The new West Midlands University Technical College (UTC) has been rated Good by Ofsted following its first official inspection.
The UTC, based at Springfield Campus in Wolverhampton, has a focus on construction and the application of information and communication technology in the built environment. It opened in September 2015 and welcomes students aged from 14 to 19.
Inspectors found that Principal Avtar Gill, ably supported by senior leaders, has “overseen rapid improvements in behaviour, attendance, teaching and students’ progress”, while the school has a “distinctive and well-planned” curriculum.
Most teaching is very effective, with teachers using their strong subject knowledge to plan appropriate tasks that help students to make good progress. Current students are progressing well in almost all subjects.
Relationships between students and teachers are “strong and respectful”, with the former happy to ask questions and try new challenges.
Attendance has improved considerably since the school opened and students behave well. They are mature, confident and articulate, develop key employability skills such as communication and team working, and are very well prepared for the world of work when they leave.
Well-planned study programmes in the sixth form, including high-quality work experience, ensure that students make good progress, with many moving into the construction and built environment sector when they leave the UTC.
Governors have considerable expertise in many areas and “know the school well, including its many strengths and few weaknesses”.
Mr Gill said: “The judgement by Ofsted that we are a ‘Good’ school with ‘Outstanding’ personal development and welfare is a testament to the hard work of staff and students and the work-related experiences that we are able to provide.
“I would urge any young people going into Year 10 or Sixth Form to give serious consideration to continuing with their studies at this fantastic facility that we are so lucky to have in Wolverhampton.”
Councillor Lynne Moran, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “This is a very positive first inspection report for the West Midlands UTC, which demonstrates that it is preparing students well for the world of work, and particularly a career within the construction and built environment.
“I would like to congratulate Avtar Gill, who has provided clear, authoritative leadership since his appointment last year, and who is working well with his leadership team and staff to provide an excellent education to our city’s young people.”
Some 90% of schools in Wolverhampton are now rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted, more than ever before. To find out more about education in Wolverhampton, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/education.
Springfield Campus, where the UTC is based, is also home to an Elite Centre for Manufacturing (ECMS) and will be joined by the University of Wolverhampton’s School of Architecture and Built Environment, as well as a new national brownfield research centre.
The 12-acre £100m brownfield regeneration of the old Springfield Brewery will create Europe’s largest specialist construction and built environment campus, bringing together businesses and the education sector to maximise impact on the local economy.