The new head of Bucks
University Technical College said she will draw on her
business background to
push it forward.
Beverley Flanagan, 59, has forged strong links in business with more than 30 years in the trade.
The UTC on the site of Aylesbury College, Oxford Road, intends to provide specialist teaching in ICT and construction by working in collaboration with partners such as high-tech firm Cisco and developers Taylor Wimpey.
“I have always been passionate about vocational education and the link with employers.
Having worked previously for Sony and Motorola, Mrs Flanagan possesses a business orientated mind set and believes it will be vital to getting results at the college.
With major reforms being undertaken by Education Secretary Michael Gove, the university technical college is one of the first 13 to be introduced into the UK.
Mrs Flanagan added: “To be part of something as unique as the UTC in its early stages, I feel privileged.
“I’ve got nothing but good feelings about it.”
However, she also recognised the challenges involved and the obvious doubters regarding the new initiative.
“People will be a bit hesitant. But I know it will be a success and I think this is long overdue.”
Key in Mrs Flanagan’s preparations has been identifying staff and in particular a vice-principal.
“I’ve been writing job descriptions, I don’t want to miss any opportunity.”
The principal did recognise there would be times she may be constrained by the board she is working with.
However, she remained firm in the approach to the task ahead of her.
“Your vision is your vision and everything must feed into that vision.
“I’ve seen the budget and it’s adequate enough.” Mrs Flanagan aims to take a pro-active approach with her headship and has relocated from Salisbury to Oxford to be closer to work.
“I need to be in the area. The job is going to be 24/7. I want to get around to as many events as possible in the first four months and put us out there.”
The college plans to take a workmanlike approach to study with school days set to run from 8.30am to 5pm and longer terms.
Students will also do 50 days work experience with people from the main partners and be trained to be work ready.
When completed it will have cost £10.4 million
Mrs Flanagan expects to employ 41 full-time staff.
There are expected to be 600 pupils when the college is at full capacity in 2016.
Aylesbury College and Bucks New University are the lead sponsors.
Taylor Wimpey; McAfee; ESRI and Cisco. There are further partners including the National Trust. All will provide materials, tutors and support to the university.
The university will accept students in September 2013.
The new building will be linked to Aylesbury College and measure 5000 sq metres.