Swindon UTC in Turmoil, and Labour Call for Ofsted Inspection

Swindon’s University Technical College (UTC) appears to be in turmoil, with only 25% of student places filled at the college and their 2016 results well below the national average.

Following a Freedom of Information request, it was discovered the number of students enrolled in each year group as of October 28th were:
Year 10 – 78
Year 11 – 24
Year 12 – 28
Year 13 – 26

Each year group’s capacity is 150.

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The University Technical College’s 2016 Key Stage 4 results have also been released and are deemed “well below the national average”, with only 36% of students achieving at least a C Grade in English and Maths. Click on the below link for further information:

https://www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk/school/140972?tab=secondary-provisional

It is also understood that the Principal of Swindon UTC, Angela Barker-Dench is now on extended leave, though the reason for this is currently unknown. Last year when Swindon UTC’s future was in question the Principal said there would be increased numbers at the college in future years.

The Labour Group’s Spokesperson for Education, Cllr Carol Shelley, has written to Ofsted calling on them to inspect the education facility to ensure the college’s students are not being failed. To date Swindon UTC has not been inspected by Ofsted since its opening.

In March 2015, David Cameron launched the Conservative Party Election Manifesto at the Swindon UTC, describing it as a “remarkable” and was “conceived, born and raised” under the Coalition Government. He also paid tribute to the Swindon UTC Principal for her leadership.

Swindon Council Leader, David Renard, had also mentioned in the past the possibility of bidding for a second University Technical College in Swindon.

The Swindon Labour Group’s Spokesperson for Education, Councillor Carol Shelley, said:

“The current provision at Swindon UTC seems to be inadequate and I am concerned about its future. While it is hard not to be impressed by the quality of the facilities in the college, this year’s results are well below average and the college is still 75% under-capacity in terms of student intake.

I have written to Ofsted calling on them to bring forward their first inspection of the college because it seems that the education provision is well below an acceptable standard.

Last year, David Cameron launched his party’s manifesto while visiting the UTC and proudly announced the success of the college was due his government’s support. Now that the college has fallen on difficult times, the Council and the government need to do their best to rebuild it.

The disappointing news at Swindon UTC is a further reason why David Renard should acknowledge the Ofsted Director’s recent public concerns and take action to address them so that parents can have confidence in our schools.

This news should halt any talk of Swindon having a second University Technical College , David Renard should ensure the UTC rapidly improves as it is in danger of failing too many young people and their families.”