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University Technical Colleges - any experience?

(7 Posts)
LRB978 Fri 24-Oct-14 13:35:59

Ds is currently in Yr 8 and struggles slightly with school work and academic studies, probably due to his slight learning disabilities. We went for a look around our (current) nearest UTC last night and we were both very impressed, it seems to have a learning style and ethos that would suit DS extremely well and would hopefully enable him to gain a good apprenticeship at either 16 or 18, depending on when he feels is the best time to move into training and work.

However, the one we looked at last night will be about 25 miles away when he goes, between 30 and 45 minutes in the car or 90 to 105 mins on public transport. There is another opening in the meantime which would be closer, but still the same travelling time by car, or 40 to 60 mins by public transport.

He would be yr10 when he started, and if we applied for him to attend one of them, I would also look extremely hard for a job in the vicinity, to enable him to attend. But all I am getting from family members is that the travel would be untenable and thus it is unworkable no matter how good the school is. The days are longer as well, so it would be a very long day for him, but would equip him with skills and give him experience he will not get in a standard secondary school, he will not have homework, and I feel the benefits would outweigh the length of day which he would adapt to.

Has anyone here got experience of a UTC? Especially if it means having to travel for one. Are you impressed with them, do they help prepare students for work? Any negative feelings towards them? I know it is a year early, but I need to work out if it is something worth pursuing or not before next year when we have to apply.

Many thanks in advance.

(Also posted in secondary education and chat, as I am trying to get as many opinions as possible and am unsure where is best for this.)

MrsPnut Fri 24-Oct-14 13:42:07

One of our friends teaches IT in a newish one, he worked in industry for years before retraining to be a teacher and he felt that being in a UTC was where he wanted to be.

Ours has very close links with Siemens amongst other places which will provide a lot of opportunities and the kids all look really smart in their suits when I see them going to and from the college.

RockPaperScissorsLizardSpock Fri 24-Oct-14 13:48:48

I haven't experienced any UTC yet but I reckon we may have been at the same open evening wink

I almost sent my DD there for Year 10 in the year it opened but she decided to stay where she is and will now be applying for Year 12 next year instead.

I absolutely love the idea of the UTC and think it's a great alternative to secondary schools.

user1483732237 Sat 04-Nov-17 21:38:35

On February 10th 2017 Michael Gove wrote an article in the Times apologising for what a ghastly mistake he had made with UTC's. Looking at the DfE GCSE 2017 results will show just how right he was

CauliflowerSqueeze Sun 05-Nov-17 19:15:17


Redsrule Sun 05-Nov-17 19:21:56

I gather a lot of schools 'encourage' certain pupils to apply in Y9. I do know that our local one is felt to be a 'dumping' ground. However that is not necessarily the case for all.

DanicaJones Wed 08-Nov-17 13:42:10

Op's dc would be in year 11 by now so may already be at the UTC

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