Michael Gove on UTCs

10 February 2017

Commenting on the admission by former education secretary Michael Gove that his University Technical Colleges (UTCs) programme has failed, as expressed in today’s Times column, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Admitting failure does not go far enough. Michael Gove should apologise to the public for the near £83 million (1) squandered on those nine UTCs that have either failed to open, closed or are set to close at a time when schools are having to put their hands down the back of the sofa to find the money to pay for basic education provision.

“The NUT warned the Government that the UTC model was flawed and would be unable to attract sufficient numbers of pupils. It was never a realistic proposition for young people to transfer out of school to a UTC at age 14. This was a policy that was doomed to fail from the start. Yet as Education Secretary at the time, Mr Gove refused to listen to educationalists and instead championed UTCs at the expense of building new secondary schools where they were most needed.

“The current Secretary of State should learn the lesson of her predecessor’s policy failure and recognise that what parents want for their children is a rounded education in a good local school that provides a broad and balanced curriculum with both high quality academic and vocational options for students to choose from.”

Editor’s Note:

Cost of closed UTCs.


Closing Date


Burton and South Derbyshire UTC

Never Opened

£8.6 million

Daventry UTC

August 2017 (becoming a secondary school)

£9.3 million

Greater Manchester UTC

August 2017

£9 million

Royal Greenwich UTC

August 2017 (becoming a secondary school)

£10 million

Tottenham UTC

August 2017 (becoming a sixth form free school)

£12.8 million

Black Country UTC

August 2015

£11.3 million

Central Bedfordshire UTC

August 2016

£7.5 million

Hackney UTC

August 2014

£4.4 million

UTC Lancashire

August 2014

£10 million



£82.9 million

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