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PRESS RELEASE: Warrington’s unique UTC set to join Aldridge Education Multi Academy Trust

Warrington’s unique UTC set to join Aldridge Education Multi Academy Trust


The Department of Education has approved University Technical College Warrington (UTCW) to join Aldridge Education Multi Academy Trust – the start of an exciting journey for both UTCW and Aldridge.


The partnership will strengthen the UTC, which opened its doors in 2016 with the aim of bringing world-class STEM education to the area, and boosting the local skills base and economy. Students with a passion for engineering, the built environment, digital or science can join the UTC in either Yr10 or Yr12 to study high-status technical qualifications alongside their core GCSEs, or opt to undertake one of the exciting T Level pathways on offer.


Aldridge Education was established in 2016 by Sir Rod Aldridge (who founded the Capita Group), and currently looks after eight academies – in the north west, London, and south east – as well as an adult learning provision.  As part of the Aldridge family of schools, there are already some ‘atypical’ providers (who don’t have a traditional year 7 intake) – a Studio school, and another, thriving UTC in Salford, which sits at the heart of Media City and specialises in the creative industries.



Aldridge therefore brings a level of understanding and expertise to UTCW, and both the UTC and Aldridge share a deep commitment to ensuring students build practical, valuable skills throughout their education that will set them up for success in the world of work.


UTCW, with its STEM focus and very strong employer relationships in the north west and beyond – brings a new area of knowledge and skills to the Aldridge portfolio. And UTCW already is ranked 11th nationally for students progressing into apprenticeship after leaving 16-18 education; a great achievement that this new partnership is committed to bettering.


CEO of Aldridge Education, Jane Fletcher, said:

“What has been clear throughout this process is that both UTCW and Aldridge share a genuine passion for bringing learning to life; for creating fantastic, meaningful experiences and opportunities for students that pave the way into the world of work. We are also both committed to ensuring that not a single student misses out on those experiences and opportunities; that no one is left behind.


Ultimately, Aldridge Education and the UTC have lots to offer each other – and we realise that together, we can achieve even more. There are so many opportunities in this partnership that mean we can give every single student that walks through our doors the very best real-world learning experience, setting them up to take their successful next steps. So on the one hand, UTCW will benefit from the educational and operational support that we, as a MAT, can provide; while on the other, Aldridge will be able to further build on specialised atypical provision and expertise.”


As a Trust, Aldridge has always valued the deep connections between education and employment, and wants students to thrive not just in school, but well beyond as they build happy and successful futures.


 Principal at UTC Warrington, Chris Hatherall, said:

"I'm absolutely delighted to lead UTC Warrington into such an exciting opportunity of joining Aldridge Education Multi Academy Trust. Over the last few years, UTCW has enjoyed growth in pupil numbers and significant investment in our resources and facilities for our students, most recently for our T Level programmes. Joining Aldridge Education can only further strengthen the opportunities and experiences available to the young people we educate."


Chair of Trustees for UTCW, and Vice President, Decommissioning and Regeneration Solutions at Jacobs, Mike Houghton said:

“As one of the founding trustees, it is an exciting time to see the transfer of UTC Warrington into the Aldridge Academy Trust. We have been on a journey for over ten years formulating the business plan, overseeing the construction, opening and creating a vibrant college that delivers an outstanding STEM education to 14-19 year students in the Warrington area. I believe we have found an ideal Trust to support our future ambitions.


Our original vision of a pipeline of work ready students joining local businesses is now a reality. I’m looking forward to working with Aldridge to support our broader aspirations for students at UTC Warrington.”

The Aldridge team has already spent some time with the UTCW, supporting staff with areas such as teaching and learning development. There is also the ambition to introduce admissions to Year 9 pupils too, with the aim of applications opening in September 2024 - enabling pupils to benefit from specialised teaching and learning earlier (while still accessing a wide and varied curriculum).


The next steps are to finalise the details and timeline with the Department of Education for the UTC to officially join Aldridge Education. In the meantime, we will continue to work together to ensure students receive the best possible learning experience. 



Notes to Editors

About Aldridge Education

  • Aldridge Education is a national multi-academy trust which was established in 2016.

  • Our patron is Sir Rod Aldridge, who founded the Capita Group in 1984; under his leadership Capita grew from a small start-up to a FTSE 100 company. After his retirement from Capita, Sir Rod established the Aldridge Foundation and under his chairmanship, the Foundation opened its first school, Darwen Aldridge Community Academy (DACA), in 2008.
  • This grew to a national group of entrepreneurial academies and eight years after the opening of DACA, Sir Rod and the Foundation created Aldridge Education to run the national group of Aldridge schools and ensure their continued success.
  • Today, Aldridge looks after eight schools and academies (UTCW will bring this to nine), as well as an adult learning provision.
  • At Aldridge Education, our two core priorities are to bring learning to life; and to leave no student behind.

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