North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College

The North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College (NSETC) is a brand-new free school that specialises in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and holds a strong business orientated ethos. Its focus is getting its students fit for work in their chosen career or further and higher education pathway.


As a 14-19 provider, NSETC aims to revolutionise learning and recruitment in the region. It understands that the days of measuring success by academic qualifications alone are long gone and it is committed to developing its students’ transferable skills, confidence and real-world experience. This will put NSETC’s students ahead of the game when it comes to searching for employment and/or applying to go to university.

This ‘new model of learning’ has already gained the support of many organisations including North Somerset Council, NHS Bristol, Weston Area Health Trust NHS, West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), University of the West of England (UWE) and numerous other local businesses.

NSETC’s Principal, Karen Cornick says that “the NSETC provides an innovative business-like environment which promises to be a very new type of learning experience. Our commitment is to make STEM learning hands-on and directly relevant to both the workplace and higher education.”

Weston College is a major sponsor of the NSETC. Its Principal and Chief Executive, Dr Paul Phillips said that NSETC “heralds a real change in teaching and learning for the whole of North Somerset. Our focus will be on superb teaching and learning complemented by state-of-the-art resources with a commercial and industrial focus.”

NSETC’s students experience an exciting curriculum which includes opportunities to obtain work experience, industry mentorships, live project-briefs and additional qualifications wrapped around a package of sport, music and art. There are opportunities for project work, curriculum enrichment, and personal challenges, and time for independent study, supported by college staff.

The school day is structured to replicate a working day, with NSETC opening from 8.30am until 5pm. To further emphasise the school’s business-oriented approach, it promotes business and industry dress for all students.

NSETC is currently based at Weston College’s South West Skills Campus. When building work is completed the NSETC will move to its permanent location and form an integral part of the Junction 21 Enterprise Area (J21EA). Plot A2 at Weston Business Quarter is currently being developed by BAM construction with completion set for July 2016. From September 2015 the NSETC will welcome year 10 students and will grow incrementally until it reaches capacity in 2017 with 300 students in KS4 and 400 in the sixth form.

NSETC is part of the Inspirational Futures Trust (IFT), which aims to raise education standards across North Somerset. Jacqui Ford, interim Chief Executive of the IFT, explained that NSETC “is a unique opportunity to build and develop a different kind of school; the first of its kind in an Enterprise Zone. The flagship NSETC will deliver a cutting-edge educational experience for all its students with strong business links as well the ‘Outstanding’ Weston College being a key sponsor.”

In an ever changing educational environment NSETC will respond to the demands of students, parents, employers and universities to deliver a new approach to help raise aspirations and skills. Within the region there is a wealth of opportunities for those with the right skill sets and NSETC will strive to equip its students with the qualifications and skills to allow them to take advantage of these opportunities.

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