Join something exceptional. UTCs are a national ‘family’ of almost 50 state-funded schools. We work with 400+ employers and universities to provide paths into work, apprenticeships and university, across an exciting range of fields.
What makes a strong family? Most people have an opinion on this, but the question is also actually the subject of academic research. Indeed, studies in the United States identify several common themes, including a strong commitment amongst all members who not only enjoy spending time together, but also appreciate and admire each other, and develop effective and positive communication patterns. This is certainly true of our national ‘family’ of 48 UTC Principals, their staff, and governors.
Offering an innovative but highly relevant form of education, UTCs experience many tangible benefits that come from being part of a close-knit network in which these familial themes are second nature: ‘best practice’ is shared in many different ways, and the experiences of one UTC are nearly always relevant to most others. As in families, success for a member UTC is celebrated across the entire group; at the same time, a healthy level of competition is fostered, so each works to raise standards. Furthermore, staff at varied levels within UTCs genuinely enjoy spending time with their like-minded peers throughout the programme, and these relationships create support and advisory networks across UTCs.
Being a large family also has its benefits. There is little doubt that the size and scope of the UTC programme helps to recruit and retain the best possible staff. Joining a movement with well over 1,000 teachers and senior leaders is a lower risk proposition than might be the case if just a few UTCs existed. In addition, many of the national employers who seek to work closely with UTCs do so because of the scale and flexibility that the breadth of the network affords them. The opportunity to connect with almost 15,000 students, and to choose regions of the country close to their corporate locations on which to focus, are unique to the UTC programme; this is one of the main factors behind our success in recruiting over 400 employer and university partners. This linkage also facilitates inter-UTC activities, such as the Royal Navy Engineering Challenge which sets UTCs in competition with each other to build, for example, the most effective remote-controlled vehicles.
Of course, the programme’s scale and consistency of offer allows national employers to take a co-ordinated approach to recruiting young talent across UTCs. As a result, it is unsurprising that last year, about 25% of eighteen-year-old UTC leavers started an apprenticeship, with more than half at a higher or degree level, at companies in varied industries such as BAE Systems, Cisco, JCB, Global and Airbus. A further 45% of leavers went to university, where the most popular degree courses were civil, mechanical, and general engineering, as well as computer and biological sciences.
Definitely not a loose collection of ‘distant relations’, the close, cohesive network of 48 UTCs is bound together by the valuable attributes of a strong family. In turn, as demonstrated by excellent leaver destinations, this trait benefits the most important members of our family: our students.