My experience of the UTC – a Parent’s Perspective with Karen
Karen is parent of Year 9 student Kelsie who made the big decision to leave her previous school and join UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park in September 2020. Kelsie is now studying Health Sciences and Social Care alongside GCSEs. Karen describes her experiences as a parent so far…
What attracted you about the UTC in the first place?
A friend of mine had a letter through from the Local Authority with details of the UTC and told me it sounded marvellous. I went to the website and saw they were having an open day, so we went along. We were looking for a change as Kelsie wasn’t wholly happy at her current school. I wanted a school that was smaller and gave more individual attention.
Kelsie was interested in becoming a vet, so the Health Sciences specialism at the UTC looked relevant. We were impressed with the facilities, especially the Healthcare Suite. We went to a second event just about the Health Sciences specialism.
What made you decide to take the plunge?
We thought there were better opportunities at this school. Employers come in and students go on placements. Also, the staff are very passionate about their work.
There were current students at the open day who talked about their experience at the UTC. One said that when they struggled with exams, the teachers really helped them. My daughter struggles with exams, she gets very stressed and anxious, so that was important.
How have you found the UTC?
It’s the best thing we’ve done.
What I love about the UTC, you just ring and they sort it out, nothing is too much trouble. It’s absolutely marvellous, and the teachers are very enthusiastic.
When the bell goes and the classes change, it is all very quiet and orderly. You don’t hear the teachers shouting. If you want respect you need to treat the students like adults, and that’s what they do.
The UTC prepares them for jobs. They look ahead to when the students will leave school. Companies come in and explain what they do. They even had an ambulance come to the Health Suite.
What sort of support has the UTC offered during lockdown?
The school has been very supportive during lockdown. They offered online classes, but Kelsie found it really hard, so I contacted the UTC and they were marvellous, very quick to respond, and Kelsie has been going into the UTC.
What would you say to other parents considering the UTC?
If someone asked, I would definitely recommend the UTC. The staff give 100% and they’re there for the students. I can’t fault them.
I know parents may worry that the UTC is further away than the local school, but it prepares young people for life after school because at some stage they will have to travel for study or jobs, so it prepares them for the future.