University technical colleges (UTCs) are government funded schools that offer 13–18 year olds a great deal more than traditional schools. They teach students technical and scientific subjects in a whole new way and are educating the inventors, engineers, scientists and technicians of tomorrow.
By integrating technical, practical and academic learning, they create an environment where students can thrive and develop the abilities that employers need.
UTCs are academies and are smaller than traditional secondary schools. They are not academically selective and charge no fees.
UTCs typically have 600 students, are sub regional and their catchment area may extend across a number of local authorities.
Baker Dearing Educational Trust was founded by Lord Baker and Lord Dearing to develop and promote the concept of university technical colleges. Today they are a small, flexible organisation that sits at the centre of the UTC network. Their focus is on promoting and supporting new and existing UTCs.
"The UK needs advanced technical skills at all levels if we are to prosper in the 21st century. Whether in manufacturing, wind farms, rail links or hi-tech hospitals we need a workforce that can develop new products, stretch and reuse existing resources and meet all the challenges of the future."
Lord Baker, Chairman
The Baker Dearing Educational Trust support applications to open new UTCs, helping applicants to navigate the process and lend their experience and support where it is needed. Working closely with the Department for Education, they make sure that the expected number of UTCs open on time and on budget
They raise awareness of UTCs with the government, the media and the public. By increasing the profile of UTCs they aim to ensure that everyone has an understanding of UTCs and what they offer to young people, employers and the wider community. They also represent the interests of UTCs when it comes to curricula, qualifications and Department for Education policy.
They help UTCs benefit from being a part of a bigger network by providing opportunities to share good practice, attend seminars, and stretch budgets through joint procurement.
Their educational advisers help to develop curricula and advise on suitable technical qualifications. They also support UTCs with setting standards, issues around leadership and management, and through liaising with the universities and employers who are UTC partners.
It's difficult to study many areas of STEM, like design and engineering in mainstream schools. UTCs excel in providing technical education.