First principal of pioneering University Technical College in Norwich is unveiled

Alex Hayes

Alex Hayes - Credit: Archant

The vice principal of a Norwich academy has been unveiled as principal-designate of the first of a new kind of technical college in Norfolk.

Alex Hayes, who is currently at the Open Academy in Salhouse Road, will take up the position at the University Technical College Norfolk on January 1, ahead of its opening next September.

The UTC, which will be based at the former Connaught factory on Old Hall Road, between Hall Road and Ipswich Road, will specialise in engineering and energy skills for 14 to 19 years olds.

The college received planning permission in August.

Mr Hayes was born in Wiltshire and holds a degree in land management from Reading University and an MBA degree from the University of Leicester. After working in business for a number of years, he trained as a teacher at the University of East Anglia and then taught in London before returning to East Anglia.

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He held senior roles in a number of Norwich schools before becoming vice principal at the Open Academy, and is married with two children.

He said: 'I am delighted to be appointed. I am determined to ensure that University Technical College Norfolk provides an exceptional education for its students. With the support of students, parents and employers, we can build something really special.

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'We will be providing a rigorous education for students of all abilities, enhanced by our technical expertise and real world links to the engineering and energy sectors.

'Students at the UTC will need to work hard but their efforts will be rewarded with unrivalled opportunities to help them find their own talents. As a parent and as a teacher, I am passionate about creating opportunities that will help young people prepare for the next stage in their life.

'My first priority will be to appoint staff of the highest calibre and I am very much looking forward to meeting prospective students and their parents to share with them the exciting vision we have for University Technical College Norfolk.'

The UTC is part of the Transforming Education in Norfolk (TEN) Group, whose chief executive Dick Palmer said: 'The UTC will provide a unique and exciting addition to the educational offer for 14 to 19 year olds in Norfolk, with a specific focus on science, technology, engineering and maths, combining academic excellence and practical learning oriented to the energy and engineering sectors.

'As we move towards the opening of the UTC next September, and following a rigorous selection process, in Alex Hayes we have appointed a principal who can make a reality of our bold vision and ambitions for University Technical College Norfolk.'

The plans for UTC Norfolk were part of the wave of UTC proposals given the go-ahead by the schools minister in May 2012.

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