The difference in the Progress 8 Measurements between UTCs and standard State Secondary Schools.
Statement from ‘The Baker Dearing Trust’
When looking at the DfE’s Progress 8 Measurements it is important to note two very important differences between a University Technical College (UTC), such as ours, and a standard State Secondary School – which makes progress comparison impossible.
UTCs provide young people, aged 14 to 19, with a high-quality technical education aimed at the skills requirement of their regional economy.
Progress 8 does not work for UTCs because:
- Our students only attend UTCs for the last two of the five years covered by the Progress 8 measure. But the progress, or lack of it, made by students at their previous school during Key Stage 3 is wholly attributed to the UTC.
- Many of the technical subjects on offer at UTCs do not qualify for inclusion in Progress 8.
- Progress 8 rewards attainment and progress in a small number of core academic subjects linked to the English Baccalaureate. Most UTC students focus on a range of technical subjects and English, maths and science. They tend not to study all of the English Baccalaureate subjects.
If all schools were judged by the destinations of their leavers at 18, UTCs would be among the top performing schools in the country. In 2017 97% of students leaving UTCs have stayed in education, begun an apprenticeship or started a job. UTCs are doing more than any other group of schools to produce 18 year olds who are able and willing to start high quality apprenticeships
The government recognises that Progress 8 and Ebacc are not appropriate for UTCs. This year, for the first time, there is a footnote in the performance tables containing caveats for UTCs relating to Progress 8 and Ebacc:
14.Most secondary schools educate pupils from year 7 (age 11 to 12) to year 11 (age 15 to 16). Some schools and colleges, such as university technical colleges (UTCs), studio schools or further education colleges with key stage 4 provision, differ in their age range and specialisms and this should be borne in mind when reviewing the performance tables data for these types of provision. For example, Progress 8 measures the progress made by pupils from the end of year 6 (end of primary school) through to the end of year 11, covering a period of five years. In UTCs, studio schools and some other academies, pupils typically start in year 10, rather than in year 7 as is the case for most secondary schools. This means that, by the end of year 11, pupils in these schools will have typically attended that school for only 2 years, compared to 5 years for pupils in most secondary schools. As a result, the Progress 8 data for these schools is not directly comparable with the Progress 8 data for other schools. UTCs, studio schools and some FE colleges with KS4 provision provide a specialist technical and professional education. The government’s 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.
Department for Education Performance Tables