Twelfth UTC closure confirmed

A university technical college (UTC) in London has confirmed plans to close just four years after opening.

Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC, named after the former Conservative politician, announced last May that it would pause student recruitment to consider its future due to low student numbers.

The UTC opened in 2017 and specialises in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has capacity for 550 students aged 14 to 19 but only had 150 on roll last year. This number has since dropped to 75. The college is also yet to be inspected by Ofsted.

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Ombudsman wants to intervene over academy admission disputes

The local government ombudsman wants the power to investigate academy admissions and exclusion complaints, claiming that it could boost public trust.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) is an independent investigatory body which acts as the final stage for complaints about council services, including admission and exclusion concerns in maintained schools.

It publishes reports that make recommendations, but it cannot enforce action.

Its powers do not cover academies however, whose trusts are their admission authorities. Any complaints relating to academies are investigated by the Education, Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA).

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Diocese academy conversions get go-ahead without governor approval

A diocese has secured academy orders, set conversion dates and begun talks over staff and land transfers for its schools – without their governors’ consent.

A union warned of “utter disbelief” among some governors and heads, and condemned the regional schools commissioner for backing the plans and incorrectly stating that governors approved them.

The Catholic Diocese of Hallam has been trying to consolidate its 47 schools in South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire in two new multi-academy trusts (MATs) since last January. It is one of several dioceses receiving extra funding as part of a government pilot to accelerate the academisation of Christian schools.

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GCSEs: Flintshire boy, nine, passes maths exam

Leonardo has “the type of mind Nasa employs” after passing the exam seven years early.BBC News – Family & EducationRead More

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Silver linings: Big academy trusts see reserves boosted by Covid windfalls

Large academy trusts have racked up multi-million-pound surpluses during the pandemic, as savings from school closures and extra DfE cash boosted reserves.

Schools Week analysis of trust accounts highlights significant Covid windfalls, despite schools’ extra costs and widespread calls for more funding.

One trust boosted its reserves by £9 million, while another moved from a deficit to a £6 million surplus.

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