NEWS, INFO & Activities

NEWS, INFO & Activities

UTC Media City UK

Our School

Principal's Welcome

Welcome to the UTC@MediaCityUK. I am delighted to introduce you to our 14-18 University Technical College, specialising in the creative and technical digital industry. Our college is a member of the Aldridge Education family of schools and colleges. If you would like to know more about the Aldridge Education Trust please visit:

We are based in the heart of MediaCityUK, and are a short walk from our sponsors at Salford University and The Lowry. We offer the most exciting and challenging digital education for students across the region.

Studying at UTC@MediaCityUK ensures that our students gain the qualifications and experience employers are looking for – not just broadcasters and media companies, but every business wanting to reach its customers in the digital age. They will all be drawing from a digital media sector that already accounts for one in every ten jobs in the North West.

Combining core academic subjects with the opportunity to study and gain practical experience in TV & Film, Digital Publishing, or Interactive Media & Gaming, our curriculum ensures you will be learning skills for jobs at MediaCityUK and beyond. You will be engaged in developing real content using industry-standard equipment in a new building that has been purpose built for our unique curriculum.

Our UTC benefits from strong links with our partners such as ITV, BBC, and The Landing. Our goal is to produce the next generation of digital entrepreneurs by harnessing your creativity and providing you with the key tools to be successful in business. You will be supported by committed teachers who have worked in the digital media industry themselves, and who are passionate about their subjects, and about helping young people to excel.

Central to the vision of the UTC is the desire to prepare young people better for employment and further education and training, that is why we offer students opportunities through work experience and leadership activities. Since opening in September 2015 we have seen the vision and values of the UTC come to life. The young people who study here are growing in confidence daily, their communication and leadership skills are being developed through their frequent team work as they create projects to fulfil briefs set with industry partners.

These are exciting times for all who study and work at the UTC. As an art teacher and creative leader I relish the opportunity of developing the UTC provision and enhancing the opportunities for our creative students. I’m passionate about giving our young people a real competitive advantage when they apply for university or enter the jobs market. The talent we have amongst our students is exceptional, I really look forward to supporting them to realise their dreams and potential.

Best wishes

Colin Grand


Do get in touch with me directly to discuss any aspect of the UTC or to arrange a tour of the college.

Phone: 0161 661 3947



What is a utc?

University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are government-funded schools that offer 14–18 year olds a great deal more than traditional schools.
They teach students technical subjects in a whole new way and are educating the inventors, programmers, developers, engineers, and technicians of tomorrow.

UTCs integrate technical, practical and academic learning and create an environment where students can thrive and develop the abilities that tomorrow’s industries will need.

There are now nearly 50 UTCs in the country.

find out more about utcs nationally by clicking here 


ABout aldridge education

Aldridge UTC@MediaCiyUK is a member of the Aldridge Education family of schools.

Aldridge Education is a charitable Trust of entrepreneurial community schools and colleges that help young people to reach their potential. We support our schools’ Principals and teachers in rapidly improving the quality of education on offer at early years, primary, secondary and sixth-form levels in order to transform the life-chances of our students.

Our vision is that every student at an Aldridge school will achieve academically beyond initial personal expectations and prior attainment. That their learning and experiences in education will give them a wide perspective on the opportunities open to them and they will develop the practical skills to access every opportunity they want in life.

Aldridge Education was established as a national multi-academy trust by the Aldridge Foundation in 2016, taking over responsibility from the Foundation for its family of non-selective academy schools and colleges. Our shared belief is that by introducing young people to, and helping develop in them, the core attributes of entrepreneurship, we can provide context and relevance to their learning, fostering creativity, passion, determination, risk taking, problem solving and teamwork. These characteristics help or our students achieve in their education and acquire further vital skills for adult life.

For more information about Aldridge Education, including the Trust’s statutory information, Annual Report and Accounts, please visit

To contact the Trust please click here.


Aldridge Education
3rd Floor
8, City Road

Telephone: 0207 297 0340


North West Regional Office
c/o Darwen Aldridge Community Academy
Sudell Road

You can see more about the work of the Aldridge Foundation, the charity established by Sir Rod Aldridge.


Vision values & ethos

We share the vision and values of our partner, Aldridge education -

“OUR GOAL is that, by the age of 25, all Aldridge graduates will have experienced an outstanding and enjoyable education and be able to sustain the life of their choice.  They will be independent, thriving economically and making a real, positive contribution to their communities.Providing a centre of excellence for young people to learn the knowledge, skills and behaviours for a successful career in the creative and technical digital industries.”

mission and values

We believe that all young people have the potential to achieve, and our mission is to help every student to develop a set of key attributes which will help them to progress to a fulfilling and successful future.

PASSION for our specialism

First and foremost, the UTC is about preparing young people for their chosen career. As a UTC, we are not restricted by the government’s English Baccalaureate targets, and we are therefore able to offer a specialist curriculum from Year 10, whilst not neglecting crucial core subjects. The creative and technical subjects offered at Key Stage 4 are all also on offer in the sixth form, which means that our students can have up to four years of preparation for the career they know that they want.

DETERMINATION to succeed in the world of work

Colleges aren’t just for preparing young people to pass exams. They are also for developing the skills and attributes that will allow them to be successful in the employment market and in their chosen careers.  Our specialist teachers all have experience in the technical and creative industries, and our careers and progression team will work with every student to ensure they have the skills and experience to stand out to employers and universities.  In the sixth form, every student has a full day each week of dedicated to career development, with opportunities for weekly work placements with our partner companies.

Enthusiasm for PROBLEM-SOLVING in real-life projects

We don’t just teach students the theory of the digital sector: we help them to experience the reality through live project briefs and real commissions. Whether it is live-streaming the Mayor’s Green Summit on the BBC website, filming music broadcasts from our Live Lounge, or designing a social media campaign for a local business, UTC students have the chance to do the kind of things that most young people can only dream of, and develop the skills that they need for their future career at the same time.

CREATIVITY and an individual approach

We do things a little differently at the UTC. There is a dress code, but it offers students the opportunity to express their individuality in many more ways than a traditional school uniform.  There are no bells at lesson changeovers, and staff and students relate
to one another more like professional adults than teachers and children. We have high expectations of behaviour, and all students and parents sign up to our professional code of conduct. However, we don’t make rules for the sake of it, and our staff encourage students to find their own
individual voice in their learning and enrichment activities.

TEAM WORK in a small, friendly community

Traditional large secondary schools offer a wide range of opportunities and are perfect for many young people. However, there will always be some people who perform better in a smaller, more close-knit community. At the UTC, we will never have more than 600 students. This means that all of our staff get to know all of our students really well, and this really helps with academic progress, but also with personal development. It also helps us to develop great relationships with parents and carers, and to work closely with them in the best interests of young people.

RISK-TAKING – not being afraid to be different

We are a new college; we are very different, and we are still developing our profile and reputation. We are lucky enough to have the expertise of our partner, Aldridge Education, behind us, but we are very aware that every student who chooses to come to us is making a conscious decision to
step outside of the traditional way of doing things. We respect that decision, and how difficult it will be for some students to make. However, for those who stand out from the crowd, and who have the passion and determination to break the mould, we promise to offer the very best levels of
education, support and guidance.



Janet Lord

After a successful career in finance, including time as an Inspector of Taxes and a consultant for one of the 'Big 5' firms, I completed my Masters degree in Artificial Intelligence.  I started working in education in 1990 when I was appointed as research fellow in organisational psychology at the University of Sheffield, working on adult learning.  

Subsequently, after some years teaching in schools and colleges, I was appointed Director of Undergraduate Matters, School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester. 

In 2016 I completed my doctorate in education and I am now Director of Education for the Faculty of Health and Education at Manchester Metropolitan University, where I look after the teaching and learning for over 9000 students.   My particular interests are Social Justice/ Inclusion and Educational Technology.

My longstanding work and interest in education, and in equity and social justice have led me to be involved in governance in various schools and colleges for the last twelve years.   I am delighted to be Chair of Governors at the UTC and to be supporting Colin Grand and his team in delivering an outstanding education that gives our students a competitive advantage. 

Jennifer Riding

Jenny Riding is Director of Learning & Engagement at The Lowry and is the strategic lead for the organisation’s charitable work including Arts for Social Change, Youth Employability, Youth Talent and Creative Learning. After graduating from Lancaster University with a first class degree in Drama & English, Jenny went on to undertake an MA in Dramatherapy. She has worked as a dramatherapist, applied theatre practitioner and project manager with young people and communities using the arts for social change and personal development for over 16 years. Prior to joining The Lowry Jenny was a lecturer in Applied Theatre at the University of Bolton and worked at The Octagon Theatre for 8 years developing and delivering youth and community arts programmes. Jenny believes that the arts are a human right and creativity is a powerful tool for growth and change. She is keen to utilise her experience to support UTC students to connect to creative career opportunities and to explore creative wellbeing for pupils.  

John McCarthy

John has over 30 years of experience working in Higher Education. He started out his career as an academic teaching Information Systems but was drawn into the practical application of systems to enhance the student experience. He has held a number of roles ranging from Resources Manager through to Director of Marketing, Recruitment & External Relations through to his current role as Associate Chief Operating Officer at the University of Salford with responsibility for the whole student journey from initial enquiry through to graduation and beyond.

John is a self-confessed “data geek” which is an essential trait as a member of the LGC.

John has served on a number of school governing bodies for over 25 years including the role of Chair of Governors for a period of 6 years.

Rhyse Cathcart

Rhyse Cathcart works for a children and family third sector Service in Greater Manchester. He is the operational manager or the Salford and Trafford service and specialises in emotional health and well-being and safeguarding of children. 

Rhyse has over 10 years experience of school governorship including alternative education provision. Rhyse has two children attending UTC media city and is a parent governor.


Satutory information

This page contains all of the annual reports and accounts that we must produce by law to be available for public viewing. Please feel free to view any of the information below as and when you wish and let us know if there are any issues by contacting us on

Our Charity Trustees

The names of our charity trustees are as follows:

  • Sir Rod Aldridge OBE
  • Helen Marshall
  • Julie Fawcett OBE
  • Rebecca Martin

Annual members’ Report & Audited Accounts

PDF: Annual Audited Accounts 2015

PDF: Audited Annual Accounts 2015-16

PDF: Audited Annual Accounts 2016/17

Funding Agreement

PDF: Funding Agreement

Pupil Premium Report

PDF: Pupil Premium Review Document 2020-2021

PDF: Post 16 Catchup Funding

Memorandum of Association

PDF: Articles of Association


 Ofsted report & performance tables

Ofsted Report

In September 2018 we joined Aldridge Education multi-academy trust. As Aldridge UTC@MediaCityUK we have not yet had an Ofsted inspection. You can view our Ofsted page here.

Performance Tables

The Government announced earlier this year that it will not publish any school or college level educational performance data based on tests, assessments or exams for 2020. You can find all schools’ data at and view historic data for the UTC at GCSE and sixth-form level on our GCSE Compare school performance website and 16-18 Compare school performance website pages .


our students' destinations

In the last year for which data is currently available, 2019/20, 98% of our GCSE students went on to further education at sixth-form level, with 2% going straight into employment. None were classified as “Not in education, employment or training”, much better than the then national average of 4%.

Following sixth form nearly two-thirds of our students went onto university, higher or further education in 2019/20. 30% went into employment or took up an apprenticeship. Only 3% were “Not in education, employment or training” at the time they were surveyed, again well above the 11% national average at the time.


severe weather

Despite snow being forecast during winter months, please be assured that a decision to close our college would only be made in exceptional circumstances.

In the unlikely event of closure we will always try to give parents as much notice as possible. The most reliable source of information is the school website. An emergency plan is in place whereby we inform local radio stations. We will also update our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

If for safety reasons we have to decide on closure part way through a school day because of deteriorating conditions we will update the website and use the email system to inform parents. Please discuss arrangements with your child to ensure that they are clear about where to go and how to communicate with you in the event of early closure.

Regardless of weather conditions public examinations are never rescheduled