North Liverpool Academy Trust is delighted to announce that they have been given approval to set up a University Technical College specialising in Life Sciences in the heart of the Liverpool City Region.

For the past three years, the Baker Dearing Educational Trust (BDT) have been working with the Department for Education, local employers, universities and further education colleges to develop a national network of UTCs. North Liverpool Academy is one of thirteen projects approved as the next wave of UTCs. The Government have pledged to increase the number to 24.

Kay Askew, Principal of North Liverpool Academy commented;

‘The Life Sciences UTC will transform life opportunities for young people by developing their technical employability skills for the Life Sciences and Health Care Sector enabling them to take advantage of the growing employment opportunities in this sector.’

The UK life science industry is the largest in Europe and in global terms, is second only to the United States. Liverpool possesses a significant cluster of life science research and clinical activity and established and developing businesses. Alongside the commercial sector, Liverpool researchers’ are actively engaged in delivering over £460 million research projects with partners across 57 countries and in this respect Liverpool is a truly global city. In addition to this wealth of research, the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital is to undergo the construction of a brand new state-of-the-art hospital with the creation of 100,000 m2 of development space in the heart of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter under a £451million project. This latter project is a catalyst to stimulate even closer engagement between the healthcare system, research and business, and it is in this context we wish to establish a Life Sciences University Technical College.

The Life Sciences UTC has the full backing of the commercial, public and education sector with co-sponsors including the University of Liverpool and Royal Liverpool, Broadgreen University Hospital and Mersey Bio. Commercial organisations like Novartis, Unilever and Bristol Myers Squib have offered to back to the Life Sciences UTC.

Geoff Wainwright, Director MerseyBIO, commented:

‘By developing the next generation of employees, the Life Sciences UTC will underpin a key component of Liverpool’s strategy and support the UK’s leadership position as a global biotech nation. This award of the Life Science UTC not only highlights the importance of the this industry sector to the UK, but also recognises the considerable expertise of the staff of North Liverpool Academy and places confidence in them in being able to deliver such a vital project.’

They are different in three crucially important ways:

They are 14-19 not 11-18 schools
Each must be sponsored by a University
Employers will be involved from the start in shaping the curriculum
There are no tests to enter a UTC at 14
Their school day typically runs from 8:30am to 5:30pm
They have a school year of 40 weeks with either four or five terms.
These major changes significantly increase the teaching, adding a whole extra year of instruction for every two years a student is in the UTC

Extra-curricular activities are compulsory
There is a broad general curriculum, and the core subjects of English, maths and science are taught through highly demanding technical projects
Pre 16 students will spend 60& of their time on academic subjects and 40% on technical ones. Post 16 the percentage is reversed with 40% academic teaching, 60% the application of scientific and technical knowledge
The curriculum content is determined and shaped through the partnership of employers and universities
All students study a foreign language related to their technical curriculum
Experience of work is central to the element of the curriculum

Originally published by Liverpool Vision