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Elstree UTC: A New Angle On Education

As the new University Technical College prepares to open its doors this September, Moira Green, the school’s first ever Principal, remarks on the opportunities that lie ahead for young people embarking on a career in the creative industries...
I am delighted to have been appointed as the first Principal of Elstree UTC. It is tremendously rewarding and inspiring to shape the vision, with our partners. This is an exciting time. I am just about to appoint a senior team, shortly followed by the rest of Elstree staff (If you are an industry professional and interested in sharing your skills with the next generation please get in touch). Student applications for Elstree are flooding in. There is much still to be done and we are moving at great speed towards opening in September 2013.
For a young person considering a career in the creative industries Elstree UTC is the place to be. This year we are recruiting year 10 and year 12 students.
Elstree UTC is a unique development in educational opportunities for young people and will be at the very forefront of the union of technology and creativity, exploring the joy and rigor of learning. The curriculum will place students’ learning in context with significant time spent engaging in practical activities that are directly linked to “real world” projects. Elstree partners have an unrivalled wealth of experience in the areas of creative technology and their influence is global.
Focusing on the creative and technical skills needed to work within industry, the curriculum will reflect the range of academic, specialist and professional skills needed for young people to progress at 19 to either University or employment. Indeed, students will learn from a range of professionals; teachers, mentors, directors, lighting and sound engineers and university lecturers.
The Elstree UTC is sponsored by David Meller, who is already a sponsor of three Academies, in partnership with local and national employers. A place at Elstree will give young people direct access to the world of work and the best opportunities for employment in these areas. Working with the University of Hertfordshire means that all courses will have a direct relevance to further study at any university. Dr. Stephen Boffey, Pro Vice Chancellor, The University of Hertfordshire: “The University of Hertfordshire has been working with the film and television sector for many years, delivering a variety of undergraduate courses geared to the needs of employers, and using many visiting lecturers who are also actively working in film and television. Our graduates go on to some amazing jobs both in the UK and abroad and are in great demand by employers.
So The Elstree UTC gives us a wonderful opportunity to extend work-related education to school aged young people. We’ve seen how inspiring it can be for students to learn through tackling ‘real life’ projects, and we know that this approach will be equally inspiring for 14 to 18 year olds. It is also a great pleasure to be working so closely with David Meller and some key employers, such as Elstree Studios and the Ambassador Theatre Group, on the development of the UTC – it’s a formidable team!”
Elstree Studios have been on board since the conception of this project and are working to help develop the curriculum seeing Elstree Studios as part of the extended UTC classroom.
Roger Morris, Managing Director, Elstree Studios: “The new Elstree UTC is of great importance to the whole UK film television and creative industry economy. The future skill shortage needs to be addressed and we feel that the new Elstree UTC will be the first, we hope, of many initiatives to address this problem for our industry. Not only that, the Elstree UTC is a vocational academy which will mean young people can be interfaced with the work place with apprenticeships and internships giving them great advantage when they emerge from the UTC and go into the employment work place. We have 40 trades on site involved in the creative industries. We are involved in facilitating the production of major TV series (such as Dancing on Ice, Big Brother, Who wants to be a Millionare?), major feature films and very importantly, in my view, British films. The new drama and high end TV tax credits will also have a significant impact on the market. We are very excited and pleased to be involved in this fantastic project.”
Read the article in the online edition of Regional Film and Video here.
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