UTC Reading delivers computer science and engineering excellence for 14-19 year olds and aims to educate and train the next generation of technicians, engineers and industrial innovators. Ofsted rated it as Outstanding in 2015.
Joanne Harper is Principal of UTC Reading and recently spoke with Talk The Talk following several years of utilising our confident communication programme.
Q. What is it about UTC Reading that makes you proud?
I am most proud of the fact that the UTC works with a wide variety of industry partners and truly provides a very different type of education that concentrates on skills needed for the workplace but also has high academic expectations of all students.
Q. What do you consider to be the major advantages for young people with an interest in design and engineering in attending a UTC over a secondary comprehensive or grammar school?
The major advantage is that we work closely with industry partners to design the curriculum and that students are able to work with partners on projects in Computing and Engineering.
Q. To what extent do you agree that a large number of future jobs may be susceptible to computerization? Therefore the human skill of face-to-face communication and interaction will become even more important as it cannot be replicated or replaced by technology.
Yes, I agree to an extent but also strongly believe that the students who have the best social skills will become the most successful in the future for exactly the reasons you state.
Q. Why did you decide to work with Talk The Talk in supporting the learners in your UTC?
It is important that as educators we develop the student as a whole and do not solely concentrate on examinations results. Developing students’ confidence is very important if we are to help and support them in becoming the best they can be.
Q. If we were sitting together a year from now, celebrating a major change in education, what would that change be and why would it be so important?
Personally I would like Personal Development of students to be the most important aspect of education and for this to happen then Performance tables that concentrate on solely examination results would need to stop or drastically change.