UTC Swindon

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UTC Swindon
Fair use logo UTC Swindon.png
UTC Swindon (geograph 4392558).jpg
Bristol Street

, ,

Coordinates51°33′41″N 1°47′38″W / 51.5613°N 1.7940°W / 51.5613; -1.7940Coordinates: 51°33′41″N 1°47′38″W / 51.5613°N 1.7940°W / 51.5613; -1.7940
TypeUniversity Technical College
Established1 September 2014 (2014-09-01)
TrustActivate Learning Education Trust
Department for Education URN145155 Tables
Executive PrincipalJon Oliver
Age14 to 19
Websitewww.utcswindon.co.uk Edit this at Wikidata

UTC Swindon is a University Technical College (UTC) in Swindon, England that opened in September 2014[1] for students of ages 14–19. The college specialises in engineering and is sponsored by Oxford Brookes University and Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells.[2]

The 1870 water tower is a Swindon landmark

The campus is on the northwestern edge of Swindon Railway Village, built in the 1840s for workers at the Great Western Railway's Swindon Works. The college is partly newly built and partly in a single-storey building of c. 1845 which was formerly part of the GWR School. Also on the site is a preserved cast iron water tower of 1870, which served the Works.[3][4][5]

The college has capacity for 600 pupils.[6]


An Ofsted inspection in January 2017 rated the UTC as "inadequate" in almost every area.[7] At that time the college was being led by the deputy principal, and had an enrollment of 153. Later that year Joanne Harper, Principal of UTC Reading, was appointed Executive Principal[8] and the UTC came under the sponsorship of Activate Learning Education Trust.[6]

As of 2021, the college's most recent Ofsted inspection was in 2020, with an overall judgement of Requires Improvement.[9] Leadership and management were rated Good but the quality of education was judged not yet good enough.[9]


The college was created by the conversion of the Grade II Listed GWR Infant School, Great Western One and former Mill Building. It involved the architects Scott Brownrigg with UTC sponsors Oxford Brooks University and Johnson Matthey, Swindon Borough Council, English Heritage and the local community. [10] The structure is part of the historic Swindon Railway Village, and the existing historical industrial buildings were retained and enhanced. A central, new-build element connects the existing buildings and takes inspiration from the former Smithy. Glass and weathering steel distinguish this from the stone-built, historic structures. The college provides for 600 students aged 14-19, celebrates the link between ‘historic’ engineering and ‘engineering the future’. It is a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ development incorporating low and zero carbon technologies. It was designed to facilitate the addition of a demonstration fuel cell. [10]


UTCs have a long day and attempt to provide the students with a full GCSE offer and industry standard technical qualifications. Students enter at the start of Key Stage 4, in year 10, and at the start of Key Stage 5, the sixth form.

Key Stage 4[edit]

KS4 Core Curriculum includes GCSEs in English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics. GCSE options are offered in GCSE Computer Science, GCSE OCR Systems Control in Engineering and GCSE Geography.[11]

These are studied alongside a specialist qualifications: NCFE Certificate in Engineering Studies, Certificate in Engineering Manufacture, Digital Technology qualifications. [11]

Key Stage 5[edit]

There are three pathways offered to the students: The A level pathway, the technical pathway and the combined pathway. Each results in qualifications equivalent to three A levels.[12] There are four A levels offered: Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, Chemistry.

The technical qualification are

  • BTEC Engineering Extended Diploma (3 A Level equivalent)
  • BTEC Engineering Diploma (2 A Level equivalent) with BTEC IT Extended Certificate (1 A Level equivalent)
  • BTEC IT/Cyber Security Diploma (2 A Level equivalent) with BTEC Esports Extended Certificate (1 A Level equivalent)[12]

and when combined with an A level

  • BTEC Engineering Diploma (2 A Levels)
  • BTEC IT Diploma (2 A Levels)
  • BTEC IT Extended Certificate (1 A Level)
  • BTEC Esports Extended Certificate (1 A Level)[12]


  1. ^ Benke, Mike (2 September 2014). "Staff pave way for a new-look college". This Is Wiltshire. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  2. ^ UTC Swindon Prospectus, http://utcswindon.co.uk/prospectus/UTC_Swindon_Web.pdf
  3. ^ Historic England. "Formerly GWR School (1283807)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Water Tower (1198186)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Swindon UTC On Its Way". swindonweb.com. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  6. ^ a b "UTC Swindon". Department for Education. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Inspection report". Ofsted. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  8. ^ Yilmaz, Tanya (6 July 2017). "Still a long way to go after poor Ofsted, says UTC chief". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  9. ^ a b Freeland, Iain (2020). "Inspection of UTC Swindon". Ofsted. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Swindon UTC". www.scottbrownrigg.com. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  11. ^ a b "KS4 Curriculum – UTC Swindon". www.utcswindon.co.uk. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  12. ^ a b c "KS5 Curriculum – UTC Swindon". www.utcswindon.co.uk. Retrieved 7 April 2021.

External links[edit]