Stoke Gifford technical college officially opened by HRH Earl of Wessex

Official opening of the Bristol Technology and Engineering Academy in Stoke Gifford.

The Bristol Technology and Engineering Academy (BTEA) in New Road, Stoke Gifford was officially opened by HRH The Earl of Wessex yesterday (Tuesday 26th November).

The West of England’s first University Technical College (UTC) offers a revolutionary new concept in learning, providing 14-19 year-olds with an academic and specialist education combined with work-based skills.

Speaking to students at the academy, HRH The Earl of Wessex said:

“You are the pioneers of this Technology and Engineering Academy and future pioneers of the engineering industry. Best of luck to you all, you have a fantastic future ahead of you.”

The prince toured three project rooms where students work on engineering and science projects and met students and staff, as well as those involved in creating the academy, including staff from local businesses, UWE, contractors and partner schools.

The new state-of-the-art academy opened its doors in September 2013, providing students interested in engineering and environmental technology with an advantage for their next steps.

Speaking about the official opening, academy principal Rhian Priest said:

“A huge amount of work has gone into creating this brand new type of school, the first of its kind in the West of England, which provides a unique learning opportunity for young people.”

“Our opening today celebrates a new beginning. Our enthusiastic students are excelling in our project based learning approach; they have fully embraced this vibrant and exciting setting that has encouraged independent thought, self-discipline, motivation and confidence.”

Building on the outstanding reputation of the West of England as a home for advanced engineering, aerospace and environmental technologies, the academy will provide highly-qualified and specialised workers to help plug the technical skills gap in the region. In equipping future generations with the academic qualifications and skills needed, the BTE Academy will provide a head start for students when they enter the workplace or higher education.

UWE, Rolls-Royce, GKN Aerospace, Airbus, Atkins Global, Network Rail, AstraZeneca are working with the academy to provide ‘real life’ scenarios and assess students’ projects. Industry partners advise on the curriculum and give valuable insight through offering industry visits, guest lectures and mentors to inspire young people towards future careers. Students will also benefit from access to specialist facilities and work experience.

Miss Erin Sheridan, an A-Level student at the academy, presented His Royal Highness with a commemorative gift and said:

“It was an amazing experience to meet the prince today. Attending the academy has been a once in a lifetime opportunity; the BTE Academy offers everything I want to do and is more than I expected”

Wilmott Dixon completed construction of the BTE Academy in July 2013. Neal Stephens, Managing Director in the South West, said:

“We’ve been thrilled to be a part of such an exciting project in establishing the West of England’s first UTC.”

Throughout the project we have worked tirelessly to ensure that the facilities are of the highest possible standard, and delivered within budget and on time. We hope that our successful delivery will contribute towards the development of the city’s existing reputation in advanced engineering and sustainable technologies.”

Students from across Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset are studying GCSEs and A-Levels in a range of academic subjects including maths, science, English and languages combined with practical and technical qualifications in engineering, environmental science, ICT and business. The curriculum and learning techniques combine theory with practical, project-based activities working with industrial sponsors.

Enrolment is now open and is proving hugely popular for September 2014. Interested students can find out more and visit the academy by contacting 0117 969 0154.

Share this page: