The department wants university technical colleges (UTCs) to flourish so that they offer a high standard of education for young people who want to follow a technical pathway.
We have been supporting UTCs to improve their educational performance through a range of measures, including funding intensive support from a local teaching school and providing advice, guidance and challenge from experienced secondary education experts. We are also encouraging and supporting UTCs to join multi-academy trusts, which we believe is the best way to ensure they improve educationally, as well as helping improve their financial viability.
The department has also introduced several measures to support pupil recruitment in UTCs. Changes in the Technical and Further Education Act 2017 (known as the Baker Clause), introduced in January 2018, require maintained schools and academies to provide opportunities for providers of technical education, such as UTCs, to visit schools to talk to students in years 8-13, to inform them of their offer. UTCs are also now able to apply to the department to extend their age range to 11-19, further embedding them in their local education landscape, and widening the offer to local pupils.
Strong UTCs help young people progress into further education, employment and apprenticeships. In 2016, 87% of students who left a UTC progressed into a sustained destination after key stage 5, which is higher than the national average for all schools and colleges. 21% progressed into sustained apprenticeships, double the national average.