Pupils studying at university technical colleges are making less progress than they did a year ago.

Data published by the government today shows the average Progress 8 score of disadvantaged UTC pupils fell from -0.92 in 2016 to -1.19 in 2017, while the average progress score of non-disadvantaged pupils also fell, from -0.66 to -0.90.

In fact, not one UTC managed to achieve a positive average Progress 8 score in 2017. In 2016, just one UTC had a positive score.

Humber UTC fared the best, with an average Progress 8 score for disadvantaged pupils of -0.05, while Sir Charles Kao UTC was at the bottom of the list, with an average of -1.87.

Wigan UTC, UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, and Greater Peterborough UTC did not receive Progress 8 scores at all as they had just five or fewer pupils in the cohort.

Progress 8 was created as the headline indicator of school performance in 2016, and used to determine whether a school was above the floor standard or “coasting”.

For the 2017 exam series, the measure was calculated using a points system in which pupils jumping from a grade B to an A are awarded 1.5 extra points, while the difference between a G grade and F is just 0.5. All other grades are separated by a score of one.

Pupils are defined as “disadvantaged” if they have been eligible for free school meals in the past six years (from year 6 to year 11), if they are recorded as having been looked after for at least one day or if they are recorded as having been adopted from care.

Today’s data shows a more positive picture for studio schools. The average Progress 8 score of their disadvantaged pupils was -0.92 last year, compared with -1.11 n 2016.

The average Progress 8 score among non-disadvantaged pupils in studio schools was -0.69 in 2017, up from -0.87 in 2016.

The studio school with the highest average Progress 8 score for disadvantaged pupils was De Salis Studio College, with 0.31. The worst was the Da Vinci Studio School of Science and Engineering, which closed last summer, with a score of -2.4.

As with the UTCs, three studio schools did not receive Progress 8 scores as they had five or fewer pupils in the cohort. These were Logic Studio School, The Studio @ Deyes and Atrium Studio School.



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4 Comments

  1. I’m not a fan of the UTC or Studio School policy but when it comes to Progress 8 they both face a double whammy. First, pupils don’t join until the start of Key Stage 4 but Progress 8 measures a pupil’s academic progress made since the end of KS2. UTCs and Studio Schools have no control over progress, if any, made by their pupils in Key Stage 3. At the same time, UTCs and Studio Schools have a curriculum which doesn’t easily match the subjects used to assess P8.

  2. Quite right. The article is disingenuous, because the author has heard those arguments before and has no evidence that the KS3 progress last year was the same and therefore comparable to this year. Nor have the DfE caveats published alongside the performance tables been taken into account which state:

    “University technical colleges, studio schools and some further education colleges with key stage 4 provision provide a specialist technical and professional education. Our position is that it is not appropriate to expect the same rates of EBacc entry from these types of provision and that each school should decide on a case-by-case basis whether its specialist curriculum is compatible with the full EBacc.”

    and

    “Some schools and colleges, including university technical colleges, studio schools and further education colleges which cover key stage 4, start educating pupils from the beginning of key stage 4, partway through the 5-year period covered by Progress 8. This should be taken into account when comparing their results with those for schools which start educating their pupils from the beginning of key stage 3.”

    Since there is a moderate to strong correlation coefficient between EBacc entry and Progress 8, these two things together should have been referenced.