The former Secretary of State for Education, Lord Baker, crossbench peer Lord Dearing and industrialist Sir Anthony Bamford shared a vision. They imagined a new type of secondary school that would prepare young people for careers in science, technology and engineering.
University Technical Colleges (UTCs) offer a curriculum linked to key sectors of the economy and deliver it in partnership with employers, using real-world projects and industry-standard equipment. UTC students go on to fast-track apprenticeships, higher education and rewarding careers.
Conceived under a Labour government, UTCs were expected to offer qualifications called Diplomas as part of a new 14-19 phase of education. After the 2010 general election, Conservative ministers had other priorities. UTCs opened just as policy shifted in favour of traditional academic subjects, strict accountability measures, multi-academy trusts and competition – not collaboration – at the local level.
This account of the first ten, turbulent years of UTCs is based on contemporary records, meetings with people who run them and interviews with some of the young people they were set up to serve.
‘This book is a must read for anyone interested in high quality technical education.’ Sir Mike Tomlinson, former Chief Inspector of Schools