From education to employment

University Technical Colleges get green light for 11+ entry

Simon Connell, Development Director, Baker Dearing Educational Trust

University Technical Colleges Announce Record Destination Results

New data reveals top destinations and jobs for UTC leavers as parents express worry over children’s job prospects 

Today (11 Oct) sees the launch of the 2018 destination figures from University Technical Colleges (UTCs) which show record results for their student leavers for the fourth year running.

The data reveals that:

  • Over 87% of UTC students have gone onto University, apprenticeships and full-time employment compared to a national average of 74% 
  • Three quarters (74%) of UTC leavers going to University have started STEM-related courses compared with a national average of just 46%
  • Apprenticeships awarded are over four times the national average with 29% of UTC students going on to apprenticeships compared to just 7% nationally 
  • In 2018, over 500 apprenticeships have been awarded to UTC students by the UK’s leading employers including Aston Martin, Royal Navy, JCB, Balfour Beatty and Rolls Royce. UTC leavers going onto The Royal Navy accelerated apprenticeships in 2018 are starting on a £31k average salary

Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the organisation that promotes and supports UTCs, also announces that following a successful pilot project at The Leigh UTC to recruit at Key Stage 3 (11 yearolds), UTCs will be given the option to move from 14+ entry to 11+ as parents seek early places to futureproof their children’s employability.

50 UTCs have been launched over the past eight years.  Over 400 employers including Microsoft, Fujitsu, Intel and Network Rail partner with UTCs offering live projects, ongoing work experience, employability training and apprenticeship degrees.  

UTCs specialise in engineering, IT, cyber security, digital, science and health.  3D printers, design studios and coding are all part of a UTC student’s school experience. 

Research commissioned by Baker Dearing Educational Trust* reveals that eight out of 10 (80%) parents believe that the current education system needs to change to reflect 21st century Britain with two thirds concerned that their children will struggle to find local employment. Nearly two-thirds (64%) said they want a greater variety of choice in the type of school for their child and seven in 10 parents (69%) believe technical education is crucial to get the best out of their child.

According to Simon Connell, Development Director, Baker Dearing Educational Trust:

“Innovation in education is essential in the UK. Our education system has to provide technical education alongside mainstream teaching in schools. Only UTCs do this.

“Our children will have to compete in a post-Brexit Britain and we want to ensure they have the employability skills and opportunities which UTCs and their partners provide. UTCs are focused on a future where school leavers can enter Universities to study relevant degrees, win top apprenticeships and go on to jobs with genuine and exciting prospects”.

Steve Leahey Principal at The Leigh UTC and Inspiration Academy says: 

“In 2017 we opened our Inspiration Academy @The Leigh UTC, the very first to act as a feeder school for a UTC. In our first year, we were over-subscribed with an intake of 120 children. This September a further 120 joined the Academy. In 2020, our students will reach Year 10 and move automatically over to the UTC.  

“Our students follow the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme at KS3 with a particular emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We provide a challenging and exciting framework that is enquiry-based. This encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world.

“We are delighted that other UTCs will be opening their doors to 11 years olds and hope that our pilot scheme will set the agenda for the next chapter of technical education”. 

The first University Technical College, JCB Academy opened in Staffordshire in 2010. There are now 50 UTCs open, educating just under 14,000 14-19 year olds across England. UTCs are state funded and non-selective. Each UTC is governed by local employers and a University. Employers go into the schools to work with students on live projects and provide a programme of work experience for every student. Partners include BAE Systems, Network Rail, Fujitsu, Rolls Royce, Microsoft, Siemens and the Royal Navy.  

*Baker Dearing Educational Trust surveyed over 1000 parents with teenagers at mainstream schools in 2015.


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