Seaside towns show the need for UTCs

Once again we have a call to arms on behalf of our seaside towns. See a recent report from the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) Telegraph 6.8.13.  The disproportionate levels of poverty in terms both of wealth and aspiration in these towns was very clear to me as I visited schools across England during my tenure as Schools Commissioner (2011-2013). Recently HMCI has also called for these areas to receive support from proven school leaders. It is to be hoped this is happening. It worked for the cities, which have seen dramatic improvement through their challenge programmes.

Vulnerable youngsters need job prospects. Our business and industries need skilled technicians and employees. It beggars belief that 41% of adults in Clacton have no qualifications at all.  University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are the newest type of school directly set up to address this need. Providing high quality technical education for 14-18 year olds with businesses and universities integral to the teaching, they can stimulate, enthuse and educate to provide pathways for such youngsters.

This initiative must join together with others. There are no doubt a number of solutions needed concurrently in our seaside towns. What is clear is that waste of talent and failing young people is not an option.

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