UTCs running half-empty amid student recruitment difficulties

Of the 58 university technical colleges (UTCs) that have opened, 10 have now closed, while those remaining are running at half empty having struggled to recruit enough students.

A report by the National Audit Office (NAO) this week has thrown fresh doubt on the future of the UTCs, which have cost the tax-payer £792 million since 2010.

UTCs were set up under the coalition government and are a type of free or academy school that is intended to work closely with employers to deliver technical education courses for students aged mainly 14 to 19.

However, the schools have struggled to recruit, with the starting age of 14 being considered one of the key barriers.

The NAO finds that as of January 2019, there were 13,572 students attending the – 45 per cent of the maximum capacity of 29,934.

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