At UTC Leeds our teachers and students have
unique relationships that create a working environment of mutual respect. Both
teachers and students wear the same uniform and communicate on an even playing
field, with our staff’s vast experience and expertise allowing our students all
the extra support and input that they need to succeed. Read our student-teacher
interviews for an insight into this dynamic and into our team’s experience in
(Year 10 student): What
did you do before joining UTC Leeds?
Kennedy (Principal): I
was Vice Principal at a UTC down in Bristol, so I spent two years setting up
one of the first 12 UTCs that existed in the country, so I have a couple of years
of experience of having worked at a UTC before. I then thought why not go and
open one myself, because I think I’ve got some good experience and good ideas
about what makes them work.
Jordan: What’s the most interesting project that you’ve
Mark: The good thing about working at UTC Leeds is
the variety of employers that we’ve got as partners, and the number of
different projects these partnerships have brought to us. The one we’re working
on at the moment… have you just finished the AGFA project? What did you suggest
as a solution?
Jordan: Our solution was a Tesla turbine, which will
power a greenhouse that can source foods from other countries that can’t be
Mark: I think we do far more with the employer
projects here, and we’ve got so many different employers working with us that I
think for you to be coming up with solutions like that is something that, in
other schools, year 13 students wouldn’t be thinking about. Whenever something
good like that comes out of it I think it’s great.
Jordan: What is the biggest engineering or
technological challenge you’ve faced?
Mark: Being the age that I am, in my first year at
university I was sat down in front of my first PC – I’d never seen one before!
The generation you’re in… have you ever not had a computer? Have you ever not
had a mobile phone?
Mark: I had my first mobile phone when I was 27, so
the interesting thing is the rate at which things change now, and the
developments in technology mean that your generation is going to have to keep
up with a lot of change. We’ve gone from writing on boards with chalk to
writing on touch sensitive machines in the twenty odd years that I’ve been
teaching. The rate of change is an exciting thing but also a bit frightening at
the same time!
Jordan: What’s your favourite part about UTC Leeds?
Mark: The building’s fabulous - the trustees who set
it up did a great job of making sure that we got this building, because it
would have been very easy to go somewhere else and get some new build box that
wouldn’t have been very interesting. Also, what we’re doing here, it sounds a
bit cheesy, but we’re changing lives. For people like yourself, who spend 2 or
4 years with us, there could be some real positive output at the end in that
you may well get a job with one of our sponsors…you may well learn so much more
about employment here than you would at another secondary school, and I think
that’s the best thing.