Pupil progress declines at UTCs

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.