A low student intake this year has forced the decision to close Hackney University Technical College (HUTC) just two years after it opened its gates to students.
The decision comes after the failure of the school- the first of the government’s technical colleges in London – to anticipate that students are unlikely to change school until sixth form, rather than aged 14.
Located near Old Street’s ‘Silicone Roundabout’, HUTC offered a curriculum with a digital media production focus for 14 – 19 year olds.
However, it received only 29 applications for September 2014, falling well short of its original target of 75.
“The provision commencing in Year 10 rather than Year 12 does not fit well in local circumstances unique to this project,” said Anthony Painter, the Chairman of Governors at HUTC.
“Students are unlikely to change course until sixth form.”
In February 2014, an Ofsted report said that the Hackney-based school required improvements in many areas with standards in maths and history “not as high as they could be.”
However, last month an Ofsted inspection stated that there had been good progress accomplished by Hackney UTC.
“I am proud of what has been achieved by the principal, staff and students of Hackney UTC and we will continue that good work on behalf of our current students,” said Painter. “Their work has laid the foundations for an exciting local education offer.”
Current students will be able to continue with their classes until the end of Year 11 in order to complete their GCSEs exams in 2015. The school will then close in August 2015.
Ruth Lompax, the Marketing & Communications Assistant Director at Hackney Community College (HCC), said: “The continued success of the current students is a very high priority. They will be fully supported in achieving their full potential”.
The future of the HUTC building is still under review by Hackney Community College and the Department for Education, in consultation with potential partners, to find a suitable educational use for it.