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Manchester High School for Girls


A group of Year 10 students will be spending an afternoon at one of Britain’s most dynamic workplaces following a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style challenge.


UKFast is a leading digital firm, supplying managed hosting, colocation and cloud computing services to businesses all over the world. The company’s state-of-the-art headquarters is based on Manchester’s new Science Park, just ten minutes from Manchester High.


Headed up by Aaron Saxton and Arlene Bulfin, both former IT teachers themselves, UKFast University, will be working very closely with Manchester High students throughout this academic year.


Aaron Saxton, Director of Training and Education, said: “We’ve all heard about the widening skills gap in the tech industries and at UKFast we’re particularly interested in the qualities that women bring to our teams. Manchester High is educating the workforce of the future and we’re really excited about opening the girls’ eyes as to what a career in IT really looks like.”


Year 10 pupils were split into groups and tasked with designing a new web-based business. They had to devise a project plan, assign suitable roles to all members of the team, consider relevant content, the user experience and search engine optimisation.


Four groups were then selected to pitch to the whole year group, as well as our expert panel of Aaron and Arlene from UKFast along with Deputy Heads, Mrs Jeys and Mrs Smith.


We heard from ‘Wordster’, a site for budding authors, ‘’, an ASOS for the next generation, and ‘How to Pass Homework’, a planning app for the organisationally challenged!


The overall winners, however, were ‘Need2Know’, an interactive site that answers all your ‘…how do I…’ questions.


The team was made up of Anoushka, Alice, Hannah, Eloise and Abigail. All five girls will now spend an afternoon at UKFast working with designers, marketeers and technical experts to actually build and launch the site they designed.


Mrs Moores, Head of Year 10, said: “What an incredible experience it will be for the girls to see their site coming to life. The challenge UKFast set them not only challenged their problem solving and analysis skills but also asked them to exercise their creativity, which they clearly have in bucket loads!”


Aaron Saxton added: “The students were absolutely amazing and we were blown away by the quality of their pitches. We’re looking forward to welcoming team ‘Need2Know’ to UKFast and developing our ongoing partnership throughout the school year”.