This House of Commons Library briefing discusses the origin, progress and future of University Technical Colleges - technical schools for 14-19 year olds, working alongside employers and universities in England, introduced under the Coalition GovernmentJump to full report >>
University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are technical schools for 14-19 year olds, working alongside employers and universities, introduced under the Coalition Government. They operate as a type of academy, with relevant freedoms such as not having to follow the national curriculum, or employ teachers with qualified teacher status. In keeping with other forms of academy, they operate in England only.
Two of the first created UTCs closed in summer 2015. Hackney UTC and Black Country UTC had experienced disappointing pupil recruitment and received critical Ofsted reports. Further closures have followed through 2016 and 2017, owing to low pupil take-up of places in the affected UTCs.
More broadly, the small number of UTCs, and pupils attending them, make it difficult to draw firm conclusions on their impact at this stage. The concerns that have been raised around the operation of UTCs have focused on enrolment numbers, and the attendance rates of pupils enrolled. Concerns have also been raised about the proportion of female students enrolling at UTCs.
Commons Briefing papers CBP-7250
Authors: Robert Long; Paul Bolton