Derby Manufacturing UTC placed in special measures

Another university technical college has been rated ‘inadequate’, the eighth to receive Ofsted’s lowest grade.

Derby Manufacturing UTC has been placed in special measures after getting a grade four across the board in a report which warned it was “failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education”.

Safeguarding at the UTC is “not effective” and the leaders responsible do not get “sufficient time or resources to fulfil their role effectively”.

“A minority of parents who expressed a view said that their child does not feel safe at the school,” the report said.

Leaders and governors had an “over-generous” idea of the school’s provision, and the “inaccuracy of their view” has prevented “appropriate action to secure the required improvements”.

Teaching at the school’s sixth-form was also criticised. Pupils’ progress in academic subjects in 2017 was “well below average”, and “just under half” left at the end of year 12 “to pursue their studies elsewhere” that year.

The verdict means that almost a quarter of the 33 UTCs inspected so far have received Ofsted’s bottom grade.

Sixty-one per cent of all UTCs inspected have been rated less than ‘good’.  Six, all grade three or four, have since closed.

Of the remaining 27 that are still open, 14 are rated either ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’.

Most UTCs have struggled since they were established in 2010, mainly because of problems attracting enough pupils to stay financially viable. Eight have so far closed.

In January, Schools Week revealed that almost every UTC missed its recruitment targets last year, leaving them with combined debts of over £11 million.

These included Derby Manufacturing UTC, which owed over £600,000 after it under-recruited by 132 pupils in 2016/17. Thirty-five of these were in its sixth form, more than a third of its predicted learner numbers.

It has been approached for a comment.