The character of the school comes from two main factors. The first is its enormous catchment area, the largest in England. The second is the existence of its neighbour and great rival, Queen Elizabeth Grammar School.
Mr David Robinson served as headmaster until 2004 thereafter the school was led by Mr Stewart Gimber as the head teacher. UCC had a good Inspection in 2006 but in 2009 it was given a Notice to Improve by Ofsted. In September 2009 Mr Nigel Pattinson took over the role as head teacher. UCC is a Business and Enterprise College and has many links with the local community through enterprise projects. The school also has a large adult or further education centre.
In January 2011, The construction of a new training centre began and was completed in September 2011. The new “Applied Learning Centre” was opened on the 29th of November 2011 by The Duke of Gloucester.
In May 2012 controversy arose as Nigel Pattinson, the headmaster, was given a pay rise at a time when the school was making staff redundant and was short of money. The governors defended their actions saying that the rise was due to the school meeting the targets that they had set for Mr. Pattinson. However, in the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald, one reader pointed out that if he had met the target’s then he had obviously not done so without the assistance of other staff.
In March 2016, The Prince of Wales visited the college to look at the work done in applied subjects, such as Construction, Motor Vehicle and Hair and Beauty.
GCSE Results 2012 – Overall, 95.5% of students at the College – which was rated by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) as ‘most improved secondary school in the North West’ in 2010 – gained five or more A*–C grades, compared with last year’s 92%. Over the last 3 years, the College has improved its results from 54% in 2009 to the current figure of 95.5%, which represents an