Building a brighter future
Date published: 25 September 2013
ONLOOKERS saw the sky’s the limit for education in Oldham as an education adviser and an extreme mountaineer abseiled down one of Oldham’s tallest buildings to launch the forthcoming University Technical College.
Education specialist Professor David Hopkins and extreme mountaineer Leo Houlding unfurled a banner on the side of the 100ft high Integrated Care Centre to advertise the £9 million project, which will open at Oldham College a year from now.
Those watching their daredevil exerciuse included former Government minister Lord Kenneth Baker, who has spearheaded the programme to develop a national network of UTCs - which allow 14-year-olds to opt out of traditional school for more vocational and technical courses, as well as GCSEs and A-levels, up to age 19.
The Greater Manchester UTC — known as the GM — will specialise in sustainable engineering and construction and is a partnership between Bolton University, Oldham College and various industry and other bodies.
Lord Baker said: “The GM is an exciting project and will be of huge benefit to Oldham. I’m delighted to see progress being made on its development. UTCs are innovative schools, producing highly-skilled young people who are desperately needed to further economic growth.”
Pupils at Waterhead Academy, which is sponsored by Oldham College, got a taste of the GM’s curriculum, trying everything from testing alarms and wiring electrical sockets to dismantling radiators and building robots.
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