Tax payers

Taxpayer paying 'over the odds' for UTCs according to new report

A report, published today (June 10) by the Public Accounts Committee, is calling on the Department for Education to rethink their approach to University Technical Colleges (UTCs), as findings show taxpayers pay ‘over the odds’.

New financial targets and measures of success for students are recommended as part of the ‘clear roadmap’ suggested for UTCs.

UTCs were established in 2010, offering more practical, technical alternatives to traditional education for young people ages 14 to 19, but the report shows that UTCs haven’t provided a ‘distinctive, financially sustainable education offer’.

The Department has had to financially support UTCs, of which 48 were still open in Jan 2019, as they were operating at an average capacity of 45% with low student numbers, totalling nearly £750m.

Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said:

“An awful lot of money has gone into this idea with good results alarmingly thin on the ground – although it’s very hard to tell when the Department hasn’t managed in 10 years to say what a good result is. While the Department determines what success is for the students already committed to a UTC education, it needs to look to the future and financial management of UTCs. 

“It is not fair to make this kind of alternative offer to students trying to equip themselves to make a living, and then not ensure that it delivers a sustainable, quality, recognised measure of success for them.

“For students in UTCs it’s not an expensive if innovative experiment, it’s their future – more uncertain now than ever as we face what the Chancellor has described as an unprecedented recession. The Department must show us how it is going to make UTC education worthwhile – for students, their parents and the taxpayer.”

Other recommendations from the Committee include collaboration between the more successful UTCs and the ones struggling to attract students, clear three-year financial goals for each site – with preparation to close if they are not met and the use of data to track performance of UTCs which in turn can help parents assess the benefits.

 LISTEN: Ep. 14 Deeds not words – Cllr Paula Langley

Accelerating the use of data

PSE Oct/Nov 22

Accelerating the use of data

Our October/November edition of PSE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of public sector topics, from levelling up, the cost of living crisis. Learn about EV infrastructure, or how the change of a Prime Minister can affect public sector aims.

Videos...

View all videos
#PSE365: Public Sector Levelling up

Be A Part Of It!

PSE365: Public SectorLevelling up Virtual Event | 17 Nov 2022

PSE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of public sector services. 

Over 365 days you’ll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

Upcoming Webinar

Webinar: Driving sustainability & value through technology end-of-life

End-of-life is often overlooked yet is equally as important to a digital strategy, but what happens to end-of-life technology? What is the impact on the environment, net zero targets? What is the financial impact, is value for money for the taxpayer simply discarded and destroyed along with the technology?
 

Join us on 13 September between 2:00pm-2:45pm where we look to address the lifecycle of a digital strategy with a focus on end-of-life using examples, achieving efficiency, increased sustainability and delivering cost savings.


Guest Panellists:

Adam Turner, Head of Government and Public Sector Sustainable ICT and Digital, DEFRA
Ben Levin, Senior Manager, Technology Assesment and Criteria Development, Global Electronics Council
Fredrik Forslund, Vice President, Enterprise & Cloud Erasure Solutions, Blancco
Ben Tongue, Digital Net Zero Lead, NHS England

More articles...

View all