future work-force.” 

South Devon UTC will now join Coombeshead Academy and Teign School through a collaborative curriculum offer at both 14-16 and 16-19. The technical specialism provided by the UTC means that more students can now access an even broader range of qualifications. Rob Coles stated that he was “thrilled to be working with Claire, the students and staff at the UTC to ensure that every young person has access to the very best teaching and learning.” The collaboration between the schools in Education South West means that no one school is left in isolation. The schools in the trust work together to ensure that the very best learning extends across the whole of ESW so that no student is left behind.  


Matthew Shanks, Chief Executive Officer

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