University Technical Colleges: The First Ten Years

New non-fiction title from David Harbourne is an “excellent insight” into the first ten years of University Technical Colleges. The book, published by University of Buckingham Press, was released on 7th March 2022 and contains an afterword by Lord Baker.

The former Secretary of State for Education, Lord Baker, crossbench peer Lord Dearing and industrialist Sir Anthony Bamford shared a vision. They imagined a new type of secondary school that would prepare young people for careers in science, technology and engineering.

University Technical Colleges (UTCs) offer a curriculum linked to key sectors of the economy and deliver it in partnership with employers, using real-world projects and industry-standard
equipment. UTC students go on to fast-track apprenticeships, higher education and rewarding careers.

Conceived under a Labour government, UTCs were expected to offer qualifications called Diplomas as part of a new 14-19 phase of education. After the 2010 general election, Conservative
ministers had other priorities. UTCs opened just as policy shifted in favour of traditional academic subjects, strict accountability measures, multi-academy trusts and competition – not
collaboration – at the local level.

This account of the first ten, turbulent years of UTCs is based on contemporary records, meetings with people who run them and interviews with some of the young people they were set up to

David Harbourne has extensive experience of developing, promoting and researching technical education. He was chief executive of the Hotel and Catering Training Company in the mid-1990s,
joined the Learning and Skills Council in 2000 and later combined two roles: research director at the Edge Foundation and senior education advisor at the Baker Dearing Educational Trust.

“This book is a must read for anyone interested in high quality technical education.” Sir Mike Tomlinson, former Chief Inspector of Schools

“An excellent insight into the UTC curriculum” Sir Anthony Seldon

“Vocational success story of the last decade in English educational policy” Professor Bill Lucas, Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning at the University of Winchester