Government’s flagship Hackney University Technical College to close – just two years after launch


http://www.hackneygazette.co.uk/news/government_s_flagship_hackney_university_technical_college_to_close_just_two_years_after_launch_1_3677946

Government’s flagship Hackney University Technical College to close – just two years after launch

Artist’s impression images of what Hackney University Technical College willl look like
by Emma Bartholomew, Senior Reporter Thursday, July 10, 2014
7:46 AM

The first of the governments’ flagship university technical colleges in London is closing its doors to new students, just two years after it launched.

Hackney University Technical College (HUTC) was one of 17 set up in the country to train the future workforce in technical and scientific subjects.

But just 29 out of the target 75 pupils applied to join this September, leading governors to decide to close.

The college, whose patron is the Duke of York, is just yards from Old Street’s Silicon Roundabout, and youngsters were invited to tap into Tech City’s growth and gain valuable work experience there. Over 14s could specialise in health or digital technologies, and the building in Kingsland Road was specially kitted out with high-tech classrooms, studios, laboratories and a replica hospital ward costing over £3 million.

Anthony Painter, chairman of governors, said: “It has become clear that provision commencing in Year 10 rather than Year 12 does not fit well in local circumstances unique to this project, where students are unlikely to change course until sixth form – resulting in unviable student numbers.”

To ensure the school’s intake did not negatively impact on any one particular school in the borough, the catchment area extended from Islington to Newham and Southwark.

Mystery surrounded the departure of principal Annie Blackmore in February, following an Ofsted report the previous month saying the school needed to improve in “every possible area”.

Inspectors said pupils’ achievement, behaviour and safety, as well as the quality of teaching, leadership and management all “required improvement”, awarding it the third lowest rating out of four.

The school did not deny that Ms Blackmore had been suspended or signed a gagging order, although Ms Blackmore denied she had been suspended.

An Ofsted report last month, however, noted good progress was being made and concluded: “Senior leaders and governors are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement.”

The college insists current Hackney UTC students’ education remains “a very high priority”, and students will be “fully supported in achieving their full potential”.

Pupils now in Year 10 will still be able to complete their GCSEs on site next year during a phased closure. Those now in Year 11 will be offered the chance to continue their studies at Hackney Community College (HCC) around the corner, which already has links with the college, instead of at the sixth form which was earmarked to open for them in September.

HUTC’s partners – the University of East London, BT, Homerton University NHS Foundation Trust, Cisco and other employers – will continue to support the students with placements and projects.

The future of the HUTC buildings at the Hackney Community College site are under review by HCC and the Department for Education.

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About Paul Champion

Some have called me a leader, and a entrepreneur, they say I have integrity, presence and skills to ensure continuous improvement and success in whatever challenges I face. They also tell me that I am positive, resilient and motivating. I say, I'm just a normaI guy from Gateshead in the North of England, who started as an apprentice engineer. I have been in the right place at the right time and in the wrong place at the wrong time! I have successfully initiated and led complex organizations and situations to completion and success, and I have been in some jobs where success seemed untouchable. Mainly though, I have tried to learn everyday, help people to progress and learn the skills they need to be successful. I have had the privilege of working with some great people locally across the UK and more recently internationally in Asia, Europe and now USA, where I am lucky enough to work for www.3aaa.co.uk where I am head of 3aaa USA. This website is just me having an outlet to talk about all those thoughts, ideas and things I learn that pass through my head every day when I face the challenge of doing business. I will also rant on about how great apprenticeships are, and how you can help change peoples lives through them. After all thats how I got to do the great things that I have done, and also I am still an apprentice everyday! All I ask is that if you find it interesting then leave a comment and share what you read. THANK YOU.

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