Team spirit!

Week 4 and another fantastic week at UTC Plymouth. This week we saw our C.C.F which has 28 Year 10 and 13 Year 12 students going into Devonport Dockyard and out onto the Tamar! The reports were good and lots of students had an opportunity to take ‘the helm’



6th Form C.C.F Leadership volunteers

Our C.C.F Navy section preparing for a trip on the ‘high seas’!


Why we are different?

Industry Partner’s Month

This week we had a visit from a supporter of UTC Plymouth, Karen Friendship, Managing Director of Alderman’s Tooling. Karen talked about building a business and the journey she had into engineering. We are hoping to supply Karen with her first female engineering apprentice.

Established in 1969, Alderman’s is a family-run business and one of the South West’s leading quality metalwork manufacturers.
They specialise in sheet metal and fabricated steel products, underpinned by nearly 50 years’ experience in toolmaking, precision engineering and press work.
As sub-contract engineers, they provide businesses in Plymouth, Devon and throughout the region with a one-stop shop for metal assemblies, including precision turning, pressed components and sheet metal parts.

Alderman’s Managing Director – Karen Friendship

“Having a Civil Engineering Degree from Bristol, I was poached from my previous role in 1998 to become a Project Manager for the retail accounts which Alderman’s serviced, namely Dorothy Perkins, Burton Menswear and Evans. I quickly got familiar with the workings of the business and set about improving the HR and H&S procedures and the then 70-strong work force.

Appointed as MD in 2005, I further set about analysing our markets and preparing us for the turbulent economic conditions ahead.

Passionate about nurturing manufacturing and ‘buying local’, I chair the Plymouth Manufacturer’s Group Network for SME’s and invest in promoting the STEM subjects in schools.”

It was a pleasure to have Karen join us to speak with our young people today during our weekly briefing!

Staff Corner

Tina Brinkworth:

Tina has joined us this year as an Industry Specialist working with our Year 13, delivering Industry specific BTEC Units.

Tina has had a long and successful career working for one of the UK’s largest Engineering Support Contractors. She started her career in 1988 as a mechanical fitter and turner apprentice and progressed her career through to senior positions, with a proven track record in delivering innovative solutions to complex change projects and cultural change programmes. 

 Tina has worked with the Plymouth STEM Forum to help shape the Plymouth STEM strategy and objectives and works as a STEM consultant for Plymouth City Council.

 She is passionate about Diversity and Inclusion and she has led significant STEM outreach programmes. 

Her key achievements include:

Recognised by Customer: Received a Commendation in May 2013 from the Ministry of Defence for being an essential part of the Warship upkeep team between 2007 – 2012 – ‘for addressing issues which drove past failures and successfully embedding a culture of sustained excellence and for the delivery of hugely complex and challenging projects to performance, time and cost’.

WISE Finalist 2015: Women in Science and Engineering Finalist in 2015 for Gender Diversity

STEMNET (SW) 2015 – Highly commended for STEM Outreach Programme

Future Manufacturing Awards (SW) 2015 – commended for innovative and successful STEM Outreach Programme

Women in Defence 2016: Top Ten shortlist for Gender Diversity Award

Babcock 2016 – Founder and Chair of the Babcock Women’s Network


She is married to Neil and, with their son James, they are often found open water swimming, pool swimming and are all keen snowboarders and skiers.

In college this week

We had a visit this week from reporter Miles O’Leary from Plymouth Herald. It was a pleasure showing the team around and telling them about our journey! Check out the article on Plymouth Live and interview with me.

Extract below

‘A Plymouth school that struggled to shake off its reputation for being a ‘Parkside’ graveyard has finally turned a corner.

UTC Plymouth threw open its doors in 2013 with high hopes of attracting the city’s brightest minds to embrace careers in science, maths and engineering.

But the future of the £9million Devonport education hub was thrown into doubt in 2016 after Ofsted exposed flaws in standards and ruled it was ‘inadequate’.

UTC Principal Polly Lovell was ready to quit as families saw UTC Plymouth merely as a place to park restless kids who weren’t happy elsewhere.

But Governors ploughed all their faith into Ms Lovell and convinced her she was the one to pull the former Parkside Community College campus back from the brink.

Now, after months and months of hard work, change and a lot of persistence, shoots of growth have emerged.

The school’s also days away from joining up with an academy, which it believes will bring about ‘greater stability’.

The transfer to Reach South Academy Trust on October 1 means UTC’s previous Ofsted file no longer applies – it will start again from scratch and be given a clean new rating by inspectors.’

In college today

Today was Macmillan Coffee Morning and we had a brilliant response from all our students. The cake competition is still running but Simon looked like he was taking the lead with his ‘amazing Cheese straws’. Well done everyone that brought cake in and extra well done for those that baked!

Finally, don’t forget our Open Day is less than 24 hours away! Doors open at 10 am and we have plenty of bacon baps at the ready! We are also looking forward to seeing some of our alumni. Follow our Twitter and Facebook for updates @pollylovell_UTC @UTCPlymouth!

Sign up through Eventbrite:

Great quote I heard this week at Head teacher’s Plymouth Challenge meeting

‘Better is possible

It doesn’t take genius

It takes diligence

It takes moral courage

And above all it takes a willingness to try’

– Atul Gwande, Notes from a surgeon.


Thanks for reading and have a great weekend