Final year UTC students granted extra year

Final year students at Burnley's ill-fated University Technical College will be able to finish their studies there thanks to a deal brokered by the town's MP.
University Technical College (s)University Technical College (s)
University Technical College (s)

MP Julie Cooper, with support from Burnley College, Blessed Trinity RC College Burnley Council and the county council, has secured funding from the Department of Education which will allow students to study there for the next educational year.

The news means that the 34 Year 10 students will be able to continue as a group in one venue rather than being sent to a number of schools across the area.

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The MP is also hopeful that the long-term future of the building can be secured.

She said: “The Burnley solution’ offers excellent news for the children and parents of UTC after weeks of anxiety and uncertainty. Following the devastating news from the DFE that UTC was to close at very short notice, with funding withdrawn, I promised parents that I would do all in my power to fight in Parliament for a solution which would allow the worst affected children to complete their courses, ideally together and in the UTC building.

“There was, of course, no guarantee or ‘pot of gold’ to fund this - just sheer dogged determination and a belief that, if we all pulled together, there must be a way through.

“As far as the long term future of the UTC building, promising discussions are now under way which, if successful, would see the continuation of its use as a training and education facility for Burnley people and a centre of excellence providing the much needed skills required for high quality employment.”

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Burnley Council chief executive Pam Smith said: “Everybody involved has worked hard together to meet the wishes of the parents of Year 10 students so that they can finish their education to GCSE level at the UTC.

“It is the result of concerted efforts to find a solution to the ongoing education of the young people involved. We know it’s been an extremely difficult time for everyone and I’d like to praise the patience and support that parents have shown.”

“I know the past few weeks have been a worrying time for parents and pupils alike,” said council leader Mark Townsend. “I’m sure parents will be relieved that these arrangements have been agreed. They will give them reassurance that their children will have the continuity they need as they enter one of the most important periods of their young lives.”