Stowe has joined forces with Silverstone UTC to provide enhanced educational and co-curricular opportunities for pupils at both schools.
In a joint press release, Stowe School and Silverstone UTC wrote:
The partnership is intended to demonstrate the best that can be achieved by independent and state schools working together.
Stowe and Silverstone UTC are linked by history and geography: the UTC overlooks the famous F1 race track built on land once owned by Stowe’s former owners, the Dukes of Buckingham, and Stowe Corner, perhaps the fastest bend on the circuit, is less than three miles from Stowe School. The area is an acknowledged hub for high performance engineering and technical innovation with 8 F1 teams based in the West Midlands and Oxfordshire, “Motorsport Valley”, with an estimated turnover of £6bn per annum.
The UTC and Stowe have already shared curriculum resources and teacher training opportunities while pupils have benefited from inter-school sports competitions and joint participation in Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions.
Pupils from both schools will take part in subject study days with staff pooling their resources and expertise. The new partnership will enable UTC pupils to have opportunities to study subjects not available at their school, while Stowe pupils will be able to study engineering with supervised access to the UTC’s superbly equipped workshops. There will be more sports competitions and opportunities for staff and pupils alike to join in community and charity events. UTC pupils studying Business and Technical Events Management will be offered work placements with Stowe Enterprises Limited.
The partnership has been formalised by reciprocal governance arrangements. Stowe has appointed Vanessa Stanley, Deputy Principal of Silverstone UTC, to join their Board of Governors, while Silverstone UTC has appointed Crispin Robinson, Senior Deputy Head of Stowe School, to its Board of Directors.
On her appointment, Mrs Stanley said:
“I have to admit to being very excited about joining the Stowe Governing Body and indeed the growing partnership between our schools. I hope that as a Governor I can use my knowledge of the education scene locally and my education background to contribute positively to our partnership and future developments at Stowe.”
Mr Robinson shared Mrs Stanley’s enthusiasm:
“I am delighted to join the Board of Silverstone UTC to further the already close professional relationship between our two institutions. We have exciting plans to increase contacts between our students and staff, to promote better teaching and learning and to encourage charitable, sporting and social interaction to build stronger and closer ties between us. There is much to be gained from our partnership to secure outstanding educational provision in the Stowe / Silverstone area.”
Dr Anthony Wallersteiner, Headmaster of Stowe, said:
“We have supported Silverstone UTC since its first inception and this partnership promises to align two strong educational brands. The UTC is an acknowledged leader in High Performance Engineering while Stowe has achieved outstanding academic results in a broad range of more traditional subjects. We can work together for the benefit of both schools, enhancing opportunities for staff and pupils alike.”
Neil Patterson, Silverstone’s UTC Principal, welcomed the agreement:
“Stowe School has been very supportive of the UTC from even before we opened our doors in September 2013. As we look forward to starting our fifth year, it is very encouraging that the Headmaster and Board of Governors of such a prestigious school should want to work more closely with the UTC, recognising that we each have strengths that we can share for the mutual benefit of all our pupils.”
Stowe has undergone a significant transformation in recent years with record exam results and more than £35m invested in academic, boarding and sports facilities. Similarly, progress made by pupils at Silverstone UTC has been consistently faster than expected and they have gone on to university courses across the UK as well as apprenticeships with engineering firms such as Mercedes High Performance Powertrain, based locally in Brixworth, where this year they have filled more than half the vacancies.