South Devon UTC Trust statement with regards to the publishing of Performance Measures nationally this week.
You may have seen the national press on Thursday when the DFE published the Performance 8 figures for all schools nationally. The Performance 8 figures are a very particular measure and gives an indication the average student’s progress in a school in a particular set of subjects OVER 5 YEARS from KS2. The DFE has acknowledged this therefore is not a measure of comparison to be used with UTCs (see the DFE statement below from the performance measures website placed as a footnote). It is clearly important as parents to understand that we are continually driving to improve our outcomes in terms of exam performance as well as delivering on the single most important measure for young people, that of their futures. The UTC performance measure is destinations. 100% of our students leaving the UTC last year, whether leaving at year 13 or year 11 are now in a suitably challenging higher or further education course, apprenticeship or employment. The national figure for this has been as low as 89%.
The Daily Mirror has named us in a list of the worst performing schools in the country. The key message here is the data measure is not a like for like comparison by a long way, it is like measuring the performance of a fish by how quickly it can climb a tree, or measuring water quality by the depth if it in an arbitrary receptacle.
Rest assured if your child is with us now, they are in the best possible place for a technical education and if you are considering a UTC education for your child next year then continue to do so, there is nowhere else that is funded to provide the level of a professional technical education as we are.
There are two statements which follow, one from the DFE on not being able to compare schools with UTCs by the Performance 8 Measure and another from the Baker Dearing Trust Chief Executive, Charles Parker.
“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.” DFE January 2018
The Progress 8 measure is not designed for University Technical Colleges (UTCs), which are different from standard secondary schools. 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 Charles Parker, Chief Executive, Baker Dearing Trust Jan 2018.