Frequently Asked Questions


Why is this happening?

The decision to close Wigan UTC has been taken as the UTC is financially unviable. The UTC has been unable to recruit sufficient students to operate without a growing deficit which will severely hamper the quality of education it can provide moving forward.

Why has the decision been made so late in the year?

While the Local Governing Body and Northern Schools Trust recognised the funding issue and requested continued financial support from the government, it was only recently that the Minister determined that the UTC must in principle be closed.

Why can't years 10 and 12 stay at the UTC and complete their course?

We recognise that this has happened in other situations where UTCs have been closed and can see the potential benefits. However it is a decision which would need to be made by the Minister. It is not a decision that the Local Governing Body or Northern Schools Trust can make.

Will my son/daughter in year 10 have to re-sit year 10 when they go to another mainstream school?

It is our view that this would be highly inappropriate given that students in year 10 have completed two terms of their course. We will be working closely with parents to find a suitable placement where students can continue their specialist courses and with local secondary schools including Bolton and Warrington UTCs to ensure a smooth transition to year 11 so that students can conclude Key Stage 4 successfully.

Does my son/daughter have to go back to their previous school?

No. The choice of school for September 2019 will lie with parents. In some cases parents may wish that their son/daughter returns to a previous school. If this is the case it would be advisable to make contact with the Headteacher or Principal of that school.

We will be working with Wigan Local Authority to decide on the most appropriate admissions process in these circumstances.

How can we find out what other schools offer?

School and College websites should provide an up to date list of courses on offer. However, in order to support parents we have gathered this information together in one place on the Wigan UTC website as well.

Mainstream secondary schools do not offer the range of specialist subjects provided at Wigan UTC. What options do we have?

A lot will depend on the specific GCSE, A Level and BTEC courses that your son/daughter is taking. Some schools will offer some of the courses. We are happy to work with you on finding out where this might be the case.

Warrington UTC, Bolton UTC and Wigan and Leigh Further Education College also offer a similar, if not exactly the same, range of specialist courses in Health and Social Care and Engineering.

How can I make my opinion heard?

Many parents have indicated their desire to express their opinion on the current situation. We would recommend that you attend the parents evening at 6.00 p.m. on Thursday, 25th April.

You may also wish to write to your local MP and/or the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the School System.

I can also assure you that all of your opinions are being noted and will be shared with the wider Project Team involved with managing the closure of Wigan UTC.

How will Wigan UTC help us at this difficult time?

We have hosted a series of drop-in sessions already but plan to offer individual meetings with every parents to identify a transition plan which suits the needs of your son/daughter. These will be organised early in the summer term.

We are working with the Local Authority and secondary and post 16 Headteachers and Principals to identify a range of opportunities to help you make the right choice of school place for your son/daughter and to secure a smooth transition to their next school/college. We anticipate that this will include:

  • Taster days/visits to other schools
  • Identifying the curriculum pathway and what needs to be covered while students are still at Wigan UTC to ensure they are well prepared in their next school/college
  • A detailed hand-over and induction process so that all receiving schools and colleges know your child as well as we do

In addition we will respond to any specific requests that you may have regarding your son/daughter. Please do not hesitate to ask.

My son/daughter will not cope in a large secondary school. What else is possible?

There are some small schools locally including Bolton and Warrington UTCs. It will be important that you meet with us as soon as possible so that we can talk through your concerns and how best we can address them with you.

Are there places in secondary schools in Wigan?

I am reliably informed by the School Organisation team in Wigan that most secondary schools in Wigan have places in year 10.

Will we have to buy a new uniform?

It is not possible to answer this question at the moment. As soon as we have any further information on this with regard to individual schools/colleges we will let you know.

What will you do to make sure that my son/daughter’s special needs are met?

There will be an individual hand-over for every student to the new school/college. For students with special needs or indeed any other specific needs we will ensure that the new school or college is well prepared to support your son/daughter in his/her new placement.

My son/daughter is in year 10. Can he/she study at Wigan and Leigh FE College?

We are yet to meet with the Principal of Wigan and Leigh College. Once we have information of what is possible will be posted on our website.

Can I still collect my GCSE and A Level results in the summer?

Yes. The UTC will follow the normal process.

If parents wish to ask any questions in advance of the meeting on Thursday 25th April please contact Shelagh Potter, Executive Principal for Northern Schools Trust, on 07525 832 698.  If the call is not answered immediately please leave your name and phone number and we will get back to you.  Alternatively please email views@wiganutc.org