University Technical Colleges (UTCs) teach 14–18 year old students a range of scientific and technical subjects through a mix of vocational and academic training. Spearheading their growth has been Lord Baker, former secretary of state for education.
We met Lord Baker at the Association for Science Education annual conference in January. He told us how UTCs are creating a 14–18 education stream and are 'one of the few institutions in UK education that are actually producing skilled employees.'
Lord Baker believes the type of students who would benefit most from studying at a UTC are 'those who are pretty fed up with being in their present schools because they think they aren't learning anything that would be relevant to their future lives.'
He tells us how 16-year-old students' skills in maths and English are 'appalling' and 'an indictment of the English education system.' Also, how schools are hostile towards UTCs and that they should give students greater information about the alternative pathways available at age 14.
Watch the video to find out if Lord Baker thinks it's wise to ask students to narrow their educational focus at 14 years old and why he believes students don't receive a rounded education at further education (FE) colleges.