Sharon Gardner has resigned as principal of UTC@MediaCityUK to spend more time with her family.

Ruth Bradbury, principal of Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio school, will take over from Gardner as interim principal for the rest of the academic year from October 30th.

UTC MediaCityUK, which opened in September 2015, is a University Technical College for 14-18 year olds who have a passion for shaping digital and creative content.

Students study a mixture of academic GCSEs, A-levels and technical qualifications as well as getting hands-on, practical experience in specialist pathways such as TV & Film, Graphics & Design, Radio & Audio, and Interactive Media & Gaming.

Graham Cowley, chair of governors at the Salford-based UTC, said they supported her decision.

“Leading a new, ground-breaking UTC is a very demanding role, working closely with not only students, staff and parents but also many local business partners,” he said.

“Sharon stepped into the job during the first year of operation of the UTC having been the founding deputy principal, and has overseen our early development.

“As Sharon has acknowledged, the UTC needs a principal who can dedicate everything to the college as we continue to develop and grow.

“Sharon had a recent health scare which prompted an understandable determination to have more time for her own family.

“Sharon now intends to take a career break to support her son in his last year of primary education.

“The governing body wish to offer their thanks to Sharon for her unwavering commitment to the UTC from before the college was opened up to this point.

“We offer her our very best wishes for the future.”

Earlier this year, HRH the Duke of York was guest of honour at the UTC and treated to a showcase of the North West’s tech potential.

He said at the time: “This UTC is like no other I have visited. The skills you are delivering to students are preparing them to such an advanced level that they may not go to university, but straight into employment.

“The success of this UTC is due to you having chosen this college where you feel you can make decisions about your learning. Here you do not feel like your ideas are met with a no.”

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