Three applications were made for new UTCs in the latest free school application round which closed in November. Wave 14 was open to all mainstream applicants and focussed on areas where there is both a need for more school places and low educational standards. Application guidance also asked for schools that will bring innovation to the wider education system and diversity to local provision, including those that will prepare children for technical pathways.
The 3 applications have been made for UTCs in Birmingham, Salford, and Carlisle. The new application in Birmingham came from WMG Academy Trust, a successful two branch MAT consisting of UTCs in Coventry and Solihull. Energy Coast UTC, which was recently judged ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, submitted proposals for the two other UTCs.
All three applications are for 11-18 schools. The Leigh UTC in Dartford was the first to open a Key Stage 3 feeder for its UTC in September 2017, which has proven very successful. Following Baker Dearing’s decision to licence UTCs taking students from 11 years of age, two more UTCs in the West Midlands and Plymouth were approved to recruit at Key Stage starting in September 2020. More UTCs are expected to extend their age range following local consultation.
New free school proposer groups will find out whether their applications have been successful in the summer of 2020.