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UTC Secondary Offer Decisions delayed - how concerned should I be?

(8 Posts)
FuzzyShadowChatter Wed 27-Feb-19 21:21:23

Today, I received a letter from the UTC my son has applied for and informed that we won't get a decision on the 1st of March. They've "decided to pause the application process" while working on making improvements based on the Ofsted Inspection last year. We'll get sent an "update" in May. No certain date for that update or when we'll know about placement. I wasn't worried about that as we live literally down the road, but now I'm starting to.

Honestly, I'm not sure what 'enhancing the curriculum' as they've put it has to do with the application process, and I've never heard of offers being delayed like this before. The short letter is all the information we have, there is nothing about this on their website or on any of their social media or on our council site. It's a third of an A4 of mostly waffling.

I'm probably overthinking and over-worrying, but with so little to go on and how little sense it makes to me, I'm thinking the worst. I know other UTCs have closed and I'm wondering if this is the first sign. My son was so excited about it and about studying engineering, and as he has been home educated so far, I'm worried about whether I should be looking more into our back-up options now or wait for May.

Mostly just getting this off my chest. I'm hoping someone has some insight to share to make this less uncertain, it feels like we were almost there and now we're in limbo.

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Wed 27-Feb-19 21:27:52

Was the Ofsted poor? Do you know what their numbers are like?

It’s true that a lot of UTCs have closed, pausing the application process while working on Ofsted improvements is highly unusual and I would suggest not a good sign. It’s good that you have a back-up.

What year would he be going into?

admission Wed 27-Feb-19 21:37:14

I would be worried by this.
You need to send a copy of this letter to the LA admission office and ask them to confirm what the situation is and what the LA admission team who are responsible for all admissions for September are going to do about this. If I am honest I am not sure what will happen on the 1st March, whether they will just ignore preferences for the UTC and offer on other preferences or what. I kind of get the impression that this is a UTC decision and maybe one the LA admission team do not know about.
I can see only one reason they are delaying. Either they have very few preferences and are considering scrapping the courses offered or the UTC is about to fold, to join quite a few others that have already done so.
Sorry that sounds very harsh but you do need to be acting on this. What is your back-up position in terms of preferences needs to be an urgent consideration.

FuzzyShadowChatter Wed 27-Feb-19 22:08:29

Thank you both.

noblegiraffe The Ofsted was poor, though better with much better exam results than the next two closest secondaries (we're in an education blackhole - primaries and secondaries, all schools in the catchment we're in are 3 or 4 ratings). That alongside the engineering is why he wanted to go there for Year 10 entry in September.

admission Not harsh at all, it's pretty much what I was thinking when I saw the letter, but this has thrown me for a loop so wanted to hear it from others with a bit more experience. I'm planning to email our HE LA contact with the council about it.

The first back-up is the local college which has an under-16 engineering programming, though it offers far fewer GCSEs (though might be able to pay for private entry for others, they've done it before, but I'd need to check). My son's goal is an engineering apprenticeship which the college is good for, but I was hoping for wider GCSE options than the college gives. There is a slight chance with another tech school an hour away or a waiting list for one of the other schools in the city, but they would both be in-year applications.

OP’s posts: |
Hamsternauts Thu 28-Feb-19 11:59:01

I don't think you are over thinking it. I would be worried it will close.

Cogger21 Sat 02-Mar-19 05:56:27

I would agree that it looks like it is about to close: others have closed soon after taking in Year 10 students and that was heavily criticised, as it caused huge problems for students & parents - look at Daventry UTC, which closed in 2017.

I would also check out pupil numbers - you can use the government information about schools system. There are a number of UTC's with a 100 students which isn't really viable financially,.

Hope thinks work out well for your DS

HeronLanyon Sat 02-Mar-19 06:10:41

Very unusual - I too would be worried they are in danger of closing or contracting or having an intake break ?

Cogger21 Thu 04-Apr-19 21:34:34

Hello, FuzzyShadowChatter - with Wigan UTC announcing today that it was to close in August - 10th UTC so to do - just wondered if this was the UTC that your DS had applied for?

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