UTCs: are they delivering for young people and the economy?

This report from the UK think tank Education Policy Institute undertakes a detailed analysis of University Technical Colleges (UTCs).

Introduced in 2010, UTCs offer education to 14-19 year olds, with a strong focus on technical education. They are sponsored by universities and supported by employers. At present, there are 50 of this school type open in England, with 10 having closed, announced closure, or converted into a different institution type. This EPI research explores in-depth the provision and performance of UTCs, before examining whether UTCs are providing necessary skills for local and national economies.

Key findings include: Students in UTCs make poor progress across the board during Key Stage 4 (14-16), and post-16 academic study. Previously high attaining students make particularly poor progress Over half of students drop out between the ages of 16 and 17. Those that continue are less likely to complete final studies than other students Students between the ages of 16-18 taking technical/vocational qualifications in UTCs perform close to the national average and slightly better than FE colleges UTCs receive far worse Ofsted ratings than the national average. UTCs are training students for growing industries offering high-skilled work. The report calls on the government to consider changing admissions to age 16-18 only, to improve both outcomes for students and sustainability of provision

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