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Derby Manufacturing UTC

Parents fear children won't find jobs

Baker Dearing Educational Trust finds over half of parents are worried about their child's education and that UTCs offer variety

Posted by Stephanie Broad | October 23, 2015 | Teaching

New research released by the Baker Dearing Educational Trust shows that for two thirds (66%) of parents their biggest fear is that their child will not find a job when they leave education.

Nearly half (48.1%) of parents said they felt stressed about their child's education and 80% of parents believed the education system needed to change to reflect 21st century working Britain.

Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the charity that promotes University Technical Colleges (UTCs), surveyed over 1,000 parents with teenagers at mainstream schools and, in a separate survey, 450 parents whose children attend UTCs. 

The research reveals that parents who have children studying at UTCs feel more positive about their children’s prospects. Nearly three quarters (70%) said the UTC has made their child more confident in getting a job.

Eighty-five percent of parents believed the UTC was preparing their child for the world of work. This figure dropped to just 68% when the same question was asked of parents with children at mainstream schools.  Added to this, three quarters (75.86%) of UTC parents believed their child knew what industry they want to work in compared with just half (53.8%) of parents with children in mainstream schools.

Philip Morris, Principal of Derby Manufacturing University Technical College, which was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal recently, said: “We welcome the news from the Baker Dearing Educational Trust.

“University Technical Colleges not only give students a vital understanding and insight into the real-world of their specialist area of interest but help develop crucial employability skills including teamwork, problem solving, creativity and leadership.” 

Alan Percival’s 16 year-old daughter Zoe started at Derby Manufacturing University Technical College in September.

He said: “It is an ideal place for Zoe. She’s enthusiastic about science, engineering and technology so to have a school that promotes that as its centre of its curriculum is perfect.

“She has settled well into life at the UTC and is enjoying the new challenges being presented to her.”

The research showed that parents recognised the need for a more balanced education approach with three quarters (74.9%) saying their children should have the option of a combined technical and academic education at 14.

Nearly two thirds (64%) of mainstream school parents said they wanted a greater variety of choice in the type of school for their child and 69% said they wanted the option to select a technical education if it reflected their child’s talents.

But parents are confused about the options available to children. Although more than half (55.30%) of parents with children in mainstream schools felt well informed about academies, only two in five parents (41%) felt informed about University Technical Colleges.

However, when UTCs were explained to them, 86% of parents said they might consider a UTC for their child if there was one available in their area. 

Lord Baker, Chairman of Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the charity behind UTCs, said: “These findings highlight the importance parents place on their children’s education and whether it gives them the qualifications and experience they need to secure a job.

“Although it’s early days, UTCs are playing an important role to ensure children get the education they need for the 21st century workplace. This is valued a great deal by parents and I’m delighted that so many would consider a UTC education for their children.” 

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