University technical college

Last updated
Offices in Wigan, the home of UTC Wigan from 2013 to 2019 Rushton Building Wigan - geograph.org.uk - 922186.jpg
Offices in Wigan, the home of UTC Wigan from 2013 to 2019

A university technical college (UTC) is a type of secondary school in England that is led by a sponsor university [1] and has close ties to local business and industry. These university and industry partners support the curriculum development of the UTC, can provide professional development opportunities for teachers, and guide suitably qualified students on to industrial apprenticeships or tertiary education. The sponsor university appoints the majority of the UTC's governors and key members of staff. [2] Pupils transfer to a UTC at the age of 14, part-way through their secondary education. [3] The first UTCs were established in 2010.

Contents

Although there are examples of UTCs achieving the outcomes for which they were intended, such as UTC Reading,[ citation needed ] they have not all been successful. Approximately ten have closed or converted to other arrangements since the programme was introduced.

Description

A University technical college is not a university. It is not a university college and not a technical college. It is one of 50 or so secondary schools that has been sponsored by a college with university status. It is a free schools funded directly by the Department for education [4] - and outside the control of the local education authority. Capital costs came from a government grant and revenue is dependent on pupil numbers. Each pays a five-figure licensing fee to the Baker Dearing Trust. [5]

UTCs were introduced in 2010 by the coalition government under the free schools programme. [4] They are funded by the taxpayer, non-selective, free to attend and not controlled by a local authority. Michael Gove was the minister, though more recently he has explained he opposed the idea, but was forced to introduce them by George Osborne and David Cameron who had been lobbied by Lord Baker. [6] While this is also true of most academies and free schools, UTCs are collectively distinctive in a number of ways. UTCs all have a university as a lead sponsor. Further education colleges, charitable organisations and the private sector may co-sponsor a UTC, however they must be led by a university. [2] Like studio schools, University Technical Colleges enroll students aged 14–19, [1] whereas free schools and academies can choose the age range of their pupils. Existing schools cannot convert to become a UTC; all UTCs have to be newly founded schools with no direct transfer intake of pupils. [2]

When operating, UTCs receive the same per capita funding, as other schools in the local authority, calculated by the same formula, and £87 extra to cover UTC specific administration. [7] This would be £5150 per head in Cheshire in 2021 for an non-disadvantaged child. [8] UTCs pay an annual licence fee to the Baker Dearing Educational Trust. [5] This was £10,000 in 2019. [5]

A distinctive element of UTCs is that they offer technically oriented courses of study, combining National Curriculum requirements with technical and vocational elements. UTCs must specialise in subjects that require technical and modern equipment, but they also all teach business skills and the use of information and communications technology (ICT). [9] UTCs are also supposed to offer clear routes into higher education or further learning in work. [1]

The university technical college programme as a whole is sponsored by the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, [10] established by Lord Baker. Baker Dearing's promotion of UTCs is supported by the Edge Foundation, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation. [11] Many large companies have pledged to co-sponsor UTCs including Arup, British Airways, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Sony. [12]

In 2017, 48 colleges were open. [13]

In May 2021, 50 UTCs had been opened of which 11 had closed, and Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC about to become the twelfth. [14]

The government minister Berridge told MPs on 29 April 2021 that the government hopes to have a “strong sustainable group of UTCs” by the autumn. She said more could be created only “if there is a bid with a clear vision for the involvement of employers and particularly with the support of the local authority”. [14]

Criticism

The establishment of university technical colleges was criticised by some teaching unions, who claimed they will cause further fragmentation of local provision of education for 16- to 19-year-olds. Others have argued that because they offer similar programmes of study, UTCs will divert funds away from further education colleges. [12]

The age intake range of UTCs have also been criticised, with unions arguing that 14 is too early an age for most children to receive such a specialised education. It has also been suggested that the technical and vocational aspects of UTCs will create a two-tier education system, with UTCs being less well regarded than more academically orientated schools. [12] Parents may be unwilling to move their children at 12, then again at 14, particularly to a new and untested school. [3]

By February 2017, eight UTCs had closed or converted to other school types owing to low pupil numbers. [15] [16] Michael Gove, who as Education minister was a driving force behind the UTC policy, wrote in 2017 that it "had not worked", owing to lack of academic rigour. [17]

With the publication of the report on the Medway UTC, in May 2018, five of the 26 UTCs inspected by Ofsted had been placed in special measures. [18] [19] George Osborne told a hearing of the Education Select Committee on 2 May 2018 that the model of seeking to move children at the age of 14 has not worked. [20]

In June and July 2018, three further UTC's were rated as "inadequate" by Ofsted – Derby Manufacturing UTC, [21] UTC@Harbourside [22] and Health Futures UTC. [23] UTC@Harbourside closed at the end of the academic year 2018–2019, [24] which made it the ninth UTC to close.

In July 2019, in a statement on their website, South Wiltshire UTC announced it would not be accepting new students in September 2019, but would be supporting Year 11 & 13 students to finish their 2-year courses as intended before closing in August 2020. [25] A previous Ofsted inspection that took place in February 2018 found the college to be inadequate. [26]

A 2018 report by the Education Policy Institute found that more than half of enrolled students left after two years, and academic results lagged other state-funded schools. [27]

By 2019, 31 of the 40 UTCs with published accounts owed money to the Education and Skills Funding Agency, having failed to attract sufficient pupils to make them financially viable. For example, Burnley UTC was built for 800 students but only enrolled 113 in the first three years. Ten UTCs owed £4.7m in general loans to cover running costs and three had working capital loans adding up to £1m. Research by accountancy firm Price Bailey found "UTCs with tight cashflow could be seriously affected by these clawbacks. After salaries, which often make up 70%-80% of the budget, there isn’t a lot left. £350,000 per school is the equivalent to seven or eight teachers, so in some cases cuts to staff numbers may be necessary, which could impact educational standards". [3] [28]

Evaluation

The National Audit Office assessed the effectiveness of the 58 UTCs in October 2019. It found that the UTC programme had cost £792m since it was launched in 2010 and that the colleges were operating at less than half capacity on average, and often producing worse results than equivalent secondary schools. [29] There were 4,863 students attending UTCs that were considered to be inadequate, and while 37% of equivalent school students took the English Baccalaureate, at UTCs only 6% did. [30]

Accolades

Despite the criticisms and problems noted above, two UTCs have been able to flourish. UTC Reading was the first UTC to be judged as "Outstanding" by Ofsted [31] (in June 2015) and to be awarded the World Class Schools Quality Mark [32] (in December 2017). UTC Reading was joined by Energy Coast UTC as Ofsted "Outstanding" in summer 2019. [33]

List of UTCs

NameLocationOpened
Aston University Engineering Academy Birmingham2012
BMAT STEM Academy Harlow, Essex2014
Bristol Technology and Engineering Academy Stoke Gifford, South Gloucestershire2013
Buckinghamshire University Technical College Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire2013
Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology Cambridge2014
Crewe Engineering and Design UTC Crewe, Cheshire2016
Derby Manufacturing UTC Derby2015
Doncaster UTC Doncaster2020
Elstree University Technical College Borehamwood, Hertfordshire2013
Elutec Dagenham, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham2014
Energy Coast UTC Workington, Cumbria2014
Engineering UTC Northern Lincolnshire Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire2015
Global Academy Hayes, London Borough of Hillingdon2016
Greater Peterborough UTC Peterborough, Cambridgeshire2016
Health Futures UTC West Bromwich, Sandwell, West Midlands2015 [34]
Heathrow Aviation Engineering UTC Northwood, London Borough of Hillingdon2014
JCB Academy Rocester, Staffordshire2010
The Leigh UTC Dartford, Kent2014
Lincoln UTC Lincoln2014
Liverpool Life Sciences UTC Liverpool2013
London Design and Engineering UTC Royal Docks, London Borough of Newham2016 [35]
Mulberry UTC Bow, London Borough of Tower Hamlets2017
North East Futures UTC Newcastle upon Tyne2018 [36]
Ron Dearing UTC Hull2017
Scarborough University Technical College Scarborough, North Yorkshire2016
SGS Berkeley Green UTC Berkeley, South Gloucestershire2017 [37]
Silverstone University Technical College Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire2013
Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC City of Westminster, London2017
South Bank Engineering UTC Brixton, London Borough of Lambeth2016
South Devon UTC Newton Abbot, Devon2015
South Wiltshire UTC Salisbury, Wiltshire2015 [38]
Thomas Telford University Technical College Wolverhampton2015 (as West Midlands Construction UTC)
University Technical College Norfolk Norwich2014
University Technical College Leeds Hunslet, Leeds2017
UTC Oxfordshire Didcot, Oxfordshire2015 [39]
UTC Plymouth Plymouth, Devon2013
UTC Portsmouth Portsmouth2017 [40] [41]
UTC Reading Reading, Berkshire2013
UTC Sheffield City Centre Sheffield, South Yorkshire2013
UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park Sheffield, South Yorkshire2016
UTC South Durham Newton Aycliffe, County Durham2016 [42]
UTC Swindon Swindon2014
UTC Warrington Warrington, Cheshire2016 [43]
UTC@MediaCityUK Salford, Greater Manchester2015 [44]
Waterfront UTC Chatham, Kent2015 (as Medway UTC) [45]
The Watford UTC Watford, Hertfordshire2014
West Midlands Construction UTC Wolverhampton2015
WMG Academy for Young Engineers, Coventry Coventry2014
WMG Academy for Young Engineers, Solihull Solihull2016

Closed UTCs

NameLocationOpenedClosed
Black Country UTC Walsall, West Midlands20112015 [46]
UTC Central Bedfordshire Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire20122016 [47]
Daventry University Technical College Daventry, Northamptonshire20132017 [48]
Greater Manchester University Technical College Oldham, Greater Manchester20142017 [49]
Hackney University Technical College London Borough of Hackney20122015 [50]
UTC@Harbourside Newhaven, East Sussex2015 [51] 2019 [52]
UTC Lancashire Burnley, Lancashire20132017 [50]
South Wiltshire UTC Salisbury20152020 [53]
Tottenham University Technical College London Borough of Haringey20142017 [54]
University Technical College Wigan Wigan, Greater Manchester20132019 [55] [3]

Converted away from UTC model

NameLocationOpenedConvertedNew status
Bolton UTC Bolton, Greater Manchester20152020 [56] 11–19 free school
Nottingham University Academy of Science and Technology Nottingham20142018 [57] 11–18 free school
Royal Greenwich UTC Royal Borough of Greenwich20132016 [58] 11–19 free school

Rebrokered and reopened within UTC model

NameLocationOpenedConvertedNew branding
Heathrow Aviation Engineering UTC Hillingdon, Greater London20142018 [5] 11–19 UTC Heathrow

See also

Related Research Articles

Academy (English school) English school directly funded by central government

An academy school in England is a state-funded school which is directly funded by the Department for Education and independent of local authority control. The terms of the arrangements are set out in individual Academy Funding Agreements. Most academies are secondary school. However, slightly more than 25% of primary schools, as well, as some of the remaining first and middle schools, are also academies.

The Sheffield College is a large further education college in Sheffield, England. With four main sites in the city, the college has over 15,000 enrolled learners and apprentices ranging from young school leavers to adults.

USP College Sixth form college in Essex

USP College is a further education college located in Thundersley, Benfleet, Essex, and Grays Thurrock, England. Approximately 4,500 students attend the college. The Seevic campus name was originally an acronym for South East Essex Sixth (VI) Form College. The Thundersley campus opened in September 1972. The Palmer's Campus in Grays can trace its history back to 1706.

The JCB Academy is a non-selective co-educational secondary school within the English University Technical College programme, in Rocester, Staffordshire, England. It specialises in engineering and business qualifications.

Black Country UTC was a university technical college (UTC) located in the Bloxwich area of Walsall, West Midlands, England. The University of Wolverhampton and Walsall College were the lead academic sponsors of the UTC, and Siemens acted as the lead business partner for the UTC. The UTC closed at the end of August 2015.

UTC Central Bedfordshire was a University Technical College (UTC) in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire, England. The college opened in September 2012 and specialised in education for future engineers, product and games designers. It closed in August 2016.

Aston University Engineering Academy is a university technical college (UTC) that opened in September 2012 in the Gosta Green area of Birmingham, West Midlands, England. Aston University is the lead academic sponsor of the UTC, along with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network. Business partners of Aston University Engineering Academy include E.ON, Goodrich Corporation, National Grid plc, PTC and the Royal Air Force.

Hackney University Technical College was a university technical college (UTC) that opened in September 2012 in the Shoreditch area of the London Borough of Hackney in Greater London, England. The University of East London and Hackney College were the lead academic sponsors of the UTC, and BT Group and Homerton University Hospital NHS Trust were the lead business sponsors. The college closed in August 2015.

Elstree University Technical College University technical college in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England

Elstree Screen Arts is a university technical college located in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, which opened in September 2013. The college specialises in behind-the-scenes media production, digital communications and entertainment technologies with a curriculum that is designed to ensure strong foundations in fundamental academic subjects and build on these with vocational, expressive and industry relevant studies.

Bristol Technology and Engineering Academy is a University Technical College (UTC) that opened in September 2013 in Stoke Gifford, just north of Bristol, England. The University of the West of England and City of Bristol College are the lead academic sponsors of the UTC, and Airbus and GKN are the lead business sponsors of the UTC.

University Technical College Lancashire University technical college in Burnley, Lancashire, England

University Technical College Lancashire was a university technical college (UTC) that opened in Burnley, Lancashire, England in August 2013. It was located on Trafalgar Street in Burnley, in the historic Victoria Mill which was extensively redeveloped and converted for use by the UTC. The college closed in August 2017.

Royal Greenwich Trust School is a free school created out of a former University Technical College which opened in the Charlton Riverside area of the Royal Borough of Greenwich in London, England in September 2013. The campus is located along the A206 near the banks of the River Thames, close to the Thames Barrier. It is adjacent to Windrush Primary School and Maryon Park.

Energy Coast UTC University technical college in Workington, Cumbria

Energy Coast UTC is a University Technical College (UTC) on the outskirts of Workington, Cumbria that opened in September 2014 for students of ages 14–19.

UTC Swindon University technical college in Swindon, Wiltshire, England

UTC Swindon is a University Technical College (UTC) in Swindon, England that opened in September 2014 for students of ages 14–19. The college specialises in engineering and is sponsored by Oxford Brookes University and Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells.

University Technical College Norfolk University technical college in Norwich, Norfolk, England

University Technical College Norfolk is a University Technical College in Old Hall Road, Norwich, with a focus on the advanced engineering and energy sectors.

Waterfront UTC University technical college in Chatham, Kent, England

Waterfront UTC is a University Technical College in Chatham, Kent, England, which opened in September 2015 as Medway UTC on a site between Pier Road and South Side Three Road. After receiving an "inadequate" rating in every category in an Ofsted inspection in March 2018, the college joined The Howard Academy Trust in November 2018 and its name was changed.

UTC@Harbourside University technical college in Newhaven, East Sussex, United Kingdom

UTC@harbourside was a University Technical College for students aged 14–18 located in Newhaven, East Sussex, England which opened in September 2015. It specialised in science, technology, engineering and maths, leading to academic and vocational qualifications. The college closed in July 2019 due to financial issues and a lack of students.

The Aldridge Foundation is a British educational charity which focusses on creating social change and community regeneration opportunities through enterprise and entrepreneurship, to help young people to reach their potential and improve their communities. It is based in London.

University Collegiate School Free school in Bolton, Greater Manchester, England

University Collegiate School is a mixed secondary school in central Bolton, England, now classed as a Free school. It opened in 2015 on a new site on the University of Bolton campus as Bolton UTC, a university technical college for students aged 14–19 years; in September 2020 it was renamed and began accepting students at age 11.

UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park University technical college in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is a University Technical College which opened in September 2016 on the Olympic Legacy Park site in north-east Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England.

References

  1. 1 2 3 "BBC News - Q&A: University technical colleges". Bbc.co.uk. 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
  2. 1 2 3 "Frequently Asked Questions". Utcolleges.org. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Adams, Richard (13 July 2019). "'Vanity project': debts pile up for English free schools scheme". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  4. 1 2 "Thesaurus Term - University technical colleges". Department for Education. January 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-01-02. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Camden, Billy (16 August 2019). "Licence fees to almost double for cash-strapped UTCs". Schools Week. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  6. Whittaker, Freddie; Offord, Paul (2 February 2018). "Gove was forced to create UTCs". Schools Week. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  7. "University technical colleges how to apply" (PDF). assets.publishing.service.gov.uk. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  8. Whittaker, Freddie (19 July 2020). "Revealed: per-pupil funding rates from 2021". Schools Week. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  9. "What are university technical colleges". Utcolleges.org. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
  10. "University Technical Colleges" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 10, 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  11. "Sponsors". www.utcolleges.org. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  12. 1 2 3 Burns, Judith (2012-05-29). "BBC News - Jaguar Land Rover and British Airways back new colleges". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
  13. "About UTCs / Overview". www.utcolleges.org. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  14. 1 2 Whieldon, Fraser (1 May 2021). "Another UTC looks set to bite the dust". Schools Week. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  15. Weale, Sally (7 February 2017). "£9m Greater Manchester college closes after three years due to lack of pupils". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  16. Camden, Billy (28 April 2017). "UTC crisis deepens as learner numbers drop". FE Week. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  17. Gove, Michael (10 February 2017). "Dividing our children at 14 has not worked". The Times. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  18. Read, Peter. "Medway UTC: Abject Failure -OFSTED - Kent Independent Education Advice". Kent Independent Educational advice. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  19. George, Martin (4 May 2018). "A fifth of UTCs inspected by Ofsted are now in special measures Tes News". www.tes.com. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  20. Camden, Billy (2 May 2018). "UTC architect George Osborne says 14 start age 'hasn't worked'". FE Week. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  21. "Derby Manufacturing UTC: Full inspection report". Ofsted (PDF). 28 June 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  22. "UTC@Harbourside: Full inspection report". Ofsted (PDF). 4 July 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  23. "Health Futures UTC: Full inspection report". Ofsted (PDF). 3 July 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  24. "University Technical College in Newhaven to close next year". BBC News. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  25. "Salisbury UTC to Close". South Wilts UTC. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  26. enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk, Ofsted Communications Team (2018-12-28). "Find an inspection report and registered childcare". reports.ofsted.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  27. "UTCs: are they delivering for young people?". Education Policy Institute. Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  28. "Only nine out of 40 University Technical Colleges are operating within budget as they fail to attract pupils". Price Bailey. 27 June 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  29. Ventura, Guglielmo (14 October 2020). "Why do over-16s at UTCs perform, but under-15s don't?". Tes. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  30. Syal, Rajeev (30 October 2019). "Technical schools lavished with Gove funding criticised by watchdog". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  31. https://universitybusiness.co.uk/Article/utc-reading-is-uks-first-outstanding-says-ofsted/
  32. https://www.utcreading.co.uk/news/?pid=18&nid=2&storyid=262
  33. https://schoolsweek.co.uk/energy-coast-becomes-only-second-ever-outstanding-utc/
  34. "University technical colleges are transforming pupils' lives". The Independent. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  35. "London Design and Engineering UTC | London Design and Engineering University Technical College". Ldeutc.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-03-09.
  36. Ford, Coreena (27 September 2017). "City centre Newcastle school invites in parents as it prepares for 2018 opening". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  37. "College opens at former power station in Gloucestershire". BBC News. 1 December 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  38. "Work begins on South Wiltshire UTC college". BBC News. 4 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  39. "University Technical College Oxfordshire plans approved". BBC News. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  40. "Views wanted on bid to set up new technical school". Portsmouth News. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  41. "UTC Portsmouth breaks ground and announces Principal". Portsmouth City Council. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  42. Richardson, Andy. "Train factory is the catalyst for jobs revival (From The Northern Echo)". Thenorthernecho.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-03-09.
  43. Place North West http://www.placenorthwest.co.uk/news/archive/18167-warrington-utc-set-to-go-on-site.html
  44. "MediaCityUK UTC". The Aldridge Foundation. Retrieved 2015-03-09.
  45. "University Technical College". Medway Council. Archived from the original on 15 March 2015.
  46. "Doomed Black Country UTC failed to promote vocational options, inspectors find". FE Week. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  47. Whittaker, Freddie (10 March 2016). "Struggling Central Bedfordshire UTC to close despite FE college's intervention". FE Week.
  48. "Daventry UTC To Close In 2017". www.daventryutc.com. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  49. "Brand new £9m school to close after all of its pupils fail GCSEs". The Independent. 8 February 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  50. 1 2 "UTC Lancashire to shut up shop after just three years". FE Week. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  51. "Utc@Harbourside Principal Appointed". Haven News. 2014-08-12. Retrieved 2015-03-09.
  52. "University Technical College in Newhaven to close next year". BBC News. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  53. "Salisbury UTC to Close". South Wilts UTC. 16 July 2019. Archived from the original on 5 November 2019.
  54. Mansell, Warwick (10 January 2017). "Failing Spurs-sponsored school costs taxpayer £500,000 rent a year | Warwick Mansell". The Guardian.
  55. "Wigan UTC will close as low student numbers are unviable". Wigan Today. 4 April 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  56. Chaudhari, Saiqa (28 February 2020). "Why your child could receive a place at this school on Monday". The Bolton News. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  57. "Statutory Information". NUAST. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  58. Camden, Billy (7 October 2016). "Fresh concerns over failing UTC model as one in 10 now shut". FE Week. Retrieved 21 January 2018.