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New Studio Schools and UTCs open

11/09/2012 Joanna
The Department for Education has announced that 11 Studio Schools and three University Technical Colleges (UTCs) have opened.

In the past year, 97 new UTCs, Studio Schools and Free Schools in England have welcomed the first pupils through their doors - offering new teaching vacancies for those in teaching jobs in the process.

This latest batch of alternative schools, which are aimed at 14 to 19-year-old students, includes Hull Studio School, which is sponsored by Hull College, and the Studio College, funded by Stoke-on-Trent College.

Both Studio Schools and UTCs differ from mainstream schools in that their focus is on boosting the employability of their pupils.

At Studio Schools, this is achieved by combining education in core academic subjects with work placements and vocational courses. The students, numbering around 300, also operate to business hours - helping to improve their punctuality and reliability in preparation for the workplace.

"Lack of work readiness amongst school leavers is a key issue for businesses up and down the country, and Studio Schools are designed to address this concern," explained David Frost, chair of the Studio Schools Trust.

In 2010, 70 per cent of employers surveyed said they wanted the government to make the employability skills of young people its top education priority.

UTCs differ slightly from Studio Schools in that they provide a technical education for 500 to 800 pupils to meet specific employer needs. They each specialise in two areas, such as engineering and science.

"The UTC curriculum is built around projects created by employers," commented Lord Baker, chair of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust.

"This brings education to life - students understand not just what they are learning, but why - and where they can go next."

Further Studio Schools are scheduled to open in the next two years, backed by the education secretary Michael Gove. He has called the establishments "vital". 

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801446872-ADNFCR
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