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DfE going cool on UTCs?

28 November 2013

The Daily Telegraph has reported that DfE is to delay the creation of dozens of University Technical Colleges (UTCs) because of concerns over their popularity with parents and poor ratings from Ofsted inspectors.

UTCs are state schools run by charities, businesses and universities free of local council control. 17 UTCs have been set up to teach teenagers vocational qualifications (such as engineering, manufacturing and computer science) in addition to core academic subjects.

Recently published data shows that take up numbers are as low as 30% at some UTCs and at best reach close to 80%. Some UTCs have also been ranked as “requiring improvement” by Ofsted.

The Telegraph reports that the official DfE line is that it is slowing the programme down so they can “get it right" but this perceived cooling in enthusiasm will be seen as a blow to those (including Lord Baker) who advocate expanding specialist vocational post 14 to a broader range of careers (such as nursing and catering).< / p>

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