Hackney UTC to close due to ‘unviable student numbers’

HRH Prince Andrew speech Hackney UTC

HRH the Duke of York speaks to a special assembly at the opening of Hackney UTC. Photograph: Matt Writtle

Hackney University Technical College (HUTC), the first of the government’s technical colleges to open in London, has announced it will be closing down just two years after it first opened its doors.

The college, situated in the heart of Tech City yards from Old Street’s Silicon Roundabout, works in partnership with local technology firms and educational institutions to train local children in health and digital technologies.

But this year the college only received 29 applications for this September, out of a target of 75.

The closure will be phased, meaning during next academic year all current year 10 students will continue to study with Hackney UTC until the end of year 11 in order to complete their GCSEs in 2015. The college will then close in August 2015.

Hackney Community College, which has expertise in the subjects that the students have chosen will give students the option to continue their specialist education into years 12 and 13.

Hackney UTC’s existing partners – the University of East London, BT, Homerton University NHS Foundation Trust, Cisco and other employers – will continue to support the students with placements and projects.

In February this year an Ofsted report said that the school required improvement in many areas, saying that achievement in some subjects, for example maths and history, was “not as high as it could be”.

However an Ofsted inspection from last month stated that good progress had being made by Hackney UTC.

The college has vowed that this improvement will continue for the remaining students at the college.

Anthony Painter, Chairman of Governors at HUTC said:

“It has become clear that provision commencing in Year 10 rather than Year 12 does not fit well in local circumstances unique to this project, where students are unlikely to change course until sixth form, resulting in unviable student numbers. Therefore, the HUTC provision is being closed.

“I am proud of what has been achieved by the principal, staff and students of Hackney UTC and we will continue that good work on behalf of our current students. Their work has laid the foundations for an exciting local education offer.”

The future of the HUTC buildings at the Hackney Community College site are under review by HCC and the Department for Education.

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