Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 16°C

Five-day forecast

Government’s flagship Hackney University Technical College to close - just two years after launch

Artist's impression images of what Hackney University Technical College willl look like Artist's impression images of what Hackney University Technical College willl look like

Thursday, July 10, 2014
7:46 AM

The first of the governments’ flagship university technical colleges in London is closing its doors to new students, just two years after it launched.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Artist's impression images of what the teaching wards at Hackney University Technical College willl look likeArtist's impression images of what the teaching wards at Hackney University Technical College willl look like

Hackney University Technical College (HUTC) was one of 17 set up in the country to train the future workforce in technical and scientific subjects.

But just 29 out of the target 75 pupils applied to join this September, leading governors to decide to close.

The college, whose patron is the Duke of York, is just yards from Old Street’s Silicon Roundabout, and youngsters were invited to tap into Tech City’s growth and gain valuable work experience there. Over 14s could specialise in health or digital technologies, and the building in Kingsland Road was specially kitted out with high-tech classrooms, studios, laboratories and a replica hospital ward costing over £3 million.

Anthony Painter, chairman of governors, said: “It has become clear that provision commencing in Year 10 rather than Year 12 does not fit well in local circumstances unique to this project, where students are unlikely to change course until sixth form – resulting in unviable student numbers.”

To ensure the school’s intake did not negatively impact on any one particular school in the borough, the catchment area extended from Islington to Newham and Southwark.

Mystery surrounded the departure of principal Annie Blackmore in February, following an Ofsted report the previous month saying the school needed to improve in “every possible area”.

Inspectors said pupils’ achievement, behaviour and safety, as well as the quality of teaching, leadership and management all “required improvement”, awarding it the third lowest rating out of four.

The school did not deny that Ms Blackmore had been suspended or signed a gagging order, although Ms Blackmore denied she had been suspended.

An Ofsted report last month, however, noted good progress was being made and concluded: “Senior leaders and governors are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement.”

The college insists current Hackney UTC students’ education remains “a very high priority”, and students will be “fully supported in achieving their full potential”.

Pupils now in Year 10 will still be able to complete their GCSEs on site next year during a phased closure. Those now in Year 11 will be offered the chance to continue their studies at Hackney Community College (HCC) around the corner, which already has links with the college, instead of at the sixth form which was earmarked to open for them in September.

HUTC’s partners – the University of East London, BT, Homerton University NHS Foundation Trust, Cisco and other employers – will continue to support the students with placements and projects.

The future of the HUTC buildings at the Hackney Community College site are under review by HCC and the Department for Education.

Share this article

   Local advertisers

Other News

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Hackney Gazette on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Hackney businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Hackney Gazette, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE

Celebrity / Showbiz See all

Drake has cancelled his Wireless London performance (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for ESPN)

Fans devastated after Drake cancels Wireless London festival

Rapper Drake has pulled out of his headline appearances at this weekend’s Wireless Festival in London, leaving fans devastated.

Read full story »