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Plan to save failing UTCs

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Shedman, May 26, 2017.

  1. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter


    So failing UTCs could be saved by raising the age range from 16 to 19. That's a great idea and then they could be called sixth form colleges! The UTC scheme was always going to battle to recruit at age 14. By then kids would be settled in local schools with their mates and familiar teachers. Which 14 year old wants to be hauled out of school to start somewhere completely new where they don't know anybody? How many 14 year olds really know what they want to do anyway? Better to keep their options open by staying in a mainstream school.

    Another example of idealistic short term policy making that seems to be badly misfiring.
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I'm really sorry that they haven't been more of a success although my local one is doing OK despite a poor OFSTED
    wanet likes this.
  3. nervousned

    nervousned Established commenter

    Can't see how that will solve the probkem of under recruitment. They already recruit students at age 16. Stopping recruiting 14 year olds won't make them magically recruit more at age 16. One UTC near here is starting to recruit Y7s, though I think that means they won't be a UTC anymore. However the institution will have a better chance of surviving.
  4. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I've worked in an UTC and I think that the idea behind is an excellent one, By the age of 14 some students will have a pretty good idea that they want a career in Science/Technology/Engineering. A UTC can provide a specialised education in this with state of the art laboratories and workshops. With motivated students the UTC should find it easier to recruit high calibre teachers and importantly well qualified technicians. The sky could quite literally be the limit on what projects the UTC could offer students and there is not a requirement to deal with that confusing arty stuff :D Add to that the input from Industry and you have exactly what the UK needs in securing a place in a technological future market place.

    Yes, I am a fan of the "idea" behind UTCs.

    But what really happens?

    Neighbouring schools do not want to lose any motivated students, so they do not encourage them to leave for a UTC. But they are happy to lose some of the less motivated ones and palm them off on a UTC, The UTC I worked in consisted of about 25% "Fresh Starts" and we all know what that means.;). One quarter of the students with issues can put a tremendous strain on the school. Furthermore the teachers attracted to a UTC are more likely to be the highly enthusiastic "boffins" (that's a compliment in my book) and not the "bruisers" needed to deal with poorly behaved students. The younger motivated STEM students also become disappointed with the result whilst Industry wonders what it is doing supporting a place that is dealing with the rejects from other schools and not the future potential employees they were expecting.

    UTCs could be a terrific success if they didn't have to meet a minimum number of students and need to fulfill this with kids who don't really want to be there.
    saluki and nervousned like this.
  5. behindthegreendoor7

    behindthegreendoor7 New commenter

    Well everything would be wonderful with unlimited money! UTC's - & Studio schools! - are a very expensive & wasteful way of attempting to provide educational opportunities.

    And teachers aren't too keen because why work until 5 with students still in place when you can finish up at 3.30.

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