|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Outstanding|
|Inspection Date||19 May 2015|
|Address||Crescent Road, East Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5RQ|
|Number of Pupils||433 (84% boys 16% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||13.1|
|Academy Sponsor||Activate Learning Education Trust|
|Percentage Free School Meals||6.9%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||24%|
Information about this school
University Technical College Reading (UTC) opened in 2013. This is the first inspection carried out since it opened. The UTC has a range of lead and associate business partners. The sponsor for UTC Reading is Activate Learning. Lead academic and industry partners are: University of Reading; Microsoft; Cisco; Network Rail and Peter Brett Associates LLP. Associate partners are: CGI; On-systems Limited; Keysight Teachnologies; Thames Water; Denford; Autodesk; Prodigy Learning; Filemaker; Sytel Reply; Fujitsu; Francis Construction; Keir Construction; Salesforce; We.Know.Data; the Army; Rockwell Collins; the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board and the Women’s Engineering Society. In addition, Reading Rugby Club is an associate community partner to the UTC. The curriculum at the UTC is specialised to focus on computer science and engineering. A core part of the UTC’s provision is delivered through the college’s work with business partners. The UTC is much smaller than an average secondary school and has students in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13. The sixth form is smaller than average. There is a much smaller proportion of girls at the UTC than boys than is nationally the case. The proportion of students eligible for the government’s pupil premium grant is smaller than average. The proportion of students of a minority ethnic heritage is slightly higher than average at just over a third. More than one in ten students have a first language which is not English; this is in line with the national average. The proportion of students with a disability or special educational needs is average. No students attend alternative provision. The Principal provides mentoring and support to newly appointed Principals from other UTCs and works closely with the Baker Dearing Trust.
Summary of key findings for parents and students
This is an outstanding school. ‘This place is amazing.’ Thus commented one student, reflecting the way in which UTC Reading kindles students’ desire to learn and succeed. The inspiring leadership of the Principal, supported and challenged by knowledgeable, highly effective governors and business partners, has resulted in outstanding achievement for students. Senior leaders have quickly implemented very robust systems for assessment and tracking students’ progress. As a result, effective support is given swiftly to any students who need it. The business-like ethos of the college permeates all aspects of learning. Students are prepared exceptionally well for their future lives in modern Britain. Teachers make very good use of information about students’ progress to plan effective lessons. Teachers’ high expectations of all students are matched by students’ keenness to learn and succeed. Teachers offer effective feedback to students verbally, online and in their books. However, marking does not always correct students’ spelling or grammatical errors in all subjects. All groups of students make very good progress. Disadvantaged students make exceptional rates of progress in English and mathematics. Gaps in attainment between disadvantaged students and their peers are closing rapidly. Students with a disability or special educational needs make excellent progress because of the support they receive. The UTC provides an exciting specialist curriculum with additional enrichment activities. However, leaders do not evaluate students’ participation in these additional activities to ensure that all students benefit fully. Students’ behaviour is exemplary in class, and around the college. They are mature, articulate and polite young people who are taking full advantage of the outstanding opportunities offered to them. Safeguarding is a high priority for the college. All statutory requirements are met. Students report that they feel very safe in college, and parents agree. In the sixth form, students achieve very well and provide excellent role models for younger students.