Principal's Blog- August 2017 #2

Further to my brief blog at the beginning of the month, I am delighted to inform you that the college building is complete and already looking magnificent. My staff and I are using the remaining time before we open to make sure everything is ready and fully resourced. I really enjoyed welcoming so many students and parents on the tours around the college recently.  It was very satisfying to be able to answer your questions, see your reactions and listen to your positive words about your visit. UKSA Residential Week

Many of our new students enjoyed a week of water activities during this month held at the UKSA centre in Cowes, Isle of Wight. It was great that many students signed up to this special event. Students came away having had a great deal of fun, learned a few new important life skills and made lots of new friends. Thankfully, the weather and conditions were very good considering the average summer we have had so far.  I would like to thank UKSA and the Royal Navy staff for putting together this week so well and to Trinity House, who for the second year running, has massively subsidised this event along with Greenwich Hospital and RNRMC to give as many of our students as possible such a memorable opportunity



….to all students who have been accepted for a sixth form place at UTC Portsmouth as a result of gaining the required GCSE grades for admission. We are really looking forward to seeing you on 6th September for a morning of enrolment. We still have a limited number of places in the sixth form, so it is not too late to enquiry at the college if anyone wishes to join our sixth form at this very exciting time. To every student joining us, regardless of year group, please read on for some useful information.

Practical matters

Parents have been patiently waiting to hear more about matters relating to payments, collection of uniform etc. I have made a list of frequently asked questions which I have answered below:

Q- When can we collect uniform?

A- Uniform has been delivered to the college and we will shortly announce some specific times during the week beginning 4th Sept when items are available for collection. Please note that when parents made original uniform orders, this was solely for the purposes of making the correct bulk purchase. Parents will only have secured their uniform order when the required payment is made using ParentPay. Parents do not have to collect orders in person. So long as a payment has been made, a student is permitted to collect.

Q- When will students receive Chromebooks?

A- Chromebooks will be issued to students on 11th September, the first day of term. For students to receive a Chromebook the college must have first received the deposit and all, signed agreements relating to its use. I am afraid that a student will not be issued a device until we have received these things.

Q- When will students get lockers and what lock should I buy?

A- All students will be issued with a numbered locker on their first day of college. Each student will need to provide a padlock (combination or key) to secure their belongings within the locker. The hole that the padlocks fit into are 6.3mm in diameter- this information will help you to purchase a padlock of the right size

Q- Can students be dropped off by car on the college site?

A- I am afraid that this is not possible because: we share a busy entrance with Trafalgar School next door; we must not add to the congestion that already exists of the busy London Rd and we need unrestricted access to receive deliveries throughout the day. If you are dropping off and collecting your son or daughter by car please do this further down the road where it is safe to do so

Q- Can students bring bikes, motorbikes and cars on to the college site?

A- Students are permitted, and encouraged, to come to college on a bicycle. Students may use our bike shelter if their bike is in a legal and roadworthy condition. Students should bring a lock to safely secure their bikes in the shelter. We will only lock the shelter when students have arrived at college and have started their lessons.  I would urge all students to always ride their bikes wearing a suitable helmet. Students are not permitted to ride their bikes on site- bikes must be walked through the student entrance.

Students may park a motorcycle or moped on site but permission must first be sought from Mr Purslow

Students are not permitted to bring or park a car on site as the college is extremely restricted for space.

Q- When do sixth form students enrol?

A- Students joining Year 12, who have been accepted by the college AND have achieved the required grades (students will know this by confirming their exam results with us on 24th and 25th of August), will spend the morning of the 6th September with us in order to formally enrol. Students must arrive at the college for enrolment at 9:20am

Q- What times do students arrive for the first day of term on 11th September?

A- Students joining year 10 can arrive from 8:15 am and must be at the college by 8:30am

Students joining Year 12 can arrive from 9:00am and must have arrived by 9:20am

Q- Can families receiving financial benefits have any support?

A- The college, through the Pupil Premium Grant, is able to offer some support to families entitled to ‘free school meals’. Help can be given with the purchase of uniform, and a deposit on a Chromebook for example. Families who believe they are eligible for ‘free school meals’ should contact the College Business Manager.

I have answered above most of the pressing questions. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact UTC enquiries by phone or email

Finally, I am very much looking forward to welcoming all students for enrolment and/or their first day of term. Even though we have a wonderful new facility, it is people that really make a successful place of learning. I am very positive about the important role our college will play in the lives of so many young people well into the future. I am also very much looking forward to meeting parents again and telling you all how well your sons and daughters are doing

With very best wishes

Ciaran O’Dowda