Posted by Dennis G. Lucan on February 1, 2018
The current Principal of the Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC, Ms Karen Barker, has informed the Governors that she wishes to relinquish her position as Principal with effect from 9th February 2018, after having spent the past two years first in helping to set up the UTC and then launching the opening of the College to pupils in September 2017. She has, after careful consideration, reluctantly concluded that owing to personal circumstances and family commitments, it would be better for another leadership team to take the UTC through its next stage of development.
The Governors have decided to appoint Mr Michael Finn and Ms Antonia Evans (who are currently Vice Principal and Assistant Principal respectively of the UTC) as Joint Heads in succession to Ms Barker. Michael Finn has over 12 years’ experience as a highly performing teacher, with 4 of these in transformative senior leadership positions. Antonia Evans is an experienced English and literacy specialist with 8 years’ experience in 14-18 secondary education.
The Governors have also appointed Andrew Cole as a Specialist Adviser to assist the Joint Heads, particularly as regards the strategic planning and operational aspects of running the UTC. He brings over 20 years of educational experience at senior levels, encompassing secondary school, Sixth Form college and Further Education College roles. In addition, as part of a new push forward, the UTC has extended its partnership with the St Marylebone Teaching Schools Alliance (SMTSA) under which the UTC will be able to draw upon SMTSA’s teaching and other resources as required.
The Governors are confident that Michael and Antonia will make an excellent team and that their combined skills and experience will ensure that the UTC progresses successfully to its next stage of development. Further details of their past careers are set out below.
The Governors wish to express their gratitude and appreciation to Ms Barker for her very substantial contribution to the establishment of the College, the recruitment of a starting cohort of over 120 pupils and the assembling of a talented team of teaching and support staff.
Elizabeth Phillips, Chair of the Governors of the UTC, said: “We are very grateful to Karen for all the hard work she has put in to making the UTC the success it is today and are sorry to see her go but we understand her decision and wish her every success in the future. At the same time, I am very much looking forward to working with our new leadership team and I have every confidence in their ability to build on the solid start the UTC has made and to take it onward to the next stage.”
2006 Postgraduate Certificate in Education
2006-13 Reigate College: progressed from Teacher to Director of Faculty with responsibility for 900 students
2012 MA in Education Leadership
2013-17 Woking College: Assistant Principal and Designated Safeguarding Lead
2017– Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC: Vice Principal
2010 Graduated from Oxford University (Keble College) with an MA in English Language and Literature
2011-13 Eastbury Comprehensive, London. Teach First graduate teacher progressing to KS5 English Lead
2014 MA in Education Leadership
2013-17 Northbridge House School: Head of English and Media and Staff Co-ordinator
2017– Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC: Assistant Principal
There are currently 49 UTCs open across England, but only 5 as yet in London. Of the 2000 students who graduated from UTCs last year only 26 are NEETs, i.e. not currently in employment or further education or training. UTCs have a fantastic record of achievement for their students.
Sir Simon Milton Westminster University Technical College (UTC) is a non-selective, non-fee paying school for 14-19 year olds within the state education system. It is co-founded and supported by the University of Westminster, Network Rail Infrastructure Limited, and the Sir Simon Milton Foundation, a charitable trust set up in memory of a former Westminster Council leader. Its development has been supported by Westminster City Council since the inception of the project.
Sir Simon Milton UTC specialises in transport engineering and construction. It provides its students with hands-on workplace experience through collaboration with its unique Employer Alliance of relevant industry partners, led by Network Rail, with Alstom, Landsec, Sir Robert McAlpine, Colas Rail, and Transport for London.