After spending £800m on university technical colleges, results came out disappointing.
University technical colleges in a tight fit
University technical colleges – a free school opportunity but seems like only a few seem to care. Education reports find it ineffective and unpopular with around half of its students dropping out of the program.
The Department of Education spends nearly £800m of government funds on technical colleges but doesn’t get the quality and productivity it expects. Classrooms are half-filled due to students dropping out and insufficient interest given by the public.
University technical colleges (UTCs) are getting a bad image on recent education watchdog’s observations. UTCs are found to have lower grade outputs and poor Ofsted ratings as compared to other school programs.
The National Audit Office (NAO) records show that one of the six UTCs first set up in 2010 has already closed.
Out of the 48 remaining technical colleges left in England, the majority of which are operating at an inefficient rate of 45% of their normal capacity.
Ratings given for UTCs are also disappointing. Only 52% of the total functional UTCs are rated outstanding, as compared to 76% for non-technical secondary schools.
Several education watchdogs agreeably see the failure to create enthusiasm among parents to enroll their children into UTCs and as well as make those who were enrolled stay with the program until the end.
With the large sum of funds being spent on UTCs, funds for other areas of education are being choked.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of Schools and College Leaders (ASCL) said in an interview:
There is merit in providing ages 14-19 programmes to study but not through UTCs. There are existing state colleges that needs these funds and has continuosly proven their effectiveness in the field of education.
We are funding a program that has clearly failed. Instead of putting our efforts and funds on an obvisouly difficult approach, why not focus it in other areas of education where there is significant growth and success.
It will be up to the government on how they will handle the issues concerning technical colleges. Education watchdogs do hope that the Department of Education will slowly shift funds into more productive education programs rather than to continue to push those who are found to be ineffective.