First UTC hailed for academic performance

THE academic performance of the UK’s first University Technical College (UTC) has been hailed by Lord Baker ahead of a planning decision for one in Daventry.

The former Education Secretary believes that the successful GSCE results achieved by the UTC in Staffordshire could be the greatest improvement in student performance in England over the past two years.

The Staffordshire UTC opened two years ago with 14 and 16-year-olds so it had it’s first set of GSCE results this month when 99 per cent of its students achieved grades A* to C.

UTC’s specialise in a vocational curriculum in sustainable and related new technologies, alongside the core GCSE subjects of English, maths, science and a wide range of sport and enrichment activities. Students have a teaching day from 9am to 5pm everyday and spend a lot of time on a specialist technical or engineering curriculum.

Writing in The Times newspaper Lord Baker said: “I want this to be the pattern for all 33 UTCs that have been approved, because it gives youngsters a chance to become the technicians and engineers that our country so desperately needs.

“We need many more UTCs across the country — this is what our economy needs and what youngsters want.”

A planning application for a UTC in Daventry will go before Daventry District Council’s Planning Committee tonight (August 29). If approved the UTC is expected open for up to 600 students in September 2013.

Chris Moody, chair of the UTC Board of Governors, said: “The achievement of the UTC in Staffordshire highlights just what these education centres can accomplish and I congratulate them on their success.

“We believe that the Daventry UTC will mark a new era for education in the area and remain confident that it will provide students with first class opportunities to succeed.”

The Daventry UTC application has been spearheaded by Moulton College and its partners including Daventry District Council, the University of Northampton, Northampton College, Northamptonshire County Council, and West Northamptonshire Development Corporation, together with a range of local employers incluidng Cummins, Cosworth and Prologis.