Labour councillors have been urged to get behind a local bid to build a new aerospace University Technical College (UTC) in South Gloucestershire, following a government announcement that it has passed the latest approval stage.
The call from the Council’s Conservative education chief, Cllr Sheila Cook, follows criticism from Labour councillors at council meetings that the UTC will just add to the number of surplus school places in the area.
But this is a short-term issue that will be resolved once the thousands of homes that already have planning permission in the surrounding area are fully built.
The focus of this UTC on an environmental and avionic engineering curriculum has been developed through extensive discussions and research with local engineering companies, particularly those located a short distance away from its proposed site next to Abbeywood Community School in Stoke Gifford, such as Rolls Royce, Airbus and GKN.
Cllr Sheila Cook (Con, Almondsbury) said:
“It’s good news that the South Gloucestershire UTC bid has taken such a significant step forward.”
“Labour councillors now need to stop undermining the UTC bid and instead get behind it because this is an exciting opportunity to ensure that the spirit of Brabazon and Concorde lives on in South Gloucestershire’s next generation of aspiring young aerospace engineers.”
“Is a short-term surplus of schools places enough of a reason to block the creation of this flagship University Technical College and all the short, medium and long-term benefits that this facility will bring to the local aerospace sector? No, it is certainly not.”
- Q&A: University Technical Colleges (BBC News)
- Technical Academies, University Technical Colleges and Studio Schools (DfE)
- Introductory briefing on the proposed Bristol and South Gloucestershire University Technical College (City of Bristol College)
- Bristol and South Gloucestershire UTC (utcolleges.org)
Source: Conservative Group on South Gloucestershire Council