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August 12 2014.

UTC@harbourside, the new university technical college for Sussex, which opens in Newhaven in September 2015, has announced the appointment of Jon Clarke as its first Principal.

Mr Clarke takes up his post on the 1st of September from Chalfont College, Buckinghamshire, where he was Vice Principal responsible for curriculum and achievement.

UTC@harbourside is aiming to offer 14 to 18 year olds an outstanding academic and technical education focused on science, engineering, technology and maths, with a focus on the specialist skills in demand by the growing marine engineering and environmental technology sectors in the region. It will be based on the harbourside just two minutes from Newhaven Town railway station, with a fully equipped modern engineering workshop, computer aided design suites and space for employers and students to work together on projects.

What makes the college different from conventional colleges is the combination of local companies with teachers aiming to create projects for students that focus on real-life challenges and are relevant to industry. They will also give students high-quality work experience and provide guidance on careers, helping students develop entrepreneurial and employability skills which will make them stand out in today’s competitive jobs market.

Applications are now open for students from across Sussex who are interested in entering in years 10 and 12 in September 2015.

Honor Wilson-Fletcher, chief executive of the Aldridge Foundation, said: “Jon was instrumental in Chalfont College’s transformation into a technology college and being judged outstanding by Ofsted. It was clear from our first meeting that he has the commitment, energy, leadership and vision it takes to start a new school, and the specific skill and enthusiasm for teaching science, maths and engineering that his students will find infectious.

“UTC@harbourside will make learning so exciting, hands-on, real-life, and all in a beautiful building. Our students will be a step ahead of the competition when it comes to securing a job, heading to college, or turning ideas into a business of their own. I know Jon is keen to meet parents and students and tell them more himself, so they can see for themselves why becoming part of his University Technical College might be such a good idea."

Principal Designate Jon Clarke said: “Our aim is to create a college that provides an exciting, outstanding education which prepares students to succeed in an ever-changing world. We will have a transformational building to work in and a team of staff who are leaders in their specialisms with a passion to inspire and the care needed to nurture success. I am excited to work with our partners and the community to build a truly unique college for Sussex, preparing students to take up the great engineering and environmental technology opportunities on our doorstep and beyond.”

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