Lack of students forces £9 million technical college to close


A £9 million technical college has announced it is closing after less than three years because it failed to recruit enough pupils.

Greater Manchester University Technical College is the seventh university technical college (UTC) to announce it will close its doors, according to the Schools Week website.

It will close at the end of the academic year after no students in 2016 achieved grade C or higher in both English and maths GCSEs.

The Oldham college, which opened in 2014, said on Tuesday that a shortage of students meant the institution was not financially viable.

Michael Gove, as education secretary in 2011, championed UTCs in a bid to teach 14 to 19-year-olds technical and practical skills.

Oldham West and Royton Labour MP Jim McMahon said the UTC represented a "failed experiment", according to the Manchester Evening News.

The college said: "Resources made available to schools and colleges are irretrievably linked to the number of students on roll and, unfortunately, the fact that the UTC has been unable to recruit enough students within the Oldham district and further afield has meant that it is not financially viable into the future."

Principal Lee Kilgour said students in Years 11 and 13 would be able to complete their studies in the summer term.

College chairman Gordon Main said: "Closing the (college) is hugely disappointing for all those who have worked so hard to give students the opportunity to pursue a technical education.

"The wellbeing and success of all our students remains our highest priority.

"Every effort will be made to ensure students get the support they need to complete their studies successfully and receive appropriate guidance for transition to their new place of learning."