UTC@harbourside Ofsted: Statement by The Governing Body

Following an inspection on the 22 and 23 May 2018, Ofsted have graded the UTC as inadequate.  We are very disappointed by this outcome but fully accept the findings of the inspectors and are committed to implementing the recommendations contained in their report for the students that remain with us until the UTC closes in August 2019.

We have brought in an Acting Principal, Lisa Jepson, who has already started to address the issues raised in the report.  We will continue to work closely with Ofsted to secure improvements and guide our current year 10 and 12 students to successfully completing their courses in July 2019.

Download the report here.

Announcement To Parents and Carers, Monday 2 July, 2018

On Monday, 2 July 2018, the Governors of UTC@harbourside made an announcement to parents, students and staff that they have asked the Department for Education to terminate their agreement to run the UTC in August 2019.  Existing pupils will be able to stay and finish their courses. New students due to join the UTC in September 2018 will be offered places in alternative schools.

In response the Minister formally confirmed to Governors last week that he has accepted that request.

The UTC has not been able to recruit enough students to become financially stable and to deliver fully on its educational vision. The Governors decided that the best way forward is to propose termination of its agreement with the Department for Education. The UTC was inspected by Ofsted last month and the report is due to be published on Wednesday 4th July.

This has been a very difficult and hugely disappointing decision for the Governors to make. They recognise that this announcement will cause concern to students, staff and parents. Their primary concern is the welfare and education of students currently attending the UTC and those who have applied to join from September, and the decision was taken at the earliest opportunity in the light of the upcoming summer break.

The UTC is absolutely committed to ensuring that support is available to current and prospective students following this announcement and through to 31 August 2019.

The UTC is already in discussions with the relevant local authorities to secure alternative places for the students who had accepted an offer to join us in September. They are working closely with parents, students, schools and the local authorities to do all we can to assist this. There will be opportunities for students to meet with local authority advisers and UTC staff before the summer break. Details will be widely publicised in due course. In the meantime, you can access up-to-date Questions and Answers by following this link.

The college will remain open and fully committed to ensuring our current year 10 and 12 students successfully complete their courses in July 2019.

Governors also recognise that this decision will cause concern for members of our staff team at the UTC. The management team, led by the acting principal Lisa Jepson, will be involved in on-going discussions with both teaching and support staff.  Lisa Jepson is encouraging staff to contact their professional bodies and trades unions for advice and support.

The Governors are deeply disappointed to announce the proposed closure of UTC@harbourside. Their hope is that a more successful future for the Harbourside building can be secured which will promote the very best educational opportunities for young people in the area and support the regeneration of Newhaven.

Services Careers Evening at UTC@harbourside

Over 60 parents and students came to UTC@harbourside’s first services careers event to meet representatives from the Royal Navy, the RNLI, the British Army, the Royal Air Force, and South East Coast Ambulance Service.

This was an excellent opportunity for young people in the East Sussex area to meet potential employers and to hear more about the prospects of developing a career in the services.

Thank you to each of the service providers for joining us and spending time talking to visitors to UTC@harbourside that evening.

If you would like a tour of UTC@harbourside please contact Carolanne Morgan in reception and she can arrange a time for you to stop by.

Update of UTC activity across the UK

Here is an informative clip with updates from the first couple of months of 2018 for UTCs from all over the UK.

When students embark on an education with us it opens up their opportunities to working with companies like Bentley, Microsoft and Jaguar Land Rover.

 1st place in the National CyberCenturion Challenge!

Our students recently got involved in CyberCenturion, in partnership with Cyber Security Challenge UK, which is a national competition looking at cyber security. They were given a scenario to secure a computer against different threats – a challenge which definitely appealed to their interests in cyber, puzzles and code breaking!

This had to be done across different operating systems where they answered forensic questions to complete tasks. We are delighted to announce that we secured first place in the round in which we played, demonstrating the STEM prowess of our students. Bring on the next challenge!


UTC@habourside prospectus coverThe new UTC@harbourside prospectus is now available to download, detailing our Year 10 / 11 and year 12 / 13 curriculums.

In the 6th form we have an extensive academic A-Level offer including sciences, maths, geology and geography, together computing and product design. We also have vocational qualifications in Engineering and Biomedical Applied Science, and technical qualifications in electrical installation and plumbing.

For younger students we offer a wide range of STEM GCSEs together with English Language and Literature, and geography, as well as vocational awards in engineering.

To find out more why not come along to one of our upcoming events. Full details on our events page.



UTC@harbourside Students Celebrate First Results

Our students were celebrating their A-Level results today, the first since the UTC opened in September 2015.

Head boy Kyle Brackenfield’s grades includes a Distinction* in Engineering and an A Grade in Electronics. The UTC, which specialises in science, maths, technology and engineering qualifications, has a focus on marine and environmental engineering, and while studying Kyle was also an RNLI volunteer. Kyle, has secured an apprenticeship at CNC Engineering. Kyle said: “I am really excited to start an apprenticeship in Computer Numerically Controlled, Engineering which has been created especially for me. I also want to start my own business in 3D printing.”

Jack Sawyer, who’s engineering qualifications included a Distinction and a Distinction* said: “I am going on to study an apprenticeship in machine maintenance engineering at Xerox, something studying here has really helped me get!”

Other students celebrating today include Tom Plain, who got a Double Distinction* in Engineering and an A Grade in Electronics; Danielle Vences, who achieved a Double Distinction* in Engineering; and Freya Bowie, who celebrated a Triple Distinction* in Engineering.

Frazer Last collected his results today before starting a career in the Armed Forces. Frazer said: “I am going to join the Navy. I had never thought about it before but decided to apply after the Field Gun Challenge the UTC participated in. The skills I have learnt have allowed me to get this opportunity to travel the world.”

Bernie Flint, UTC Director of Curriculum and Standards, said: “I’d like to congratulate all of our students and teachers today on our first set of results. It is great to see so many students following their passion for science and engineering to university or into jobs with leading employers. Their achievements in the subjects they love is reflected in the fact that nearly two-thirds of all our vocational qualification passes were top Distinction or Distinction Star grades.”

(Photo L-R: Kyle Brackenfield and Mr Flint, Director of Curriculum and Standards)

UTC@harbourside competes in the Junior Field Gun Competition

From Monday 3rd July our students started their (only!) one week of training for the annual Junior Leaders Field Gun Competition, which was hosted by HMS Collingwood and culminated in the final competition on Friday 7th July. The competition is for those aged 16-24 and several UTC’s from around the country were represented, as well as teams from Fareham College, Chichester College and Sea Cadet units.







The team from the UTC@harbourside had 18 members in total and were inspired by the mentors and trainers messages of commitment and integrity, which made them really focus their minds from the get-go quickly at the start of training.

Although there were complaints of difficulty at first, these quickly faded out and our team showed positivity and encouragement with lots of suggestions on how they could improve, “next time we need to do it quicker” and “come on guys! We’re a unit!” The amazing team-working and leadership skills displayed by our students really shone through in the final competition on Friday and showed how much they would take away from this experience.

Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock OBE addressed the teams on completion of the event, saying “You have taken part in something pretty extraordinary this week. You have overcome the challenge of moving something the size of a small car. Remember what you have achieved because it is extraordinary.”




A showcase of students’ work was presented in the College’s enterprise zone. It showed the immense creativity and skills of our talented and hardworking students from years 11, 12, and 13 in product design and engineering. The level of the outcomes is extremely high – showing off the great facilities we have at UTC@harbourside and the ability to which our students are able to use them to excellent effect. Some projects from the showcase included:

  • A solar powered public bench warmer – to help homeless sleepers
  • A range of lighting products for the office and the Design Museum
  • Anti-slip manhole covers to prevent vehicle accidents
  • A solar powered camping light


Clean Green Marine Project

Students worked with Carol Harvard of Art Techniques to explore a wide variety of materials to express their ideas about our local environment and our strong connection with the coast and seas. This combined with a real emphasis on renewable technologies and the importance of recycling allowed students to produce a variety of exhibits that represented the UTC at the Newhaven Fish Festival, itself a celebration of the seas around us. Students greatly enjoyed the process and were rightly proud of the excellent artwork they created.


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