ASCL comment on UTC report

30/10/2019
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the National Audit Office report on University Technical Colleges (UTCs).
 
Commenting on the National Audit Office report on University Technical Colleges (UTCs), Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

Introducing institutions with an age range of 14-19 into an education system where the entry points are typically at 11 and 16 was always going to prove challenging and so it has proved. 

The result has been the closure of several University Technical Colleges with resulting disruption to staff and students, doubts over the future sustainability of other UTCs, and an eye-watering bill for the taxpayer. 

The ongoing efforts to support these institutions are welcome but this is now a case of making the best out of a bad situation

There is merit in providing these 14-19 programmes of study but the government could have achieved this objective simply by working with existing further education colleges, many of which have a long tradition of taking students at 14. 

Instead it has failed to properly fund further education while spending scarce resources on the UTC programme despite the manifest difficulties with this approach.”