Angela Barker-Dench has been appointed the first Principal of UTC Swindon.
She will take on the role from September and lead the college during its set-up year and as it prepares for its first intake of students in September 2014.
Angela has experience of technical and vocational education having served as Vice-Principal at both Berkshire College of Agriculture and Capel Manor College in Enfield, where she currently works.
She also brings to the post expertise in liaison between vocational education, industry and higher education and started her career in engineering. She is also familiar with Swindon, having worked in a senior post at Swindon College.
UTC Swindon is an exciting new concept in education where 14 to 19 year old students will study engineering alongside a core academic curriculum. It will benefit from having the feel of a modern industrial workplace, with hands-on experience and employer engagement which will produce highly qualified engineers of the future.
When she takes up her post, Angela will immediately start work on managing the opening of the college and ensuring that plans are fully in place for the first students who walk through the doors at the start of term in September 2014.
Work on enrolment of students is now beginning, with the first of a series of open meetings scheduled for 6.30pm on Thursday 11 July at Swindon’s STEAM Museum. One of Angela’s key tasks next year will be to support students through their applications.
Mrs Barker-Dench: “It is a tremendous honour to be announced as the first Principal of UTC Swindon. I am excited about the prospect of helping students to gain a high-quality education within a distinctive learning environment. UTC Swindon promises to be an exciting new concept in education which will provide 14 to 19 year olds with the skills and knowledge to progress on to university, apprenticeships and successful careers. I can’t wait to get started.”
Paul Inman, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Oxford Brookes University and UTC Swindon Director, said: “Having seen a particularly strong field of candidates, it was clear to the UTC Trust that Angela Barker-Dench was the right person for the job. The partners involved in the development of UTC Swindon have made significant progress to date and this latest announcement is an important step as we move closer to opening in September 2014. We look forward to Angela joining us for what is an exciting new educational facility which will produce the next generation of engineers.”
Paul Holmes, Automation and Mechanical Design Manager for Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells and UTC Swindon Director: “We are delighted to be offering Angela the position of Principal, as she has tremendous experience and expertise within education and engineering. UTC Swindon will create fantastic opportunities for young people, employers and industry and it is important that such an innovative development has strong and inspirational leadership. We are confident that Angela will take on the challenge of creating an exciting new educational facility for Swindon, Wiltshire and the wider region to be proud of.”
See more details of UTC Swindon at www.utcswindon.co.uk
Joint sponsors Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells and Oxford Brookes University submitted a bid in 2012 to host the college in Swindon. The bid was fully supported by Swindon Borough Council and Swindon College, both of whom were involved in the detailed planning of the proposal and its subsequent development. Johnson Matthey and Oxford Brookes’ Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment are currently in the process of designing an engineering focused curriculum for UTC Swindon, which will be supported by business and enterprise, to meet the needs of local, regional and national employers of technically skilled employees.