Tech transitions: UTCs, studio schools, and technical and vocational education in England’s schools
EdCentral community rating

Add to my reading list
Craig Thorley

Since 2010, there has been a steady growth in the number of 14–19 education institutions in England – the two most common models of which are University Technical Colleges (UTCs) and studio schools. Their recruitment of pupils at age 14 sets them apart from the rest of the schools system, where 11 and 16 are the established transition ages.

This report examines evidence about why a significant number of UTCs are ‘following a trajectory towards closure’, and why their league table performance is significantly below average. It find that there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that transition into a UTC benefits to pupils with an interest in pursuing qualifications in technical subjects, or that studio schools enhance the attainment and progress of pupils of different abilities by delivering high-quality vocational provision.

The author concludes that studio schools are, on the whole, failing to deliver a high-quality education to pupils, and are failing to improve progress and attainment. The reports recommends that UTCs should become high-quality providers of technical education for students aged 16–19, and that there should be a block on the creation of new studio schools after 2017/18. 

In listing research, EdCentral makes no judgment or recommendation as to its quality, validity or methodology and none should be inferred. Through peer ratings left by education practitioners, EdCentral’s aim is to support the development of a repository of shared knowledge and experience.

*   Please note that your reading list can only be saved permanently if you are logged into your account.

Craig Thorley

Published by:
Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)

Date of publication:
May 2017

Country of origin:

CPD opportunities:

This review of the performance of University Technical Colleges and Studio schools and vocational and technical education in English schools may be of interest to policy makers and school leaders.


Record ID:
R381 / 488
Rating Summary:

0 based on 0 votes

Start a discussion

Back to search results   |   New search   |   View my reading list   |   Print this page

EdCentral Logo