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University technical colleges

Inquiry

University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are free schools that focus on technical education, mostly for 14-19 year-old pupils. UTCs are publicly funded state schools, independent of local authorities. The first UTCs were established in 2010.

However, the NAO has reported that UTCs have had budgetary issues. One reason for this has been that UTCs have not managed to attract as many students as they were hoping. As of January 2019, UTCs were operating at less than half full. The Education and Skills Funding Agency has formally intervened in the cases of eight UTCs who have had financial notices placed on them.

In addition, UTCs have been performing less well than other types of schools, with only 28% of students in UTCs achieving a grade 5 or above in maths and English GCSE in 2017/18, compared with 44% of students in all state-funded mainstream schools. However, the Department for Education states that it is not appropriate to use such measures for all types of schools and UTCs have a higher proportion of students that go into apprenticeships than other types of schools.

The Government has pledged to help UTCs to improve their performance and financial stability, and the Committee will be hearing from the Department about its progress.